Curved Air’s concerts and festival appearances continue to thrill a steadily increasing mass of new and old fans worldwide. Their experimental blends of classical themes, electronic sounds and pop/rock energy and beautiful, timeless songs are performed with fire and passion and tremendous musicianship.
The band, are still fronted by Sonja Kristina, with original drummer Florian Pilkington Miksa. and veteran musicians who were introduced through Sonja Kristina’s and Darryl Way’s solo projects Sonja Kristina states, “these are virtuoso musicians. Robert Norton on keyboards is exceptional – as is Paul Sax, a unique violinist, one of the first entrants to the Yehudi Menuhin School, and veteran of many alternative bands – a passionate and brave performer .. Both Paul Sax and Robert Norton recorded and toured with my ‘Acid Folk’ band between 1988 and 1996 .
All the band are brilliant players and inspiring people. Ex Darryl Way’s Verisma band-mate, bass player Chris Harris is literally our root on bass. Now AIRCUT guitarist Kirby Gregory has returned to Curved Air after 40 years in October 2013 to add his signature guitar sound. There is great chemistry and communication in this incarnation of Curved Air that the crowds love…”
About Curved Air: Considered (according to AllMusic) “one of the most dramatically accomplished of all the bands lumped into Britain’s late-’60s prog explosion“, Curved Air is a pioneering British progressive rock group of musicians from mixed artistic backgrounds.
They are famed for their unforgettable live performances and ‘Art Rock’ music – the quasi classical imprints of Terry Riley hooked onto beautiful and demonic violin combined with electronic adventurous synths and interwoven with brilliant guitar wizardry mesmerisingly embroidered by the subliminal and exotic presence of a unique girl lead singer Sonja Kristina. All these elements elevated them from the underground Roundhouse scene to top the album charts in the early ’70s.
Along with High Tide and East of Eden, Curved Air was one of the first rock bands after It’s A Beautiful Day and The United States of America to feature an electric violin, inspiringly and dramatically explored by the excellent Darryl Way and now by the dynamic Paul Sax. Original keyboard player/guitarist Francis Monkman was the trailblazer for future ‘electronica’ and ambient extemporization. Robert Norton has inherited this sonic template and himself a spinner of ethereal soundscapes extends the boundaries towards further horizons while Florian Pilkington Miksa on drums then and now, with Chris Harris’ bass guitar artistry, provides the expressive rhythmic pulse that is the Curved Air signature.
Curved Air have to date released eight studio albums and though progressive innovators they were hailed as Pop Stars when their single, the sultry ‘Back Street Luv’ was a Top 5 hit in 1971. The present line-up of Sonja Kristina, Florian Pilkington-Miksa, Kit Morgan, Chris Harris, Robert Norton and Paul Sax have been touring together since 2009.
On 12th November 2012, much to the excitement of their fans and press worldwide, a Live CD/DVD titled Live Atmosphere was released – “Songs of revolution, insanity, loss, desire and ghosts: a unique compilation of powerful Curved Air songs played by a vital contemporary Curved Air.”
Live Atmosphere produced by Marvin Ayres , includes a bonus DVD with a tour featurette and an atmospheric visual collage.
Sonja Kristina: Before Curved Air, actress and singer Sonja Kristina performed in the British Folk Clubs during her teens. In 1968 she starred as Chrissy in the radical Tribal-Rock Musical Hair when it opened at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London. As Curved Air’s lead singer and lyricist she topped the British female vocalist polls – the first UK girl singer to front a Rock band. She won the hearts of a generation of young men and boys and the music cognoscenti.
The constant flame leading Curved Air through the decades, Sonja Kristina’s hypnotic attraction endures today, “vibrant and edgy as ever, Sonja, the original prog diva gives a charismatic and highly visual performance. Looking like a glamorous gipsy queen with her flowing red hair and dressed in sparkly black, that signature voice is still smoky and seductive as she spins around the stage around the excellent musicians who are Curved Air“. (Music Street Journal)
Recent Live Reviews: “All of the players impress. Although only drummer Florian Pilkington-Miksa is from the original line-up, Sonja has found some stunning new instrumentalists who immerse the audience in a set of swirling, whirling solos that emphasize moods and nuances and floating waves of sound that act as a counterpoint to Sonja’s dramatic sense of theatricality“. (Classic Rock Magazine)
“Sonja Kristina prowls the front of the stage… expertly playing off the energy of all the performers with her. Guitarist Kirby Gregory… moves through figures, shapes and techniques with deceptive ease… violinist Paul Sax pulling sounds from his instrument like a mad scientist … there’s no denying they remain formidable live!” (Prog Magazine)
“While women in UK progressive rock were relatively few and far between… it’s Sonja that wore the crown. Well the undisputed queen of British Prog is on tour again and what a joy it is to see her and Curved Air back in action… Violinist Paul Sax… sweats for his art right from the off and with virtuoso wizardry sears through the set like a man possessed… the whole group of assembled musicians are perfectly qualified to recreate the band’s uniqueness authentically… Catch them while you can“. (Classic Rock)