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John Paul Jones premiere at the Swaledale Festival

Amores Pasados at Grinton Church

We don’t often do gigs the UK, so when we do they’re really special. We were delighted to be in Grinton for the Swaledale Festival – pretty well home territory for Jacob Heringman and me, and Anna Maria Friman and Ariel Abramovich have often joined us in Yorkshire to rehearse so they’re almost local too. We’ve kicked off every secular programme with  John Paul Jones’ Amores Pasados  and we couldn’t resist doing it again this time, but we also premiered John Paul’s setting of Blake’s Cradle Song, which he wrote for us, having heard our York gig last year.

It was one our most memorable gigs ever, not only adding another fantastic JPJ piece to our repertoire, but being joined onstage by the man himself on mandolin and festival director Malcolm Creese on bass.

 

Musik i Syd

Before that Anna Maria Friman and I joined Daniel Stighäll and the Swedish ensemble Mare Balticum in Kristianstad, rehearsing a project for Musik i Syd with actress Cecilia Frode which will come to fruition with a tour in southern Sweden from the autumn onwards. I’ll post a list of dates nearer the time (there’s more info in Swedish here).

June 14-17 Nieder-Olm Festival for Young Voices

I’m returning to Nieder-Olm for another ensemble singing summer school with my old friend Werner Schüßler. There will be several young ensembles, who will take part in concerts in Kettenheim (16th) and Nieder-Olm (17th).

Werner’s new book is almost ready. This is a comprehensive and inspirational instruction manual for singers of all sorts. I’ve been metaphorically looking over his shoulder while Germany’s most famous Geordie has been working on this, the product of a lifetime’s engagement with singers of all descriptions.

Gavin Bryars Ensemble

June 22 Winestead, June 30 Hull, July 8 Royal Festival Hall, London

This will be a new commission from Opera North in connection with the City of Culture and the New Music Biennal (the ‘possibly one singer’ referred to is yours truly). Winestead church is believed to be where the poet Andrew Marvel was christened, and Gavin Bryars’ new work will have a Marvel text. The RFH concert is at 3.00 in the afternoon and tickets are free but you have to apply for them. You need a PhD in Googling to be able to do this…

 

Ongoing tenor musings

 

 

A couple of years ago I gave a paper at the Schwert Tenor: Mythos, Geschichte, Gegenwart conference and the book of the conference has just landed on my desk. It was a great conference and the book is full of interesting stuff – especially if you speak German. Mine’s the only chapter in English and it discusses the nature of the voice since recording began.

Red Byrd rides again

The progressive music site The Quietus has an interesting piece about Factory Classical, with a section on Red Byrd’s Songs of Love & Death album.  I prefer this pic to the rather boring one on  their site. There aren’t many of me in white trousers with red braces…

 

Well, it was the 1980s…

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