The Dowland Project began as an artistic collaboration between John Potter and ECM's Manfred Eicher, and was an attempt to re-discover the essence of renaissance song from the point of view of a modern performer. John suggested Dowland and Manfred Eicher proposed augmenting the obligatory early music players with jazz musicians. The first recording for ECM brought together John Surman, Barry Guy, Maya Homburger and Stephen Stubbs and was a Sunday Times Record of the Year. The group made its live debut at the Bremen Musikfest, and has since performed on both sides of the Atlantic including St Patrick's Cathedral New York, the Munich Opera House and the Festival de Musica Visual, Lanzarote. A second album - 'Charming Sleep' took the process a stage further with a similar treatment of English and Italian songs from the post-Dowland generation.
The group's third album for ECM, 'Romaria', featured a new line up of John Potter (tenor), John Surman (sax, bass clarinet, recorder), Milos Valent (violin & viola) and Stephen Stubbs (vihuela & guitar). The music includes Trouvère songs and Minnelieder, Portuguese folksongs and an experiment with some fifteenth century Franco-Flemish mass movements. A fourth album with players from both line-ups, featuring the completely improvised 'night sessions' is awaiting release.
"Mesmeric and magical...ravishingly beautiful... John Potter, one of the finest tenors around..." BBC Music Magazine
"Romaria is as pure a musical experience as you're likely to have" Gramophone
"Yet another example of his trailblazing steerage and vision..." All About Jazz
"With 'Romaria' new territory is broached: it's a stunning disc, in which the Project's particular brand of "crossover" is completely validated." Goldberg
Discography (click each of the release titles below to visit Amazon)
Romaria ECM New Series 1970
Care-charming sleep ECM New Series 1803
John Dowland: In Darkness let me Dwell ECM New Series 1697
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