Saturday, May 5, 2007

What we play

As in... pieces, this time. More about the actual instruments later.

This is our current repertoire...

Ah Poor Bird
Come Follow Me
He that would an alehouse keep
Hey Ho to the Greenwood
Sumer Is Icumen In
Rose Red
Tallis' Canon (Thomas Tallis)
White Hen

Sellengers Round
Baron's bransle
Bransle de Bourgongne IX (Gervaise )
Hole in the Wall
Pavane "Belle qui tiens"
Pease Bransle
Ronde and Hupfauf

Christmas Music
Personent Hodie
The Boar's Head Carol
Verbum Caro Factum Est

Bacco, Bacco
Cantiga de Santa Maria #1
Carmen in Sol
Joyssance vous Donneray (Claudin de Sermisy)
Tant que Vivray
Blow Thy Horn, Hunter
Edi Beo
Heigh Ho Holiday (Holborne)
It was a lover and his lass (Thmas Morley)
Pase el agoa, ma julieta
Pastime with good company
Saltarello #2
The Servant of his Mistress
Mille Regretz
Ther is no rose
"Motets a jouer sur le pipeau"(set of motets edited by Yvonne Rokseth)

A group of pieces from Lord Dorian Longwind's Music Book (Allemande / Queen's Almayne, All in a Garden Green, Cassandra Bransle, Goddesses, Jouyssance, Nonesuch, Tordion)

And occasional other things which come to hand, mainly a little later into the Baroque.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Why and how we play (music, that is)

The short and easy answer is: for fun. If you've ever played music in a group, like a school band, you know it's more fun than playing on your own. A small group is even more fun, in many ways, than a large one.

We can chat and joke between pieces, up to a point, without getting the evil eye from the bandmaster and without cutting into the playing time too much. (It's part of my leader job to keep the balance between social chat and playing well over towards the playing side, though).

If someone makes a big mess of their part from time to time, it's more funny than anything else, because we've all done it, even our most experienced members.

We bring beginners into the group and get them started on simple parts in our easier pieces, and help them learn to play more difficult parts as we go along. That does require some work on the part of the new player, of course: if they don't practice in between group rehearsals, they'll be starting from scratch again each time, and that doesn't work. We also lend some instruments for new players to try out.

Mostly, we play for ourselves - for the joy of making music, and making music with our friends. It also helps that we get lots of appreciative feedback from our listeners: we don't pretend to be anywhere near professional standard, but we do reach a good enough level that we're enjoyable to listen to (most of the time) and we get invited back.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Introducing the Broken Consort

To all gentles in the Known World doth Lord Thormot mac Otter of Rushen, Shire Bard of False Isle, send warm and tuneful greetings.

What, you may ask, is a Broken Consort? and what or where is False Isle? A broken consort is an instrumental group containing more than one kind of instrument - as opposed to a recorder consort or a consort of viols, for example. False Isle is a shire in the Principality of Tir Righ, Kingdom of An Tir, in the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism). Mundanely, it's Powell River, BC, on the beautiful West Coast of Canada.

I present to you here our members:

Lord Thormot mac Otter of Rushen (leader, violin, occasional recorder, percussion, music librarian and arranger)
Master Stephen of Hunmanby (music historian, soprano, alto and tenor recorders, lute, guitar)
Ann (soprano, alto, tenor and bass recorders)
Ambrosine (cello, soprano, alto, tenor and bass recorders, harp, lute)
Lady Calycrist Cottier (flute, soprano recorder)
Alfred (pipe chanter, trombone, and percussion)
Elaine (soprano recorder)
Cassandra the Red (soprano recorder)
Her Ladyship Saeunn Hrafnsdottir (viola, alto recorder)

With occasional help from:
Lady Calindra de Silva of Aragon (soprano recorder)
Lord Geoffrey Mylar (violin, soprano and alto recorders)

The picture shows (L to R) Stephen (with Elaine completely hidden behind him), Ambrosine, Alfred, Ann and myself, Thormot, performing for the Writers Festival at Dwight Hall in Apr 2007.