Georg Kajanus Biog

 

Composer, lyricist and writer Georg Kajanus is best known for being the singer, 12-string guitar player and songwriter for the group Sailor.  He is the son of Prince Paul Tchegodaieff of Russia and J. Kajanus, the award-winning Finnish/Norwegian sculptress. He is the great-grandson of Robert Kajanus: composer, conductor, confidant of Sibelius and founder of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra. He is the brother of actress and film-maker Eva Norvind and the uncle to Mexican theater and television actress, Nailea Norvind.

Born in Trondheim, Norway, Kajanus moved with his mother and sister to Paris at the age of thirteen. It was there that he studied music and the classical guitar, as well as attending the Cité Universitaire’s flying school. The family then relocated to Canada where Kajanus became involved in the North American folk music scene.

After a yearlong journey through the Middle East and Europe, Kajanus moved to London, where he formed the folk-rock group, Eclection, whose other members included Kerrilee Male, Trevor Lucas, Michael Rosen and Gerry Conway. Eclection was one of the few British signings to the American label, Elektra Records, and they released one album entitled ‘Eclection’, which was a personal favorite of Elektra's founder, Jac Holzman. Eclection toured the UK extensively and appeared with such acts as Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan at the Isle Of Wight Festival.

Five years later, Kajanus used his youthful experiences of the colorful night life of Paris to invent Sailor. Under Kajanus' leadership, Sailor was awarded numerous gold and silver records for its success in Europe and Australia in the 1970s. Kajanus' singles and albums for Sailor achieved Top 10 and Top 20 chart status throughout Europe and the UK;  the most successful being the Kajanus-penned 'A Glass Of Champagne' (UK No.2, Germany No.3, Australia No.5, Switzerland No.2) and 'Girls, Girls, Girls' (UK No.7, Germany No.2, Australia No.14, Switzerland No.3).  

Kajanus left Sailor to experiment with electronic music in the 1980s with his new creation, DATA. The classically orientated title track of DATA’s first album, ‘Opera Electronica’, was used as the theme music to the short film, ‘Towers Of Babel’ (1981), which was directed by Jonathan Lewis and starred Anna Quayle and Ken Campbell. ‘Towers Of Babel’ was nominated for a BAFTA award in 1982 and won the Silver Hugo Award for Best Short Film at the Chicago International Film Festival of the same year. Kajanus followed ‘Opera Electronica’ with two more albums: the experimental  ‘2-Time’ (1983) and the Country & Western inspired ‘Elegant Machinery’ (1985).  DATA's albums achieved cult status in nightclubs throughout the USA and Europe.

After a painting sojourn in Mexico, Kajanus reformed Sailor in 1990 and the band went on to achieve further chart success in Europe with the singles 'The Secretary' and 'La Cumbia'. Sailor released two albums during this time (lyrics and music by Kajanus): 'Sailor' and 'Street Lamp', and the group also toured Europe extensively. A cover by Cuba Club of the single 'La Cumbia'  is now a worldwide dancefloor hit. In total, Kajanus' compositions have gone to the top of the European charts 28 times in the 1970s and the 1990s, as well as in 2008.

In the mid-1990s, Kajanus left the group again to form the poetic-techno duo Noir with Tim Dry (previously of Tik and Tok). Four different versions of Noir’s single ‘Walking’ were used extensively in the Channel 4 television series, ‘Feast’, an avant-garde culinary program directed by TV food maestro David Pritchard. 'Feast' was also hosted by Noir and they wrote the theme music for the series.  In 2007, Noir’s ‘Strange Desire’ CD was released on Angel Air Records @ www.angelair.co.uk 

Kajanus composed music for the soundtracks for two documentaries directed by Monika Treut: 'Didn't Do It For Love' (1997) and the award-winning 'Gendernauts (1999), as well as the music for the British TV series, 'The Kid' (1986) with Henry Marsh. His composition, 'A Glass of Champagne', has featured in Walerian Borowczyk's 'La Marge' (1976); Julien Temple's award-winning documentary, 'The Filth and the Fury' (2000); and Oliver Hirschbiegel's award-winning drama, 'Five Minutes to Heaven' (2009), starring Liam Neeson and James Nesbitt.  'A Glass of Champagne' has been covered many times, the most recent being the 2008 cover by German mega-techno band Scooter as the title track of their UK Number 1 album, 'Jumping All Over The World'.

2006 saw the limited edition, hardback publication of Georg’s biography, co-written with James McCarraher, entitled ‘Kajanus’.  

In 2007, Kajanus completed a vocal-orchestral work entitled ‘People Industry’, which is an unusual look at the extraordinary world of Homo Sapiens.  There are plans to turn 'People Industry' into an opera. Check out the People Industry web site, designed by David Rose, @  www.peopleindustry.com

Kajanus has recently been working with stage-screenwriter Roberto Trippini and actress-writer Barbie Wilde on a new Sailor Musical, based on his original story of The Red Light Review, which subsequently became the group Sailor in the 1970s. The musical contains many original Sailor songs, along with new material written by Kajanus, and is being developed for stage and screen.

Check out the Sailor musical @ www.sailormusical.com