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Francis Monkman

Francis Monkman

Francis went to Westminster School where he studied organ and harpsichord. During this time his first musical ambition blossomed; that of conducting a Mozart opera. In 1967 he started three yeats of study at the Royal Academy of Music. He took as his first subject the harpsichord, receiving the Raymond Russet Prize for that instrument, and while at the Academy he also took up electric guitar.

In 1970 Francis formed Curved Air, which evolved from the group Sisyphus. They signed a recording deal With WEA Records and had three albums released, the first being Air Conditioning. With Curved Air he toured all over Europe and the USA to great and enduring acclaim. Francis started doing session work whilst still at the Royal Academy and consequently he has wotked with many of the top recording and performing artists in the UK The Shadows, David Essex, Paul Nicholas, Kate Bush and Steve Harley amongst them. He also continued to give highly acclaimed classical concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, The South Bank and the Purcell Room. He is an extremely original and accomplished consposer and has written and performed jingles, library albums and gramophone singles. Francis was introduced and recommended to John Williams by Stanley Myers and subsequently Francis played on Johns 'Travelling album. It was at this time that a relationship was estabiished which finally has culminated in Sky.

Francis and two partners also formed their own music production company, Crocodile, which is primarily concerned with music for television and radio commercials.

Francis left Sky in the summer of 1980 to pursue other interests following the success of his score for the film 'The Long Good Friday'. He released a solo album, 'Dweller on the Threshold', which regrettably pretty much sank without a trace. He remained active in classical keyboard music, especially harsichord and organ and played concerts up and down the country. In 1999, he released his latest creation, 21st Century Blues.

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