Recitals and Lectures

Recitals and Lectures
I have given presentations on historical instruments in a wide variety of venues from The Museum of London, Tower of London, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, the Mary Rose Exhibition in Portsmouth and Syon House to village halls and more schools than I can count.

My presentations place instruments in their historical context and are full of fascinating and amusing historical anecdotes so audiences are entertained as well as informed. As a multi-instrumentalist I am able to demonstrate many diverse musical instruments.

Here are some popular subjects for lecture-demonstrations:

1.) The Medieval Minstrel: A look at Medieval instruments and the lives of those who played them.

2.) Music and the Tudors

3.) From Rebec to Electric: The History of the Violin.

Any of the presentations above can be performed as a duo, where I am joined by one of my colleagues. I regularly work with Robin Jeffrey who is a specialist in lutes and other plucked stringed instruments.

4.) The Violin in C17th England
For this concert, originally commissioned by the Merchant’s House in Marlborough I am joined by the harpsichordist Katharine May. For the Merchant’s House I concentrated particularly on the mid C17th when the house was built.

Border Waites
This band is rapidly gaining a reputation for historically-themed concerts combining meticulous research with high quality performances and entertaining delivery. The Border Waites is a five-part ensemble based on the municipal town bands common all over Europe between the 14th and 18th centuries. Members are drawn from principle theatres and early-music ensembles such as The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, The Globe Theatre, The Corelli Orchestra, The King’s Consort & The Gabrieli Players, to name but a few. The individual players all play unusual combinations of instruments so the band is able to produce a range of instrumental sounds which few other bands can even attempt. Here are some of our recent commissions:

The Marriage of the Thistle & the Rose
A programme exploring the music of the courts of England and Scotland through the occasion of the wedding in 1503 of James IV and Margaret Tudor, daughter of Henry VII.
(for New Radnor Music Festival)

The Shipwreck
The Music of Henry V11 and Phillip the Handsome
(for Cambridge Early Music concert series 2011)

Music at the Royal Courts and Castles
A morning session with lectures outlining the principle musical fashions in music of the late 14th and early 15th centuries, demonstrating the dominant types of composition and instruments commonly used during that period. Border Waites member and leading medieval instrument maker Alan Crumpler presented a reconstruction of a “symphony” made by him for the conference.
Later, a concert of medieval music performed on rebecs, vielles, flutes, harps, recorders, shawms, bagpipes and more, with the singer Jenny Cassidy.
(for the Mortimer Society conference 2011)