What's On This Year
The line-up for Medieval Music in the Dales 2019 includes:
A Study Day on the Troubadours and Trouvères
Seven daytime concerts in St Oswald's Church - Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Two evening concerts in St Oswald's Church - Friday and Saturday evenings
William Marshal Day on Sunday, with living history and dramatic and musical performances from the life of the Marshal
Our ever-popular Cabaret & Ceilidh - Sunday evening - this year generously sponsored by The Bagpipe Society
A mini-concert in Queen Mary's Chamber
Twenty workshops, including the formation of a Festival Choir which will prepare and deliver a performance on Sunday afternoon
Informal playing and singing sessions
It's worth remembering that ALL daytime concerts, performances and talks are included in your Festival Pass. You only need to pay extra for workshops, evening events and the Study Day.
Most of our concerts take place in St Oswald's Church, hard by the Castle, but this year we are adding one daytime mini-concert in Queen Mary's Chamber. All daytime concerts are free with a Festival Pass, while the evening concerts need to be specifically booked through the Festival Box Office
For more information about the performers, please click on the image.
Trouvere- The Marshal's Music
Paul Leigh: gittern, long-necked lute, flutes, percussion
Gill Page: harp, symphony, voice
Richard de Winter: voice
A tournament champion and a crusader who made his name and his fortune through martial prowess and astute marriage, William Marshal is also known to have enjoyed music, both as a performer and as a listener - it was after all very much part of the courtly life. Trouvere take the Marshal's life as their subject and starting point,
presenting the music that the Marshal might have known - music of the troubadours and the trouveres and music of the church - in a retelling of his epic life story.
Friday 1pm, St Oswald's Church. Free with Festival Pass.
Trouvere are also playing in the Saturday evening concert
Image © Past Pleasures Ltd
Jaufré Darroux - Ars Antiqua
Harp, lyre, voice
Jaufré Darroux's interpretation of the songs of the trouvères is both original and dynamic, and places this repertoire of love songs firmly in the soundscape of traditional, living music. A traditional singer's voice, harp and lyre played with agility and unconventionality, modal improvisations full of emotion and imagination...
Friday, 2.30pm, St Oswald's Church. Free with Festival Pass.
Jaufré Darroux is also playing in the Saturday night concert.
Joglar - La lyrique courtoise d'Oc et d'Oïl
David Zubeldia: Voice, flutes, bagpipe, citole, percussion
Margaux Zubeldia: Voice, harp, bagpipe, flutes
Joglar take us into the world of the French courtly lyric, from its beginnings in the south and the langue d'oc through its development in the northern world of the langue d'oïl. With music from troubadours Guillaume IX of Aquitaine, Marcabru, Cadenet and Guiraut Riquier, and trouvères the Chatelain de Coucy and Adam de la Hallè, amongst others.
Joglar are Margaux and David Zubeldia. Graduates of the Bordeaux Conservatoire, they are based in Gascony in the south-west of France. They bring to life the music of the medieval period, always aiming for a natural and gutsy sound that's full of life.
Friday, 4pm, St Oswald's Church. Free with Festival Pass.
Joglar are also playing in the Saturday evening concert
The Friday Evening Concert: 7.30pm, St Oswald's Church
The Medieval Music in the Dales evening concerts are a highlight of the festival, featuring shorter sets from a selection of the concert performers. The Friday evening concert this year features:
Maiden in the Moor
Company of Voices
Tickets £15, available through the Box Office.
Ensemble Céladon - Nuits Occitanes
Paulin Bündgen: countertenor & artistic director
Clara Coutouly: soprano
Nolwenn Le Guern: fiddle & rebab
Florent Marie: mediaeval lute
Gwénaël Bihan: recorders
Ludwin Bernatene: percussion
Taking its name from the hero of Honoré d’Urfé’s Astrée, the Céladon
ensemble explores the early music repertoire with charm and fantasy,
striving to reinvent the form of its concerts at each appearance. Led by
countertenor Paulin Bündgen, Céladon seeks to avoid the beaten tracks
and enjoys surveying the repertoire linked with the countertenor timbre,
between mediaeval, renaissance and baroque music.
Image © Maxime Brochier
Nuits Occitanes is devoted to songs about love and the usually vain search for it. This is always at the primary level of physical love, except for the less frequent songs in which the lovers are reunited, only to be separated again at daybreak. This programme, based on the theme of night, transports us into a world of courtly chivalry that despite its savagery and wildness also knew moments of extreme refinement. As musicians, the Céladon Ensemble’s greatest concern was to reflect the emotions that they had experienced when they first read these troubadour’s songs and poems. Real men and women of flesh and blood are described. Their underlying and almost palpable presence makes this music even more alive and moving.
Saturday afternoon, 1pm, St Oswald's Church. Free with Festival Pass.
Ensemble Céladon are also performing in the Friday evening concert.
Maiden in the Moor - A Song of Nothing
Sophia Brumfitt: voice, symphony
Rebecca Austen-Brown: fiddle, flutes, psaltery
Maiden in the Moor was born out of the love of storytelling through music, in particular that of the 12th and 13th centuries. Sophia and Rebecca explore this rich and intricate world of love and betrayal, nature and the seasons, murder and miracle, piecing together often under-explored music and poetry in this selection from the works of the troubadours and trouvères. With the soft instrumental backdrop of droning fiddle and symphony, plucked psaltery and recorders and flutes, the words of the troubadours
and other European wordsmiths come alive. The duo often perform with the added twist of 21st century live looping, which reflects the often timeless quality within these songs. Rebecca and Sophie bring together a broad experience of performance, from the UK circuit to further afield in Europe, the US and Asia, from TV to BBC Radio, theatre to concert halls.
Saturday afternoon, 2.30pm , St Oswald's Church. Free with Festival Pass.
Maiden in the Moor are also playing in the Friday evening concert
Company of Voices - Song of Seven
Bessy Rudd: narration
Fiona Somerville: voice
Leah Stuttard: harp
Deborah Catterall: voice, director
Jennie Coates: voice
Jessica Eastwell: voice
David Edmundson: animation
Hildegard von Bingen's visions of the Holy Spirit - a concert that aims to dig deep into seven of Hildegard's most profound seeings, through the medium of song, harp, unusual drone instruments such as shruti box and singing bowl, spoken word and beautiful animated visions on a state-of-the-art back-projected screen.
We know that Hildegard was a healer, a writer, a polymath and musician, but moreover, she had a message.
We are looking through the lens of her song writing, to discover the marriage within her of heaven and earth.
Saturday 5.30pm, St Oswald's Church. Free with Festival Pass.
Company of Voices are also playing in the Friday evening concert.
De Mowbray's Music - The Lords De Mowbray
Peter Barnard, Kate Billmore, Ray Wiseman
A mini-concert in Queen Mary's Chamber: Music, songs and stories from 1145 - 1415, the time of three significant nobles of the de Mowbray family; from Roger de Mowbray who went on the second crusade, William de Mowbray, a Magna Carta Baron, through to John Mowbray, himself Earl Marshall at the Battle of Agincourt.
Saturday 3.30-4.30pm, Queen Mary's Chamber in Bolton Castle. Free with Festival Pass.
The Saturday Evening Concert: 7.30pm, St Oswald's Church
The Medieval Music in the Dales evening concerts are a highlight of the festival, featuring shorter sets from a selection of the concert performers. The Saturday evening concert this year features:
Tickets £15, available through the Box Office.
Ensemble Iuchair - Pérotin: The Scottish Source
Joshua Stutter, Alasdair Robertson, Edward Marshall, Edward Horrocks
The music commonly known as the Notre Dame school encompasses the styles of sacred polyphonic music known to have been sung at Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris and its environs in the 12th and 13th centuries. One of the most interesting sources of this repertory is known as W1, the only source of British provenance, written at St Andrew’s Priory. In many ways, it is markedly different from the continental sources and transmits a slightly different repertory.
The traditional view - based on the Anonymous 4 source - is that the Notre Dame organum was the creation of two great choirmasters - Léonin and Pérotin. But W1 casts serious doubt on this thesis, revealing the Notre Dame school instead to be an improvised repertory with countless contributors that evolved over many years.
Sunday, 1pm, St Oswald's Church. Free with Festival Pass.
Iuchair are also playing in the Saturday evening concert
Study Day: Thursday 5th September: Troubadours & Trouvères
Just two places left...
A day dedicated to the music of the troubadours and trouvères, the secular poets and composers of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, with historical background and an introduction to the sources along with practical vocal and instrumental sessions.
There was undoubtedly secular songmaking before the troubadours, but their arrival on the scene marked something radically new. Theirs was the poetry of an aristocratic milieu, where the lady - often idealised, generally unobtainable - was the centre of courtly ambition and artistry. However, it was also an artistic expression of the warlike and boisterous knightly class. Troubadour poetry is typically egocentric, and outspoken whether about love or politics. Musically, these songs are inventive and sweetly composed in a variety of genres.
Coinciding with a growing secular literacy, the troubadour corpus, and that of the the trouvères which soon followed, was written down from at least the first half of the thirteenth century and survives in gorgeous, high status chansonniers from France and Italy. What we have now is a body of literally hundreds of songs, not even counting the many many more works for which the music has not survived. This day will give you the groundwork to appreciate and to tackle this amazing musical repertoire.
With Gill Page of Trouvere, and Sophia Brumfitt and Rebecca Austen-Brown of Maiden in the Moor.
Suitable for singers and instrumentalists as well as those that just want to listen.
The ticket (£50 / £25 Friends) includes a midday buffet and refreshments.
Thursday, 9.30am - 5.00pm, Redmire Village Hall.
Prices are given for each workshop - remember that you need to book in advance for workshops through the online box office. Remember too that if you want to attend any workshop you will need a Festival Pass for the relevant day. Own instruments are required for workshops, unless otherwise stated.
The Festival Choirs, led by Richard de Winter
The Festival Choirs offer the chance to get to grips with some wonderful thirteenth century chant, to reproduce something of the religious music of the medieval monastery or nunnery. To this end, there will be a choir for male voices and a choir for female voices, who will work separately. Over the three days Friday - Sunday, the choirs will work on specific pieces of chant, to be presented in the 'Office for the Marshal' in the church on Sunday afternoon. You don't have to attend each session of the Choir - but it is obviously recommended.
Richard de Winter sings with Trouvere and Passamezzo and is a highly experienced choral singer.
10.30-11.30am (men) and 11.30am-12.30pm (women), Friday, Saturday, Sunday in St Oswald's Church
£20 for the whole course.
Vocal Improvisation, with Leah Stuttard
Two workshops for singers: 1- "Improvisation for the scared" and 2 - "Improvisation for the slightly more adventurous"! The first is an introduction to modal vocal improvisation, while the second looks at some simple vocal improvisation in Notre Dame organum style including some reading from the facsimile. Some ability to sight sing a line of gregorian chant is preferable for the beginner workshop and necessary for the 'slightly more adventurous'.
Workshop 1 Friday 9.00-10.30am and Workshop 2 Friday 17.30-19.00, both in St Oswald's Church. £15 each.
A Masterclass with Paul Bündgen and Clara Coutouly,
of Ensemble Céladon
A great opportunity for singers to work with two talented and experienced specialists in medieval song. You are invited to come with a medieval song you have prepared, and you will get the opportunity to present it for comment and suggestions. Maximum six places only available, so early booking recommended.
Friday 11am-12.30pm in Lord Scrope's Chamber in the Castle. £15
Image © JB Millot
NOW FULLY BOOKED Frame Drumming, with Terry Mann
Taking ideas from the North African and Middle Eastern traditions and putting them to European medieval tunes: this was a hugely popular workshop last year, so sign up soon if you are interested. Some drums available to borrow.
Friday 11.00-12.30am, Castle Bolton Meeting Room. £15.
Beginner Shawm Workshop, with Lizzie Gutteridge
Have a first go on the shawm, with instruments supplied by The Shawm Shop. We'll cover basic sound production, learn a few simple fingerings and hope to play a short melody by the end of the hour.
Friday 9.00-10.00am, Lord Scrope's Chamber in Bolton Castle £10
Jaw Harp, with Paul Martin
An introduction to the jaw harp (also known as the Jew's Harp or Trump) as an instrument played in the British Isles during the Middle Ages as well as its forms in other parts of the world. The workshop will cover: how to hold the harp, basic sound production, the position of the playing hand, breathing, mouth shape and tone change, introducing a simple rhythm, and pitch control and change.
It's fairly easy to find a jaw harp, but the quality varies widely. This workshop fee includes the purchase of a good working instrument which you can take away with you.
Friday, 9.00-10.30am, Castle Bolton Meeting Room - very nearly full
Saturday, 10.00-11.30am, Courtyard Marquee - plenty of places still available
£40 (includes purchase of jaw harp)
Please note - due to demand, we are putting on a repeat of this workshop on Saturday, 10am, in the Courtyard Marquee.
NOW FULLY BOOKED
Kalenda Maya, the Troubadours, and the lessons of traditional music, with Ian Pittaway
Kalenda maya is one of the most well-known and often-played pieces of the medieval repertoire. Ian shows that the modern version of Kalenda maya is another ‘early music revival-ism’, not what is written in the manuscript. This participatory workshop is for players of any instrument and interested observers, and we will focus on two key issues in interpreting medieval music, using Kalenda maya as a focus. (a) Rhythm – how to spot it, what to do when it isn’t written on the page. This is a particular problem with the troubadour repertoire. (b) Performance – playing what is in the manuscript, and playing more than is on the page to historical principles. In this, appropriate principles from traditional music will be tested and applied. One aim of the workshop is for small groups of players to arrive at their own readings and arrangements of Kalenda maya. No previous experience is necessary, as Ian will provide all the necessary information. Music will be provided.
Friday 5.30-7.00 pm, Queen Mary's Chamber in Bolton Castle. £15
Vision: The music of Hildegard von Bingen 1098- 1179, with Deborah Catterall
Hildegard was an abbess, a visionary, a healer, a composer, a playwright, a philosopher, a polymath and a teacher. In this detailed and revealing look at Hildegard's marriage of words and melody, we will consider:
Why is Hildegard regarded as one of the finest and most mystical composers of the medieval period?
How is her music not just simply 'plainsong?
What were her visions and how did she translate them into song?
What is her fundamental message?
Is there a particular way of singing her music?
The workshop is suitable for anyone with a moderate to good sight reading ability.
Saturday 9.00-10.30am, St Oswald's Church. £15
NOW FULLY BOOKED Troubadour Song: from Sources to Performance, with Joglar
Rediscover and deepen your knowledge of the troubadour repertoire. What is its history? What heritage have they left to us and how can it be interpreted? A practical workshop for singers and instrumentalists alike.
Saturday, 9.00-10.30am, Lord Scrope's Chamber in Bolton Castle. £15
Bowed String, with Lizzie Gutteridge
A repeat of Lizzie's popular 2018 workshop - expand your technique and repertoire on bowed string instruments, including fiddles, rebecs and viols
Saturday, 9.00-10.30am, Castle Bolton Meeting Room. £15
Jaw Harp (2), with Paul Martin
A second opportunity for this introduction to the jaw harp (also known as the Jew's Harp or Trump) as an instrument played in the British Isles during the Middle Ages as well as its forms in other parts of the world. The workshop will cover: how to hold the harp, basic sound production, the position of the playing hand, breathing, mouth shape and tone change, introducing a simple rhythm, and pitch control and change.
It's fairly easy to find a jaw harp, but the quality varies widely. This workshop fee includes the purchase of a good working instrument which you can take away with you.
Saturday, 10.00-11.30am, Courtyard Marquee. £40 (includes purchase of instrument)
Crusader Songs for Bowed Instruments, with Barry Pearce
This workshop looks at a couple of crusader songs and how we might approach them on bowed instruments. We will look at modern transcriptions of the notes without durations, testing out three options for applying rhythm. We will also look at bowing technique and how it can be used to mimic vocal style - thereby singing on the instrument!
Saturday, 11.00-12.30am, Castle Bolton Meeting Room. £15
Easy Tunes with a Harper's Toolkit, with Pam Ferris
Using the medium of playing a few tunes, this workshop introduces and consolidates some of the core principles that every harper should have in their toolkit, from co-ordinating the hands to shaping the melody and accompanying singing. Suitable for everyone except complete beginners.
Saturday 11.00-12.30am, Lord Scrope's Chamber in Bolton Castle. £15
Beginners' Bagpipes, with Paul Leigh
With bagpipes generously loaned by The Bagpipe Society, this is your chance to get your mouth, elbow and fingers securely wrapped around a bagpipe and learn the basic toolkit for this amazing instrument. This workshop has already launched new bagpipers onto the scene, so it's not to be missed - book early to avoid disappointment...
Saturday 9.00-10.00am, Courtyard Marquee OR Saturday 10.00-11.00am, Tavern. £10
Love, loneliness and peasant punch-ups: a tour of troubadour themes with Ian Pittaway
Part performance, part presentation, part discussion, this workshop is a whistle-stop tour of the troubadours, trouvères, and their international counterparts in the 11th to 13th century. Ian Pittaway will perform songs on harp and gittern by Marcabru, Moniot d'Arras, Blondel, Neidhart and others, between discussing such questions as:
Who were the troubadours? (They weren’t all nobles.)
What did they sing about? (It wasn’t all courtly love.)
How wide was their influence? (Extensive, including England, and well beyond their lifetimes.)
Are the surviving records of their songs accurate? (It’s complicated.)
Songs from Occitania, France, Germany, Iberia and England will be performed in modern English, reconstructing the original rhyme schemes, to try and give a flavour of the art and immediacy of troubadour song. Response and discussion is positively encouraged.
Saturday 5.30-7pm, Queen Mary's Chamber in Bolton Castle. £15
Decoding Notre Dame Modal Rhythm, with Iuchair
A workshop for singers who are new to medieval sources on reading Notre-Dame style modal rhythm directly from those sources. Including an overview of the rules of modal rhythm, how to apply those rules to reading manuscripts and culminating in a performance of some 13th-century clausulae.
Sunday 9.00-10.30am, St Oswald's Church. £15
Playing da Gamba, with Mary Mohan
Almost any bowed string instrument can be played “da gamba”, and several images exist showing bowed strings played this way. This practical workshop will look at posture and bow hold for playing “da gamba”, as well as exploring Jerome tunings.
Sunday, 9.00-10.30am, Castle Bolton Meeting Room. £15
Intermediate Shawm Workshop, with Lizzie Gutteridge
A workshop for those who already play the shawm: we'll spend some time looking at how to make a shawm ensemble arrangement of a dance melody as well as playing some gorgeous tunes.
Sunday, 9.00-10.30am, Courtyard Marquee. £15
Improvising on medieval harp, with Jaufré Darroux
An introduction to modal improvisation on the harp, in the monodic musical repertoire of the ars antiqua : an alternative to polyphony.
Sunday, 9.00-10.30am, Lord Scrope's Chamber in Bolton Castle. £15
Beginners' Pipe and Tabor: The Next Step, with Terry Mann
This is a follow-on to the workshop Terry has run for the last two years: a few more tunes and a look at the taboring side in greater detail.
Sunday 11.00am-12.30pm, Castle Bolton Meeting Room. £15
Strictly Strings, with Paul Leigh
A workshop for players of lute, gittern, citole, harp, psaltery, vielle or rebec: develop skills for working with the twelfth and thirteenth century song repertoire. How to interpret this originally vocal music on an instrument? Once you have the tune under your fingers, what are the options for embellishment or decoration? And how to go about accompanying singers?
Sunday 11.00am-12.30pm, Lord Scrope's Chamber in Bolton Castle. £15
William Marshal Day: Sunday 8th September
Our festival this year is themed around the life of William Marshal, England's 'greatest knight', who lived from c1146 through to 1219. All the music and most of the workshops are themed around the music and the instruments that William would have known. Plus, on Saturday and Sunday, we are joined by The Household, a leading re-enactment group who specialise in recreating life under the Normans and Angevins.
Sunday is William Marshal Day. Over the course of the day, members of the Household will join with musicians and performers to bring to life some of the musical episodes in William Marshal's life, culminating in the services held after his death. We are also delighted to welcome Elizabeth Chadwick, the enormously successful and popular novelist who has written extensively on William Marshal and other characters of his time; Elizabeth will be giving a talk on the Marshal's life.
Here's the plan for William Marshal Day:
10am - 4.30pm:
Living history encampment with The Household.
Before the Tourney. It's the night before a big tournament and the knights and ladies are socialising. Come and join them in the Courtyard and see what they get up to.
Elizabeth Chadwick: The Life of William Marshal.
A talk with the author of 'The Greatest Knight', in Queen Mary's Chamber.
The Marshal Sings With His Daughters. William Marshal is close to death, and his daughters are called to him. Join them as they sing together in Queen Mary's Chamber.
Obsequies. After his death, the Marshal's body is taken with honour to his Chapel, where Mass is sung for him. Follow the Marshal's men as they bear their lord from the Courtyard to St Oswald's, where they will be met by the Festival Choir who will sing chants from the thirteenth-century Office of the Dead.
The Day will finish shortly before 5pm with the Festival Grand Finale, this time in the Church, where everyone is
welcome for a final Big Sing, followed by the group photographs.
Cabaret & Ceilidh: Sponsored by The Bagpipe Society
The Cabaret & Ceilidh is the closing event of Medieval Music in the Dales - a glorious party in the Great Chamber of Bolton Castle, lit by firelight and candlelight. The evening is broadly in two halves. The first half is a medieval cabaret of highlights from the weekend, then there is a break for a buffet supper, before a second half of dancing. This year, the dancing will be traditional English country dancing led by wonderful Durham-based ceilidh band Roughshod with Paul Martin on bagpipes. There's a bar on hand, and the supper is included in the £15 ticket price.
Sunday, 7-11pm. Great Chamber of Bolton Castle.
"The cabaret exceeded all my expectations & was absolutely fantastic.
The food, the music, dancing with the fire roaring in the fireplace - it was absolutely magical!"
Other events at Medieval Music in the Dales 2019 include informal sessions, fascinating illustrated talks and group playing sessions. All of these are free to Festival Pass holders.
Dancing and Jamming in the Great Chamber on Thursday night
Make yourselves at home in the Great Chamber on Thursday evening - the fire will be lit and the candles burning - so feel free to dance and play. There'll be a bar on hand and snacks available, with Proper Pizzas serving until 9pm as well. This event is open to all Festival Pass holders, and there is no charge.
Thursday 7-11pm, with everyone out by 11.30pm at the latest please!
Tales in the Tavern on Thursday night
Relax by the roaring fires in the tavern and enjoy tales and music.
Come and tell a tale yourself - all storytellers are very welcome. This
event is open to all Festival Pass holders, and there is no charge.
Everyone out by midnight please!
Thursday 7-11pm in the Tavern.
Free entry to all Festival Pass holders.
Terry in the Tavern
Perhaps you're new to the medieval repertoire? Terry Mann leads a slow
medieval music session in the tavern - a 'come all ye' with a set of
tunes that will be available in advance for download from this website.
Bring your instrument and get stuck in, perhaps over a pint of the
festival's own Mediev-Ale...
Friday, 5.30-6.30pm, in the Tavern.
Free entry to all Festival Pass holders.
Jim Parr: Reedmaking Demonstration
A demonstration with commentary and advice on making shawm reeds,
with maker Jim Parr.
Friday, 4.30-5.30pm, Bolton Castle Meeting Room.
Free to Festival Pass Holders.
Barry Pearce: The Rebec: Myth & Myth-conception
An illustrated talk looking at the current situation regarding our received history of the rebec, and the problems which have led us here. Barry will also look at the issues of playing position (modern performance practice vs iconographic evidence) and features on modern instruments which do not have a basis in primary sources.
Saturday, 4.30-5.30pm, Bolton Castle Meeting Room. Free to Festival Pass holders.
Ardival Harps with Bill Taylor
Back by popular demand, Bill Taylor's musical introduction to medieval harps, demonstrated on the Ardival range.
Friday, 3.15pm, Queen Mary's Chamber. Free entry with festival pass or castle admission
Discover some the incredible ancient and Byzantine instruments created by Lutherios. This is their first UK exhibition, so a truly unique opportunity.
Saturday 12.30pm, Queen Mary's Chamber. Free entry with festival pass or castle admission
The Big Sing
As many as want to, all levels welcome, come along to learn a piece of thirteenth-century chant with Richard de Winter. And then get to sing it all over again in the Grand Finale in the church on Sunday!
Saturday 4.30-5.30pm, Lord Scrope's Chamber in Bolton Castle. Free to all Festival Pass holders.
And then there is of course the completely informal playing scene in the Tavern on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Not to be missed! Open to all Festival Pass holders.