February News

Hello everyone! I've got quite a bit to tell you about this month. I've been busy getting pages ready on the website about the Summer School, and also of course MMitD Online which is now less than four weeks away! how time flies...


MMitD Online 2022

So I'll begin with MMitD Online. The dates are 18-20 March and it follows the usual satisfying pattern over three days. Friday is reserved for Friends, but you can buy a single ticket to cover both Saturday and Sunday and pop in and out as much as you like.

  • Friday evening (March 18th 7-10pm GMT) is Friends Friday, free but reserved for the Friends of MMitD. There's an informal singing workshop, followed by chats (and a bit of music) from some of our concert performers, and - of course - a quiz!

  • Saturday evening (March 19th, 7-10pm GMT) is an evening of music from many of our concert and castle stage performers.

  • Sunday afternoon (March 20th, 12 noon - 7pm GMT) features more performances, Trouvere's latest video project, a playalong workshop with Lizzie Gutteridge, a talk on using medieval manuscripts from me, and - my personal favourite element - visits to two instrument makers. This year the theme is strings and we are going to meet up with MMitD regular George Stevens in Kent, as well as Asier de Benito in Valencia, Spain.

The amazing benefit of online events is just how many people from so many far-flung places can join in. This year features musicians from the USA, Argentina, Italy and New Zealand - as well of course as many from the UK. Our online events aim to be content-packed and informal - we positively encourage interaction via Chat, but if you prefer just to sit back and soak it all up, that's grand too.


Ticketholders will also be able to watch the festival online (on YouTube) for up to three months after the event, if you can't make the festival weekend itself.


More information on MMitD Online 2022 and online booking here.

 

MMitD Summer School: Medieval Music-Making


I'm so excited about this year's Summer School. It offers the chance to work with some really amazing musicians to hone your medieval music-making approaches and skills. It's perfect for anyone who feels reasonably confident with their voice or instrument but wants to explore the medieval sound world and develop their performance accordingly.

Here are our three tutors for this year's Summer School: Hanna Marti, Stef Conner and Elisabeth Pawelke.


Stef Conner will already be familiar to many of you, especially if you attended MMitD in 2018 where she wowed us with some very ancient sounds, in partnership with Barnaby Brown. Stef is an amazing vocalist, and also a thrilling and award-winning composer, as well as an astute researcher. She brings new life to repertoire where perhaps the music is lost or only fragmentary.


Hanna Marti has worked extensively with Stef, especially in the internationally renowned ensemble Sequentia. Again, her artistic work explores the repertoire of ancient songs, texts and stories, which have often survived without melodies or in fragmentary form. As a composer, she finds creative energy in the multi-faceted area between historical information and new composition.


Elisabeth Pawelke studied voice and historical harp at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis. She has performed with numerous early music ensembles and was a founder member of the hugely popular mittelalter group Faun. She is also an academic speech and voice therapist and is presently doing her doctorate in vocal pedagogy at the University of Augsburg.


The Strands

You can choose from two strands at this year's Summer School:

  • Create Your Own Medieval Music: an in-depth study of evidence-based reconstruction, led by Stef Conner and Hanna Marti. This is primarily for vocalists and will look at identifying suitable source material and interpreting that source material. You'll consider what the limits are on this creative process and the problems in adapting materials from one source to fit another. You'll work on your own reconstructions in a process that promises to be both creative and rigorous. (I must say I am looking forward to this and will be sitting in on as much of these sessions as I can between sorting out all the practical admin of the summer school!)

  • Medieval Mixed Ensemble for Bas Instruments, with Lisa Pawelke: looking at pieces from the 13th to 15th centuries, with a special emphasis on German repertoire, considering arranging them for ensemble playing and considering performance practice. This strand is suitable for quieter, so-called 'bas' instruments like the flute, lute, harp, vielle, and organetto; vocalists are also welcome.

There is loads more information about the courses and tutors now online here. That's where you'll also find out about the residential options at The Jonas Centre. Booking for the Summer School actually opens at the same time as booking for the September Festival - on March 21st (for Friends of MMitD) and May 1st (everyone else), but feel free to get in touch at any time if you have questions.

 

Don't forget, if you want to take advantage of:

  • early bird booking for MMitD Online and 50% discount on tickets

  • early bird booking for the Summer School with discounted rates

  • early bird booking for the September Festival, with Festival Pass included and discounts on workshops and concerts

... then you can always join the Friends of MMitD. More information here.

 

and finally...

I'd also like to tell you about a new project I am working on: Richmond MayFest. This is a new festival in my home town of Richmond, North Yorkshire and is a three-day community celebration of historical and traditional music. We have medieval minstrels Trouvere, the amazing historical folk duo GreenMatthews, the incomparable Durham duo of The Ran Tanners, and a concert from the simply wonderful Pellingmans' Saraband - plus Great War music from the splendid Hautbois, morris dancing from local sides, music from the Richmondshire Orchestra and the Richmond Choral Society, folk sessions and yet more... it's going to be amazing and if you feel like a trip to Yorkshire, why not make it the weekend of April 30th-May 2nd and come and enjoy the music? As well as concerts, a lot of the music is taking place for free on the streets and in local venues.


This is a new venture for me. It's all come about from an event called '950 Years of Music' which I put on last year as part of Richmond Castle's 950th birthday celebrations. That went so well that everyone said we should do it annually... and before you know it I had volunteered to get it going on! oops... But seriously, it promises to be an amazing weekend and I'll probably keep you all up to date on it alongside all the usual MMitD news!


Here' the (still in construction) website and Facebook page for Richmond MayFest.

 

Well, I think that is all for now. Don't forget you can stay in touch on Facebook, and why not also subscribe to the YouTube channel? I will be back with you in March.


All the best!

Gill


Gill Page - Director









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