:: Gavin Bryars Ensemble


Roaming with Fauvel

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

When the French poet Gervais de Bus wrote his epic satire featuring a corrupt egomaniac  sociopathic horse he probably wasn’t thinking that the wheel of Fortune (which also features in the plot) would come round again almost exactly 700 years later. My first engagement of the year took in both manifestations in rapid succession, with a performance of Presidentes in Thronis with Serikon in Sweden after which I was back in time for the anti-Trump demo in York (and we went straight on to La La Land to complete one of the most surreal 24 hour periods I can remember).  Musicians out there: if you want to protest, Fauvel is the perfect programming opportunity (it even has leaders adrift without a moral compass who can’t wait to curry favour with the beast).

I’ll be returning to Sweden with Serikon several times later in the year, and hopefully Fauvel will rear his ugly head at least one more.

 

It’s going to be another busy year. There will be a brief reunion with my old Hilliard Ensemble mates as we join Singer Pur for their twenty-fifth anniversary celebration at the Prinzregententheater in Munich on March 9. This collaboration was born at the Tampere Vocal Festival in the late nineties, after Singer Pur had won one of the major prizes. Klaus Wenk and I sat down to breakfast one morning and chewed over the idea of our two ensembles getting together at some point in the future. The project got off the ground with a commission from Joanne Metcalf, who’d been a winner in the Hilliards’ 1994 composition competition (and who wrote Doom-Begotten Music for me in 2003) and the two groups went on to do many concerts and a CD together after I left. Joanne will there for the concert, as will Gavin Bryars who is also a longstanding friend of the ensemble.

March 21 Ariel Abramovich and I will give a recital for the Wunderkammer in Trieste (there’s a Facebook page about it if you’re signed up). I haven’t been there since 1965 when hitch hiking through Europe after school. I went swimming with a Carabiniere who insisted on diving for oysters. I don’t think I even knew what an oyster was and having tried one I certainly wasn’t going to eat any more, so each time he brought one up I threw it back as soon as he submerged (possibly to bring up the same one over and over again). I’ll be trying a bit harder this time. Ariel and I will be doing our Dowland to Sting programme, which we’re also doing in July for a series of recitals in Catalunya in the FEMAP festival.

In May I’ll be returning to Sweden to rehearse the Musik i Syd project with Serikon and Ensemble Mare Balticum and then going on to Helsinki for some more PhD examining at the Sibelius Academy (and possibly some ensemble coaching if I can fit it in). Then the Amores Pasados season starts with a concert in the Swaledale Festival on June 4th. It’s possible that ECM will have released Secret History by then, and we’re still holding dates to record some of our new repertoire (including more fantastic pieces from John Paul Jones and Tony Banks).  In the middle of June I’ll be coaching in Germany, and at the end of the month Gavin Bryars’ new piece for the Hull City of Culture will have its first performance in Winestead church, followed by outings in Hull itself and the Royal Festival Hall. This project will renew Gavin’s association with Opera North, which began with the co-production with the RSC of  Nothing Like the Sun for the Shakespeare anniversary of 2006. One of the sonnets from Nothing Like the Sun is now in the Amores Pasados programme in Jacob Heringman’s arrangement for Anna Maria Friman, Ariel Abramovich, himself and me, and this will be on our new ECM recording. I’ll be working with Gavin again in the autumn with performances of Nothing Like the Sun  in Leeds and Prague, and there will be a new commission with his band for the 40th anniversary of the Triskel Arts Centre in Cork next year.

 

More details on all of the above in  due course.

 

 

 

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Amores Pasados at the NCEM

Saturday, June 11th, 2016

There’s something really special about doing a gig on your own doorstep. Apart from doing concerts with students at the university I’ve only ever performed in York courtesy of the NCEM and the Conductus Project, and it was great to be able to do Amores Pasados to the most friendly audience imaginable, largely made up of family and friends. It was also special because it was the first time my granddaughters Emily and Grace had been to a ‘proper’ concert, and it made the heart sing to see them there (and Grace making a beeline for John Paul Jones’ leg shows she’s already heading in the right direction).  We were privileged to have both John Paul  and Gavin Bryars up to hear their pieces for the first time. John Paul spent a lot of time with Jake and Ariel discussing tunings and scales for his new piece (and did some exquisite busking on the piano). It’s going to be  quick, he says (somewhat alarmingly).

 

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Twitter was alive with Zeppelin-inspired names of the superlute group these three might create…

Gavin Bryars’ Sonnet 128 from his Nothing Like the Sun is one of my favourite pieces. The original (the recording of our Adelaide performance is about to be released) has a rich texture of Gavin’s signature string quartet (2 violas, cello and bass) plus piano, guitar and cimbalom, and I was a bit worried he might find Jake’s miraculous two lutes arrangement a bit of a shock. He loved it and we managed to persuade him to join us for the postlude. I’d had the idea that as we got near the postlude, an old bloke would get up out of the audience and approach the piano, which he would then play. And sure enough it came to pass. Gavin didn’t knock over any chairs or glasses on his way, but apart from that it was a nicely successful surprise. We’re used to either grand Spanish churches where the lutes really carry or big theatres where we have to use PA, so we enjoyed the intimacy of the NCEM (though I suspect it wasn’t quite resonant enough for the lutes).

We continue to accumulate repertoire. The Warlock and Moeran pieces worked very well this time round, and there are more to come. Our next performances as an ensemble are in Germany: a late night in Blaibach on September 10th, then the Weltmusikfestival Murnau  October 23rd and Enjoy Jazz Heidelberg October 24th. That’s all for this year at the moment. We hope to return to the UK next year, and we  have concerts in Spain, Italy and Argentina in the diary at the moment.

 

 

 

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Amores Pasados comes to York

Friday, May 27th, 2016

Vote yes or stay at home?

Our gig at the NCEM York on June 9 will be our first (and at the moment, only) performance in the UK. It’s rather timely, a European ensemble giving a concert a couple of weeks before the referendum. Like many of my contemporaries I don’t get to perform in England very often. It’s a great place to live, but when it comes to audiences and fees (the two basic requirements for performers) the European mainland seems to be more able to come up with the goods. There are exceptions of course (thank you NCEM!) – though it’s weird (and slightly frightening) that after amazing gigs all over the European mainland our only UK performance is here in my home town.  As far as the referendum is concerned I’m almost (almost…) inclined to stay at home, so pathetic and vision-free has the Remain campaign been,  led by a bunch of opportunists who’ve been whingeing about Europe for decades and now find themselves having to justify it: none of them seems to know or understand anything about the Europe most performers inhabit.  The arts, scholarship and education are inextricably bound up with the European project, as the Guardian (rather late in the day) reminds us. Incidentally, I have a postal vote since I can never be sure I’m going to be around on election day, and my PhD wasn’t enough to enable me to understand the ballot form which I ‘spoiled’ by mistake by tearing off a bit of tear off stuff that was just asking to be torn off. I phoned the election help line several times to ask for a replacement, but they obviously have very long lunch breaks at the York chapter as no one has picked up so far. I hope we don’t lose by one vote.

 

Avila selfie

 

Amores Pasados – rock & reverse engineering

Amores Pasados has been a huge adventure. Our basic premiss is that a song is a song, whether it’s written by Schubert or Paul McCartney. If you’ve had vernacular language beaten out of you (as we of the English choral tradition mostly have) you can’t actually sing a Paul McCartney song without sounding like a middle class twat. But given a tune and harmony and a poetic text all sorts of things become possible, and you can tap in to some of the most creative song-writers around. I’ve been banging on about this for years, and John Paul Jones actually wrote his three Amores Pasados songs for Red Byrd back in the Eighties; it took decades to persuade Tony Banks to write me a lute song (and now we have four). As luck would have it, with serendipitous foresight in my 1998 book Vocal Authority I suggested Sting singing early music would be revelatory and sure enough, having listened to my Dowland album (among many others) along the way, he eventually did.  When Ariel Abramovich was a student at the Schola Cantorum he shared a room in Basel with Edin Karamazov, who would become Sting’s lutenist many years later. As students at the Schola, Ariel and Edin both played in a Hilliard early/new music project involving Swiss composers, putting up with the old gits that we were even then. So getting Sting to agree to give us a song only took an email or two. Russell Crowe had rejected his contribution to the Robin Hood film (not the right stuff, apparently) and Sting kindly passed it on to me.  And it turned out that Jake Heringman had even played the lute at one of Sting’s parties. It was clearly meant to be.

The other strand of our work is the reverse-engineering of 20th century English song, creating lute songs that Warlock. Quilter,  Moeran and others would surely have written had they known any lutenists.   Philip Heseltine, aka Peter Warlock, transcribed hundreds of lute songs, bringing them into the 20th century light as songs with piano. His obsession with 17th century music and poetry was shared by many of his contemporaries, especially his drinking buddy Jack Moeran. Their music is as lyrical and pastoral as Dowland, as English as the songs of Genesis and Sting. We’re fortunate that Jacob Heringman choses not to fly anywhere, which means that the many hours he’s spent crossing Europe by train have enabled him to work lutey magic on other people’s piano parts, bringing  back into circulation a repertoire that fell out of fashion a generation 0r two ago.

York Festival of Ideas

The NCEM concert is part of the university’s Festival of Ideas. Our insistence that a song doesn’t need to be Winterreise to have artistic value would probably qualify on its own (a sort of counter-intuitive Leeds Lieder…).  We’re also acknowledging the Shakespeare centenary:  as well as bardic connections from Warlock and Moeran there will be the first performance of Tony Banks’ That time of Year (Sonnet 73) and a unique version of Gavin Bryars’ Sonnet 128, originally written for the last Shakespeare fest,  which may have a surprise or two in store.

Tickets

Tickets are selling fast but can still be had at a special discount if you quote voucher code AP 241 (https://tickets.ncem.co.uk/en-GB/shows/amores%20pasados/info

or ring 01904 658338).

 

 

 

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May news

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

I had a lovely time in Canada, as I always do. From the moment  you arrive at Immigration Canadians welcome you (so different from the US). Peter-Anthony Togni’s Responsio is a great piece to sing, and for these performances I got to stand next to Jeff Reilly so got the full impact of his amazing bass clarinet playing. May 3rd I was in Winchester cathedral with Gavin Bryars for more danced Laude as part of the Yorke Dance Project. We were just one part of a major sacred dance event that included the Winchester University Gospel Choir.  As usual we were terrifically moved by the dancers – and what a building for such a project.

Christopher Robinson’s 80th birthday evensong

I was in Cambridge a week later to celebrate Christopher Robinson’s 80th birthday. He’s one of those people who’s had a huge effect on my life, inviting me to join the Worcester cathedral choir and thereby rescuing me from the Guildhall School of Music (whose principal had said it was his duty to ensure I became an opera singer). It was my first job, and Christopher encouraged me to audition for the BBC, which led to our doing programmes of English song together (my first broadcast recitals). Singers from all of his former choirs  joined the St John’s choir for a celebratory evensong. It was a magnificent occasion with a mighty noise lofted to the vaulting on the wings of Elgar and Howells. I managed to keep up until Dear Lord and Father of Mankind at the end. As I was snivelling into my tissue the tenor behind me laid a hand on my shoulder. I feel a bit like that too, he said.

Conductus in Cambridge

I was back in Cambridge for the Conductus concert and workshop on the 14th. This was the last AHRC sponsored event in the UK (there’s a final one in Besalu on July 16/17th; our Three Choirs Festival concert on July 26th will be a new departure).  We had a great time – fabulous workshop (‘there’s a lot of intellect here…’ Rogers observed), in many ways the most rewarding we’ve done. It was great to see so many old friends – and very gratifying that the pioneering work of Selene Mills is in very safe hand with the new CEM team. The perfect acoustic of Little St Mary’s and the beautiful light streaming in more than made up for the fact that performing in the afternoon felt distinctly weird. To our great surprise we sold a huge number of CDs, so we must have been doing something right.

Amores Pasados in York

Not long to the first UK Amores Pasados at the National Centre for Early Music in York on June 9th.   Tickets are available on line at: https://tickets.ncem.co.uk/en-GB/shows/amores%20pasados/info and if you use the coupon code AP241 you can get a  special 50% discount offer on full and concession tickets (or ring 01904 658338).

We’ll be doing several Shakespeare settings including a beautiful new setting of Sonnet 73 by Tony Banks as well as Jacob Heringman’s version of Gavin Bryars’ Sonnet 128 (originally written for Anna and me as part of his Nothing Like the Sun project commissioned by the RSC and Opera North). ECM have a new album page for the CD. This doesn’t have tour dates like the release page, but these can be found here. I can confirm that John Paul Jones is working on a new piece for the autumn for us, having finished his opera.

 

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photo: Maria Silvera

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Amores Pasados & Conductus

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

Beverley minster

The diary for the next few weeks looks like this:

May 21: 3 Medieval Tenors Beverley Early Music Festival
Conductus: the forgotten song of the middle ages

This is the first of our AHRC-funded concerts this year. It’s a lunchtime concert with a morning workshop and the programme will include at least one piece probably not performed for 800 years. You can book tickets here.

We’ll have copies of Conductus 1 & 2 for sale (no news yet of Conductus 3 but we’re hoping for September).

June 2-5: Tampere International Vocal Festival (Finland)

Tampere

 

The ensemble singing season is in full swing. I’ll once more be chairing the ensemble jury at Tampere and am looking forward to some great music making. My fellow jurors are Jussi Chydenius from Rajaton, Anna Maria Friman from Trio Mediaeval, Anders Jalkeus from The Real Group and singer and composer Jenny Wilhelms-Seppälä. I’ve just heard that the German Ensemble Nobiles that Werner Schüßler and I have coached on a couple of occasions were prize winners at the Leipzig Acappella Festival run by the legendary Amarcord ensemble who attended Hilliard Ensemble summer schools when they were just starting out.

June 10: Durham: 3 Medieval Tenors Conductus: the forgotten song of the middle ages

Details still emerging but we’re expecting a workshop 2.00 – 4.00 and a concert at 8.00. Programme as for Beverley.

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 June 12: Amores Pasados Aranjuez Festival (Spain)

This will be the launch of the ECM CD and our first live performance of the programme. We’ll do all the music from the album plus some Dowland, Finzi, Vaughan-Williams and C W Orr. We’ll have copies of the album for sale (it’s available on advance order from Amazon.de on advanced order for June 12.

The US release is a bit later, and copies can be ordered for July 17 on Amazon.com

AP cover

 

June 22: UK/Ireland release of Amores Pasados

 

June 21: Gavin Bryars Ensemble Glasgow

This is a Laude programme danced by the Stephen Pelton Dance Theatre. Tickets are available here

July 2: Amores Pasados Santiago de Compostela

Our second visit to Spain in three weeks. More to come in Spain later in the year, and also in Poland, Germany, Ireland and Cuba.

July 6: Brussels: 3 Medieval Tenors Conductus: the forgotten song of the middle ages

Workshop and concert at the MedRen Conference. The concert is in the beautiful abbaye de la Cambre. Details still sketchy but you should be able to get more information here. More Conductus gigs in the UK, Germany and Slovenia later in the year.

July 10: recording Roger Marsh’s Poor Yorick

 

Shandy Hall

I’ll be joining fellow ex-Hilliards at Shandy Hall to record the setting of Sterne that Roger wrote for the Hilliards’ 40th anniversary tour in 2013.

July 19: Selene Mills Memorial Concert Great St Mary’s Cambridge

Join the ex-Hilliards and many old friends to celebrate the life of Selene Mills.

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Upcoming concerts

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

 

This week I’m off to the Adelaide Festival where Gavin Bryars is composer in residence. I’ve been several times to the East and West coasts of Australia but this will be my first visit to the south. I’m hoping to see Gavin’s Marilyn Munroe opera soon after we arrive, then we have a GBE gig at which Peyee Chen and I will sing his (Blake) Morrison Songbook and a selection of Irish Madrigals and Laude. Then we have the wonderful Shakespeare sonnet cycle Nothing Like the Sun, with the magical spoken voice of Gavin Friday. It’ll be a pretty intense few days – super-charged essence of Bryars. And the sun should be shining…

3 Medieval Tenors

250px-Cathedral_of_St._Martin_in_Bratislava,_overview

Not long after arriving home I’ll be heading for Bratislava for a Three Medieval Tenors concert in the cathedral on March 16th. I love Bratislava – it’s not only very beautiful but it has a proper cultural community that’s up for anything – and the cathedral is a wonderful building (I’ve performed there with the Dowland Project); it’s the perfect acoustic for the Conductus programme.

The next Three Med Tens concert is on May 21st in Beverly Minster (seating is limited and tickets are selling fast, so don’t miss it if you’re in Yorkshire). Our next visit to the north is Durham on June 9 or 10, then we have the Med Ren conference in Brussels July 6th, Radovljica on August 13th, Nieder Olm the week of September 10-17, and Brighton on September 19th. All of these have AHRC workshops where you can sign up (for free) to learn about the history of Conductus and how to perform this extraordinary musical/poetic hybrid music. They’re open to all, and there will be something for everyone whatever their previous musical experience.

Amores Pasados

ECM have confirmed that the album will be released in May/June, and we’ll be having a Spanish launch at the Aranjuez Festival (near Madrid) on June 13th with further concerts in Spain, Germany and Ireland later in the year. The programme will include all the music from the album, plus more of each of the three genres represented (new songs by rock musicians, early 20th century English song transcriptions, and 17th century lutesongs).

 

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Amores Pasados, 3 Med Tens…

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

I’ve at last done some updates. The site now has new versions of the Programmes, Lute song and Conductus pages, and a new page for Amores Pasados.

 3 Medieval Tenors – Conductus

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2015 is going to be very busy. We already have dates in Belgium, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia and Spain as well as the UK. Many of these will have AHRC-funded workshops which are open to all (we can even cope if you don’t read music) so keep an eye on this News page for details as we go through the year.  If you were saddened by the retirement of the Hilliard Ensemble, come and hear the Three Medieval Tenors, two of whom spent a great proportion of their careers in the group, and sign up for the workshops which might revolutionise your ideas of how medieval music should go.  Our next performance – Conductus: the Forgotten Song of the Middle Ages is in Bratislava on March 16th, and the third Conductus CD will be released in June.

 Amores Pasados

 

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I’m also very excited about Amores Pasados. The recording back in November was an extraordinarily intense experience for all of us. Our earlier recording (release now postponed till the autumn) wasn’t easy, so we were very surprised at how well things turned out in Oslo. We wanted to show that a song is a song, and that rock musicians such as Sting, John Paul Jones and Tony Banks could write lute songs that would stand comparison with their predecessors Dowland and Campion. We also found ourselves looking at those English composers of the early 20th century who would have written lute songs had there been any lutes or lute players around, and included songs by Warlock and E J Moeran arranged for two lutes. ECM are excited too, and will bring the album out in April (something of a record, I think). There is a clip from the first track on the Amores Pasados page (and the site ident music is also from the album).

 Australia

The performing year kicks off for me with the Gavin Bryars Ensemble at the Adelaide Festival. We’ll be packing a lot into a very short residency, including Gavin’s great Shakespeare cycle Nothing Like the Sun, as well as his (Blake) Morrison Songbook, Irish Madrigals and Laude (all with Peyee Chen).   The last time I was in Australia was with Ambrose Field and Being Dufay, and I hope to be performing Ambrose’ Transmission Cycle (with string quartet) later in the year.

 

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Happy Days to Enjoy Jazz

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

 

Gavin Bryars Ensemble in Enniskillen

Lovely time at the Happy Days Festival in Enniskillen last week. Peyee Chen and I sang the rarely-heard Irish Madrigals – Gavin’s setting of J M Synge’s translations of Petrarch – as a prelude to the legendary Iarla ó Lionáird singing both Gavin’s music and Sean Nos songs. We also got to play in Jesus Blood. This is a bit like suddenly finding yourself on stage with a rock star hero of your youth – something you never imagined could happen. I’m no keyboard player (as generations of students will confirm) but I couldn’t say no to Gavin’s invitation to join in in Vilnius last year. Needless to say, I made sure the volume was turned down so low that no one could hear my potentially performance-wrecking efforts, but this time I was a bit more confident and could actually hear myself. It’s an extraordinary experience – the Vilnius and Enniskillen performances were among the most moving musical experiences I’ve ever had. I’m always banging on about performers not experiencing real emotion on stage – that way madness lies – but with so many and simple repetitions you somehow get hypnotized into the real thing. Then there’s that stunned silence at the end as the audience realises it won’t actually last for ever, as the tramp finally leaves the building accompanied by Tom Waites.

I see the Hilliards are there this week doing their amazing Heiner Goebbels theatre piece – one of the last opportunities to catch this if you haven’t seen it.

Secret History

There’s no sign of a release date from ECM, but we’re very excited about our first live concert at the Victoria festival in Avila on August 29th. The Hilliard Ensemble will be there too as artists in residence, so you’ll be able to compare an ‘a cappella’ way of doing things with our voices + instruments realisations. One obvious difference is that the four of us (Anna Maria Friman, Ariel Abramovich, Jacob Heringman and me) will be doing music in five or six parts.

We’ll also be rehearsing our new pieces by Sting, John Paul Jones and Tony Banks for the recording in Oslo later in the autumn.  Ariel and I hope to do the first performances of the Banks pieces in Portugal in October.

Coaching in Germany

I’m delighted to be coaching again with my old friend Werner Schussler in September at the Sing Akademie Saulheim. Ensembles on the course include the wonderful Nobiles from Leipzig, whom we coached in Engers two years ago.

Lutesongs in Portugal

In October Ariel Abramovich and I will spend some time in Seville recording a video before driving to Almada in Portugal for a recital of lutesongs. This may be an opportunity to try out one or two of the new settings of Campion written for us by Genesis keyboardist Tony Banks.

Potter & Abramovich

Dowland Project in Heidelberg

Shortly after this I’ll be in Heidelberg with the Dowland Project for the Enjoy Jazz Festival. The programme will have music from all our albums including the Night Sessions, and will also be a chance to hear our latest foray into Schubert. We’re not intending to do any more recording, so if you want to hear our latest material you’ll have to come to a gig.

Dowland Project

Hilliard Ensemble & Jan Garbarek

The Hilliards are in Heidelberg with Jan Garbarek the previous week. Strange how we seem to be following each other around in this their final year. They’ve just asked me to join them for the very last concert with Jan in King’s Chapel on December 6th – back to where it all began twenty-odd years ago. I hope we won’t be too tearful to sing. The very last concert will be at the Wigmore on December 23rd. Not sure how they’ll be able to get through that one, but I’ll be there cheering them on.

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Conductus II and Singing History Paperback…

Friday, November 15th, 2013

Conductus 2

Conductus 2 cover

…was released by Hyperion on 25th November. It’s Christmas-free (though with the usual quotient of Virginbirth-related stuff). Perfect for those who are already bored by the seasonal offerings from the usual suspects, and who like a challenge. Prepare to be berated about corruption in the Catholic church, the joys of marriage and the wonders of the book, in music that was heard all over Europe 800 years ago and still resonates today.

Here’s the link to pre-order it on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/conductus-music-poetry-from/id714759316?ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Or on Hyperion http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/dc.asp?dc=D_CDA67998&vw=dc

We’ll be recording the third and final album in April but it doesn’t stop there – we’re looking forward to developing the three medieval tenor repertoire over the next couple of years, still with the aid of cutting edge musicology from Southampton. If you haven’t got Conductus 1 yet, you can find it here together with a selection of press quotes. I’ve updated the Conductus – Three Medieval Tenors page on this site and you can hear sound clips there from both albums.

A History of Singing – the paperback…

 

Book cover

 

If you have any change…the paperback of the phenomenally expensive Potter & Sorrell History of Singing will be published late December by Cambridge University Press. It’ll probably be too late for Christmas, but the price is likely to be under £18 – a snip compared with £75 or so for the hardback. There’s a comprehensive review (of the hardback) in Singing, the AOTOS journal, at the end of which Karen Sell nicely draws attention to the price and the possibility of an affordable paperback. The issue also has a review of the summer conference (complete with a rare pic of me propping up the bar).   

Hilliard Ensemble 40th birthday concerts

Here are details of the three 40th birthday concerts. All feature Roger Marsh’s new work Yorick as well as some Byrd and Shepherd sung by the massed voices of the ensemble and four of its five previous members:

London 11th December:

Spitalfields Winter Festival, St Leonard’s Church, Shoreditch High St, London E1 6JN

[sold out]

 Paris 12th December:

Oratoire du Louvre, 1 rue de l’Oratoire et 145 rue Saint Honoré, 75001 Paris

Tickets:

http://philippemaillardproductions.fr/rubrique/reservation-abonnement.html?idArt=3

Munich 13th December:

Michaelskirche, Neuhauserstraße 52, 80331 München

(in the pedestrian zone between Karlsplatz/Stachus and Marienplatz)

tickets: https://www.bellarte-muenchen.de/programm.php?id=ddbe8bd8c7325a09cc3b3f91d65c8491&action=bestellen

or by phone: 0049 89 54 818181

Swingle Singers at 50…

By a weird coincidence the Swingle Singers will be celebrating their 50th anniversary at the Albert Hall’s Elgar Room on the same evening. I won’t be able to make that, though since there are now apparently over 100 ex-Swingle Singers I probably won’t be missed.

 Gavin Bryars Ensemble in Italy

But before that, Anna Friman and I will be singing with the Gavin Bryars Ensemble at the All Frontiers Festival in Gradisca d’Isonzo near the Italian-Slovenian border on December 1st.  The programme will feature new versions of music from The Morrison Songbook.

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Sound & Fury, Hilliard Ensemble 40th birthday

Monday, October 7th, 2013

 

Conductus Vol 2 is due in December – the perfect antidote to Christmas!

 

 

Podcast

The Forum podcast (on the subject of Breath, plus my 60 Second rant) is available for downloading here for the next three weeks or so.  I have to confess that my proposal to abandon music storage and reproduction wasn’t entirely serious. We’re two thirds of the way through a six months stay in an apartment with no music playing facilities and I thought it would be refreshing to experience only live music, making a virtue of necessity. And it was to start with, but now I really miss it. I’ve had to do the odd bit of clandestine listening in the car, but I’ve resisted the temptation to download stuff I already have.  And of course, you can’t really go even a day without hearing background music of one sort or another.

Diary

This is what the diary looks like till the end of the year. I’m taking November off in the hope that we can get our new house finished, decorated and moved into before Christmas. I know everyone says they’ll be in for Christmas…At the moment the back garden looks like this:

 

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October 10 – 13 Sound & Fury at Kloster Mauerbach, Vienna

We’ll be recording Ockeghem’s L’homme arme mass and the Requiem (a tribute to Fra Bernardo’s Bernhard Drobig who sadly died early this year) and the  Missa Ista est speciosa & Missa Pascale of Pierre de la Rue. There’s been something of a revolution in S&F distribution – the most recent recordings are on Fra Bernardo and these are available worldwide. A website is under construction and it should be much easier to get hold of the recordings in future. More soon.

October 25 – 27

Weekend course for ensembles in Helsinki

This is a course celebrating the 175th anniversary of the Akademiska Sångföreningen (the male voice choir of Helsinki), whose conductor Kari Turunen will be known to ensemble singers as the director of Lumen Valo.  Ex-Kings Singer Philip Lawson and I will be coaching vocal groups including ensemble Norma who made such an impression in Leipzig and Tampere this year.

 

December 1

Gavin Bryars Ensemble in Monfalcone

Programme to include pieces from the Morrison Songbook plus Ramble on Cortona (my favourite piano piece of Gavin’s).

December 11

Hilliard Ensemble 40th birthday party Spitalfields

This is the first of three anniversary concerts which will bring together the current line-up with four former members: Paul Eliott, John (Lee) Nixon, Errol Girdlestone and me. Roger Marsh has written Poor Yorick for us all to sing. It’s in three sections: one for the existing group, one for the former members and one for all of us together. I hope we old lags will be able to hold our own against the regulars.

December 12

Hilliard Ensemble 40th birthday concert Paris

December 13

Hilliard Ensemble 40th birthday concert Munich

 

Missing info on venues etc for the above coming soon.

 

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