It seems a bit late to wish you all Happy New Year! but nevertheless, let us all devoutly wish for a more normal and contented 2022. This newsletter is a little later than planned (I always seems to end up saying that - sorry!) because we have been trying to get as much sorted out for MMitD 2022 - both 'in real life' and online before getting this out. We're still tying up loose ends, but I still have plenty to let you know about.
But before 2022, a look back to 2021. I'm pleased to say that all the concert and talks videos from our September 2021 festival are now public and viewable on our YouTube channel. Please do have a look - there is loads to enjoy with performances from Woodwose, Trouvere, Gaita and Consort of 1, plus three talks as well. And if you haven't already, please subscribe to: https://www.youtube.com/c/medievalmusicinthedales
I must also take this opportunity to thank Friend of MMitD Ray Wiseman for all his (really quite laborious) work in videoing and editing the concert performances. We had not done this before, but Ray offered, and stepped up to the plate quite wondrously. I'm really pleased to announce that he will be doing the same at this year's festival, so we will once again be able to offer a lot of the 'in real life' action online as well.
MMitD Online 2022: March 18th-20th
Our 2022 Online Festival will take much the same shape as last year.
Friday March 18th is 'Friends Friday' - an evening solely for the Friends of MMitD. It's a chance for Friends to meet some of the musicians performing in September this year, get some sneak previews, and no doubt there will also be one of my infamous quizzes... 7-10pm GMT, free to Friends, who will receive an invitation. (Remember, if you are not a Friend, then you can always join here.)
Saturday March 19th is our evening of performances. We'll be featuring some of our September concert performers, but we are also inviting contributions from anyone who would like to offer up their music. If you can offer one or more pieces of music on video, do get in touch as soon as possible. Priority will be given to contributions that fit this year's theme of Medieval Women, but feel free to stray from this if that suits what you do best. 7-10pm GMT If interested in contributing, get in touch.
Sunday March 20th is a day of workshops and more performances. The exact programme will be confirmed next month, but again there is space for contributions - the more the merrier! 11am-7pm GMT.
The online festival will be ticketed at £25 for the weekend; this is per screen so feel free to get the family around the computer! Anyone who contributes their music will of course get a free ticket.
Medieval Music in the Dales 2022 Medieval Women: Music Makers and Muses
Much of my time at the moment is spent working on the website to prepare full details of this year's festival... and all will be revealed very soon. However, I'm very happy to offer a sneak preview now of the programme for this year.
The concert programme has already been revealed, but as a quick reminder we are thrilled to have just the most amazing line-up of talented female musicians performing this year:
the much-admired trio Voice with a programme of women's song
Stef Conner and Hanna Marti with their original version of the lai 'La Fresne' by Marie de France
Silke Gwendolyn Schultze, a virtuosic wind player who will take us on the road with a medieval piper
Leah Stuttard and Vivien Ellis - a solo performance from Leah themed around the fascinating life of the fifteenth century mystic Margery Kempe, and with Vivien a programme of music from English nunneries and English carols
singer and harp-player Elisabeth Pawelke with music in the female voice
from Finland, Amor Ceu with songs from Martin Codax
We think it's our best ever line-up!
This is a new addition to the festival programme - shorter presentations in the early evening, in the intimate setting of Queen Mary's Chamber. This allows us to bring you even more wonderful musicians, including
vielle-player Juliette Primrose (left), teaming up with Victoria Couper from Voice, and
Eva Moreda on the portative organ.
We think these smaller format concerts might be quite special, in the early evening light in this magnificent room.
Leah Stuttard will be giving an illustrated talk on the trobairitz (female troubadours) and how they have been performed and interpreted. This is actually on the Thursday evening of the festival - a great way to start, and something to do after you've registered!
I will be giving an illustrated talk on medieval women as music-makers, packed with anecdotes and wonderful medieval images.
Once again, there's a great programme of workshops at the September festival, including:
Vocal workshops from Vivien Ellis, Leah Stuttard, Voice, and Stef Conner & Hanna Marti
Vielle workshops from Juliette Primrose, with options for beginners or more experience bowed-string players
Harp workshops with Gill Page (me!) for beginners, and with Bill Taylor for more experienced players
Psaltery workshop with Bill Taylor - with instruments available to borrow.
Recorder workshops with Jim Parr, again with options for beginners or more experienced players
Pipe & Tabor workshop with Silke Gwendolyn Schultze
The perennially popular Beginner Bagpipes workshop with Paul Leigh
Medieval 'Big Band' with Lizzie Gutteridge, for the louder wind instruments
workshops on Research Techniques and Franconian notation with Juliette Primrose
Full details very soon on the website.
These were a new idea last year - a chance to get one-to-one tuition with some of the amazingly talented musicians around at the festival. It was a big hit, so we are doing it again. It offers you 50-60 minutes with a specific musician.
Confirmed as available for One-to-Ones in 2022
Leah Stuttard (medieval harp)
Silke Gwendolyn Schultze (pipe & tabor, shawm, recorder, or double recorder)
Lizzie Gutteridge (shawm, recorder, bagpipes)
Juliette Primrose (vielle)
Paul Leigh (transverse flute, gittern)
Jim Parr (bagpipes, shawm, recorder)
.Which brings us to...to availability with a limit on how many sessions each musician will be able to provide around their packed programmes - so book earlier rather than later if interested.
Which brings us to...
BOOKING FOR THE FESTIVAL
Booking opens for Friends of MMitD on 21st March 2022, and for everyone else on 1st May 2022. As usual, there will be an online box office, here on the website.
ONLINE FROM THE CASTLE
We will once again be offering a great deal of content from the festival online - but have yet to decide exactly on the format. Last year the plan to release it all online concurrent with the festival led to a lot of running around for me and a great deal of hard work (more or less 24-hour working days it seemed!) for videographer Ray. Apparently he has a cunning plan for this year... anyway... we will be thinking about how best to do this, but rest assured we will work something out.
Another mention of the Friends of MMitD...
I'd like to take this opportunity to invite you to become a Friend of MMitD. The Friends is a vital organisation for Medieval Music in the Dales - it is not an exaggeration to say they preserved the Festival over the course of the last two troubled years. As a Friend, you commit to paying an annual amount (you're of course free to cancel at any time) in support of the Festival. That means that MMitD has a base secure amount of funding to enable it to carry on, and to commit the necessary expenditure when required.
There are three kinds of Friend membership: Individual, Couple, and Friend From Afar. Basically, the first two are designed for people who regularly visit the Festival at Bolton Castle; in contrast the last is for anyone who can't make it to the actual Festival, but nevertheless wants to support MMitD. All kinds of membership come with perks - for example, as I said higher up, there is the Friends-only evening as part of MMitD Online. Anyway, there is full information on what Friends receive as part of their membership on the website - and that's also the place to sign up!
If you want to donate to the Festival, as a one-off, or for a different amount to the set Friends membership subscriptions then that's also wonderful and very much appreciated. Just get in touch.
I'm aware that I have not said anything about the Summer School - more next month, never fear.
And with that, I think I will sign off for this month and get back to the website. All comments welcome, don't forget to check us out and follow us on YouTube, and why not follow the Facebook page too? if you haven't already.
Best wishes all
Director, Medieval Music in the Dales