Karl Jenkins interview (2008) - part three

Karl Jenkins

Part three of our interview with the composing superstar.

Last updated: 28 January 2009

When writing music, how do you find inspiration?

I write every day. If I wait for inspiration it'll never happen and you just waste time. By doing a bit each day you can actually get into it and it becomes better and easier.

It's like when people describe athletes as lucky. The response you get is, the more I practise the luckier I get. It's like that when you're writing music: the more you do it the easier it gets.

What one piece of music are you most proud of?

The Stabat Mater because it's the most recent. I shouldn't say so myself but the premiere was brilliant. It was at Liverpool Cathedral and even for cathedral standards the place is huge.

The premiere itself sold out many weeks before the night so we put extra seating in and put up big screens so more people could see it. We had 2,000 people there and at the end they all stood up and applauded for ages. It was very gratifying.

However, when that proceeds into history I don't know because I always feel the same when I release a new piece. Probably The Armed Man is better. It had the most impact and has been performed well over 400 times around the world.

It has an extra dimension to it as it tells the story of war and the horrors, the build up, the aftermath, the conflict and the reflection of war.

It does move people in a way that perhaps the other pieces don't, especially when it's shown with the video footage that is available with it, which shows the horrors of the first and second world wars and the Twin Towers. But currently the Stabat Mater because it's fresh.

Interview: Saima Razzaq


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