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"David's music speaks directly to the heart, accessible but unique and full of great surprises, imagination and harmonic richness"
Jonathan James – Conductor and Speaker on Music.
David Jenkins is an entirely self-taught musician who has enjoyed success both in the world of ‘pop music’ and now as a prize-winning choral composer.
Born in Clevedon, a small seaside town on the outskirts of Bristol, David started teaching himself to play the piano at the age of five and gave his first recital of original piano compositions at the age of eleven. Throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s he became widely respected as a keyboard player and programmer in the pioneering and influential Bristol music scene, introducing his fusion of classical chords and jazz rhythms to the developing ‘Bristol Sound’.
David went on to work as part of the production team for the hugely successful trip-hop band ‘Massive Attack’, during which time he played piano and keyboards on the award-winning album Mezzanine, worked on the initial stages of their album 100th Window and assisted in many collaborations with other artists including ‘The Prodigy’ and Daman Albarn. He also worked on the soundtracks for several films including ‘The Jackal’ (Bruce Willis) and ‘The Winter Guest’ (Alan Rickman).
In 2005, following an epiphany at a concert of Rachmaninov’s Vespers at Bristol Cathedral, David’s music career took a dramatic sea-change when, despite having a severe difficulty reading music notation (a symptom of his dyslexia) and no formal music training whatsoever, he chose to gatecrash the world of choral music.
Inspired especially by the choral music of Eric Whitacre and Herbert Howells, David started writing a cappella settings, and drawing both on his eclectic musical experiences and passion for classical music he continued to develop the unique style that was all his own “where lyricism meets searching harmonies”.
In 2011 David won First Prize in the London A Cappella Festival Composition Competition with Full Fathom Five, an eight-part setting for a cappella voice (2S, 2A, 2T,Bar, B) of Ariel's song from Shakespeare’s The Tempest.
“[Full Fathom Five] It’s such a great composition, complex and intense but somehow simple and sweet. Sounds like we are discussing chocolate”.
Sara Brimer - Soprano, The Swingle Singers.
When not writing music, David can be found proudly serving behind the counter of his traditional (97 year old) hardware shop in Cotham, Bristol.