Projects

photo: Alex Bonney

Kit performs solo pipe organ and solo piano concerts, and also plays in collaborations with saxophonist Tom Challenger, cellist Lucy Railton, composer Shiva Feshareki and with the band 'ENEMY'.//

He is also currently working with violinist Aidan O'Rourke, composer Max de Wardener, an organ trio with Reinier Baas and Jonas Burgwinkel, bassist and composer Ruth Goller and with vocalist Ingebjørg Loe Bjørnstad. He teaches at the Royal Academy of Music.

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'Dreamlife of Debris' - ECM, 2019

Dreamlife of Debris carries forward the story begun on Kit Downes’s Obsidian, extending and developing its processes and core ideas. But where Obsidian was (almost exclusively) a solo church organ album, part of Kit’s plan for Dreamlife was to put the organ in a broader context, and also to bring the piano into the larger compositional picture. Musicians in the project are primarily players with whom Downes has had long associations – saxophonist Tom Challenger, cellist Lucy Railton, drummer Seb Rochford – and there is also a first musical encounter with Norwegian guitarist Stian Westerhus.

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'Obsidian' - ECM, 2018

Kit Downes’s previous ECM appearance was as pianist on the debut recording of Time Is A Blind Guide in 2015 and he’s critically-regarded as one of the UK’s outstanding young jazz talents. This recording however has little to do with “jazz”, although it could only have been made by an improviser of subtle sensibilities. Some of Downes’s earliest musical experiences were as a church organist and in recent years he has been revisiting the instrument, exploring its sonic possibilities and idiosyncrasies, in improvisations both melodic and textural. In November 2016 producer Sun Chung followed Downes to three English churches – the Snape Church of John the Baptist and Bromeswell St Edmund Church – both in Suffolk – and Union Chapel Church in Islington, London. These are very different acoustic spaces housing organs of very different characters which Downes investigates creatively. Alone for most of the album he is joined on one piece (“Modern Gods”) by frequent improvising partner Tom Challenger (tenor sax).

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52 Studies for Right Hand

Kit wrote 52 piano pieces for right-hand only in 2017 (having injured his left hand). He wrote one piece for every day of his recovery - you can view/download the scores below: