Finnegans Wake

Finnegans wake was founded in Brussels and merged Rock in Opposition and contemporary Brazilian sounds after Henry Krutzen, the band’s mainstay, moved from Belgium to Brazil in 2001. Finnegans Wake is more than the name of James Joyce’s baffling, impenetrable fiction. It was also the name that a number of musical ensembles adopted over the years. Not surprisingly, a Celtic band based — not surprising after all — in Las Vegas (and with the singular possessive “Finnegan’s”), Finnegans Wake is the name. However, there is also a Finnegans Wake group that has no connection to Celtic music, Ireland, or the United States. This band is more difficult to identify in terms of style and geography. For style, you can try an avant-prog mix of influences such as post-Canterbury prog or contemporary classical. And for geography, cross the Atlantic from Belgium and Brazil (and even throw in Germany). Blarney rock is a long way from Finnegans Wake. If one individual could be deemed the principal driving force behind Finnegans Wake, it would be Henry Krutzen, a multi-instrumentalist (primarily keyboards, percussion, and tenor saxophone) who began the group, along with bassist Alain Lemaitre, as a Canterbury, RIO, and jazz-influenced prog rock band in Belgium during 1993. Finnegans wake also featured Jean-Louis Aucremanne, a keyboardist, and Richard Redcrossed (aka Richard Belgium). They released two albums on Mellow labels: Yellow in 1994 and Green 1998. Pictures was the group’s third album. It was released by Musea/Gazul on the same year Krutzen went to Brazil. Finnegans wake remained active as an transatlantic group. Alexandre Moura Barros, the guitarist, joined the group following Krutzen’s move to Natal, northeastern Brazil. Lemaitre, Redcrossed, and Redcrossed remained in Belgium as the remaining two core members. The band recorded Finnegans Wake’s fourth album, a double-CD set called simply 4th. It was released in 2004 by Belgian Carbon 7 labels. Pierre Vervloesem, a Belgian guitarist and studio wizard (ex-X Legged Sally), mixed the CD in Natal and Brussels. The Finnegans Wake album’s wide sound palette has always included guest musicians. 4th featured 15 of these guests, mostly from Brazil, playing clarinet, clarinet, clarinet, drums and trombone. Behavioural keyboardist Aucremanne from Belgium was no longer considered to be a core member of the band. Alexandre Johnson, a Brazilian flutist, joined the band in 2007 as a bona-fide member. Blue was released by the Italian ArtrOck label at the end of 2008. Blue revealed more lineup changes, aside from Johnson’s addition. Also, Redcrossed and Moura-Barros, a Brazilian guitarist, were both gone. Krutzen, Lemaitre, who were present since the beginning of the band, are now absent; Johnson; and two other band members, Marcilio Onofre, a Brazilian keyboardist, and Xochil Schutz, a German poetess. Redcrossed will now be Finnegans Wake’s lyricist, but not singer. Blue featured a lot of guest musicians, mainly from Brazil. It also featured Blue’s bonus track, which featured Morgan Agren, a Swedish drummer, as well as Guy Segers (Univers Zero), on bass, and Reginald Trigaux, Roger’s son, on guitar. Pierre Vervloesem, a hardworking staple of Belgian avant-rock, provided the mastering expertise. Blue was followed by Finnegans Wake’s 2010 album The Bird and the Sky Above. This reduced the core to a four-piece and added Markus Stauss, bass saxophone. The disc marked Finnegans Wake’s transition from avant-prog to post-jazz creativeimprovisation. The Red album, which was similar to The Bird and the Sky Above, featured 13 musicians from both sides of the Atlantic, including Jean-Luc Plouvier, Univers Zero/X Legged Sally’s pianist on one track. It featured an exploratory and often subdued suite that combines contemporary chamber music with creative improvisation, removing most, if not all, rock influences. Allmusic

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