People of Celtic culture all over ancient Europe were fascinated by lip reed instruments, and made great horns and trumpets in many forms – including the carnyx, a two-metre-long bronze trumpet surmounted by a stylised animal head. One of these was found at Deskford, Scotland, in 1816 and reconstructed in the early 1990s; it is joined here by the magnificent Tintignac carnyx, discovered in southern France in 2004 and reconstructed specially for the current project. A new reconstruction has also been made of the Loughnashade horn from Ireland, with its exquisite decorated bell disc.
Recent developments in music archaeology have vastly increased our knowledge and understanding of both the physical construction of these instruments and their likely playing techniques. John Kenny has specialised in their performance for a quarter of a century, and his newly created music explores their uniquely expressive sounds in solo, duo and ensemble textures, drawing upon Celtic mythical characters, echoes of ancient ritual in modern society, and impressions of real places in Ireland, Scotland and France.