Anno Birkin
British musician and poet
Anno Birkin
Alexander Kingdom Nik-o "Anno" Birkin was an English musician. He came from a creative family, which included his grandmother Judy Campbell; father Andrew Birkin, mother Bee Gilbert, brother Ned Birkin, half-siblings David Birkin, Barnaby Holm and Lissy Holm; aunts Jane Birkin and Linda Birkin; and cousins Kate Barry, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Lou Doillon.
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  • 2001
    Age 20
    On 8 November 2001, after the band had spent the day rehearsing, Birkin, Citron, and Mangili were killed in an early-morning car crash on the outskirts of Milan.
    More Details Hide Details Birkin was a month and a day short of his 21st birthday. Birkin had created a website for the band in August 2001. Following his death, the site has provided a forum for his friends and fans. In 2003, Dreams of Waking – a 2-CD album of songs by Birkin and KjD – was released. Rock Sound called it an "art-rock adventure with hints of early Radiohead and Sonic Youth. … Anno's lyrics are poetic masterpieces in their own right." Later that year, a selection of Birkin's poetry – Who Said the Race Is Over? – was published and sold over 4,000 copies. Tom Payne reviewed it in the Daily Telegraph as "this proud, fresh Romanticism. … Yet for all their brilliance, the poems feel unfinished. It is not just that the words have been left behind as a kind of consolation to those who mourn the author; it is as though they are still going about their tasks, asking the same questions and insolently refusing to settle."
  • 2000
    Age 19
    KjD began performing in late 2000 and in December, recorded an EP Ark, produced in Birkin's Welsh studio.
    More Details Hide Details The following spring, he travelled around India with his brother David Birkin, writing poetry and songs. He returned to England in April and embarked on a series of gigs with KjD, quickly building up a keen following on the London circuit. The band decided to record Method One – their first studio album – in Bergamo, where Mangili had a recording studio. They gave their farewell gig at the Dublin Castle in London before heading off to Italy at the end of August. Birkin wrote to Weeks, "Everything has fallen into place around my skull thanks to this opportunity recording in Italy. For the first time in my life I feel like I know what I'm doing, and I'm doing what I know. The fear and anxiety and excitement I'm feeling at the moment is bursting me."
  • 1998
    Age 17
    While visiting his father on the film set of The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc in 1998, Birkin fell in love with the actress Milla Jovovich.
    More Details Hide Details Anno and Milla wrote and recorded a number of songs together. She later wrote, "I remember the absolute wonder I felt when he first wrote to me. I was bowled over by his choices, his words." His fiancée Honeysuckle Weeks wrote, "I think what Anno was doing in his writing as well as in life was trying to separate the pure from the sordid. Like a lot of teenage boys, he felt guilty about his own desires and he tried to elevate them through poetry." During the summer of 1999, Birkin wrote and recorded a number of songs, both solo and with Scherer; the two wrote Ultraviolence together, that led to a recording offer from Virgin. They turned it down and in August formed Flying Mango Attack with bassist Lee Citron and drummer Christian Smith-Pancorvo (both formerly of Stony Sleep) and recorded the album Karmageddon. They briefly broke up after various drummers came and went, and once again Birkin and Scherer spent time recording together in Los Angeles.
  • 1994
    Age 13
    Birkin's first band, called Midstream, formed in 1994 with his school-friends Billy Scherer and JS Rafaeli, gigged in London until 1996 when it split up. Durango 95 was put together that same year, but split up in 1997.
    More Details Hide Details For the next two years, Birkin composed and played on his own as well as worked with Scherer.
  • 1980
    Born on December 9, 1980.
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