Alice Barron

Alice Barron

Alice Barron is a violinist, collaborator, and founder member of experimental world music group, iyatraQuartet.  She enjoys a diverse career combining orchestral, chamber and solo performances with improvisatory and multi-disciplinary projects.  She specialises in contemporary and world musics, with recent performances including projects with Nigel Kennedy, Jean-Luc Ponty, L. Subramaniam and with Sam Lee at WOMAD festival in Australia and New Zealand.  Alice's collaborative work is genre-spanning and draws on her experiences studying South Indian violin techniques.

‘iyatraQuartet summoned up a flavour of dizzy Balkan revelry’ - Ivan Hewett, Telegraph
 

As part of a practice-led PhD at the University of Oxford, Alice is currently working on a series of collaborations creating new cross-cultural works for the violin that draw on her experiences studying in South India.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | IYATRAQUARTET WEBSITE

Clare O'Connell

Clare O'Connell

Cellist Clare O'Connell is passionate about and specialises in playing chamber music. She is a founder member of acclaimed contemporary chamber ensemble CHROMA, and collaborates with The Storytellers Ensemble, The Harborough Collective, Lontano, Aurora, Marais Ensemble and Propellor Ensemble.

She set up and curates CHROMA’s series of chamber music concerts in Berkhamsted, experimenting with varying instrumental line-ups, and interweaving music, poetry, and storytelling to add another dimension to the concert going experience, and for which she has commissioned new works from Leonardo Margutti and Luke Bedford as well as a piece of music and words from Patrick Sherwen and Dominic Shovelton. 

She programmed and produced CHROMA’s first own label album ‘Folk Tales’, conceived and recorded with CHROMA artists David Le Page and Ian Watson and has recently started working on an album of new material with  David Le Page.

CHROMA WEBSITE

Piers Faccini

Piers Faccini

Crossing and blurring musical boundaries is an art form for Piers Faccini. Treading the frontiers which delineate one country from another, Faccini finds his inspiration in the cultural ambiguity of borderlands. If his songs were maps, they’d stretch from the English moors to the Saharan dunes via the plains of the Mediterranean.

Over seven acclaimed albums, Faccini has toured his music worldwide, recording and collaborating with numerous musicians and singers including Ballake Sissoko, Vincent Segal, Ben Harper, Rokia Traore, Patrick Watson and Ibrahim Maalouf amongst others.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

Bella Hardy

Bella Hardy

Bella grew up in Edale in the Peak District, and now lives in Glasgow. Although the Hardy family sang in the local choir, it was a combination of her childhood love for ballad books and visits to local folk festivals that decided her future. At 13 she began performing at Cambridge and Sidmouth festivals and in 2004 reached the final of the BBC Young Folk Award, having taught herself to fiddle sing.

“...the 6Music market surely beckons for Bella. As well as reaffirming her status as a shining star in the folk scene’s firmament, With The Dawn feels like a game-changer” - fRoots

Bella released her debut album Night Visiting in 2007. One of its songs, Three Black Feathers was nominated for a BBC Folk Award. It was her first original composition, and a sign of things to come. Since then, she has been a prolific solo artist - releasing her 6th album 'With The Dawn' in 2015, collaborating on different projects with Martin Simpson, John Smith, Blue Rose Code, and Cara Luft, and winning BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2012 (Best original song for Herring Girl) and 2014 (Folk singer of the year).

WEBSITE | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

Pete Judge

Pete Judge

Pete Judge plays trumpet with BBC Jazz Award winners Get The Blessing, multi-instrumental chamber folk trio Three Cane Whale, world brass quintet Dakhla, and in experimental jazz/electronic duo Eyebrow.

“The excellent Pete Judge sounds somewhere between the late Don Cherry and the UK’s Harry Beckett” (John Fordham, The Guardian)

On top of this, his tour and session work includes: Super Furry Animals, Noel Gallagher, Jim Moray, John Parish, and Marc Gauvin, and he can be heard on film soundtracks including Nic Roeg’s Sound On Film, Austin Chick’s XX/XY, and Aardman Animations’ The Pirates!, and makes a very brief appearance in Joe Wright’s recent Anna Karenina. He has performed with Kneehigh Theatre Company in three shows, and composed scores for Travelling Light Theatre Company and Tobacco Factory Theatre. He has also composed music for film & live ensemble projects for Shetland Arts Trust, Portland Royal Manor Theatre, Gloucester Royal Hospital, Bristol’s Brunel 200 (the Triangulation project), and Aberystwyth Silver Band.

“Pete Judge is truly magical. The epitome of cool, finely timed musical restraint” (Venue)

SOUNDCLOUD | THREE CANE WHALE | GET THE BLESSING | EYEBROW | DAKHLA

Cosmo Sheldrake

Cosmo Sheldrake

Multi-instrumentalist musician, composer and producer Cosmo performs on banjo, loop station, keyboards, double bass, drums, penny whistle, sousaphone, accordion and many more. He is an inspirational singer and improviser, and much of his work is concerned with play, nonsense and the sonorous environment.

“He perceives the daily world around him… definitely with a child-like curiosity and wonder but also with a fair measure of genius.” – The Guardian

Cosmo composes music for film and theatre and tours internationally, performing solo and with several bands including Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit and the Gentle Mystics. He ran a community choir until 2013, teaches in schools and privately and has facilitated music workshops and youth empowerment and nature awareness camps across Europe and North America.

He performed at a TEDx event in 2013 and spent time in New York, where he studied vocal improvisation with the legendary Bobby Mcferrin. 2013 also saw Cosmo compose music for a series of Beckett plays for the Young Vic in London as well as curating music for children’s hospitals and hospices.

In 2014, Cosmo released his debut single ‘The Moss’ on Transgressive Records which picked up support from the likes of Radio 1, NME and The Guardian as well as reaching #1 on the Hype Machine chart.

“If his past is anything to go by, Sheldrake’s future is set to be unique.” – The Telegraph

2015 began with a short sold out UK and European tour followed swiftly by his debut EP ‘Pelicans We’ which featured his second single ‘Rich’. Already a well-known Sheldrake number, ‘Rich’ features collaborator Anndreyah Vargas and is mixed by Mark Ronson’s right hand man and 2013 recording engineer of the year – alalal (aka Al O’Connell). Following further touring (including shows in Japan and the US) Cosmo is now working on his debut record which is expected this year.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

Liam Byrne

Liam Byrne

Liam Byrne divides his time between playing very old and very new music on the viol. He has been praised in The Times for his “nuanced and expressive, stylish virtuosity” and by The Guardian for his “glittering performance”. With the firm belief that baroque music can be vibrant and expressive on its own terms, Liam’s solo work regularly explores lesser-known corners of 16th and 17th century repertoire. He has recently had new works written for him by Donnacha Dennehy, David Lang, Edmund Finnis, Nico Muhly, Valgeir Sigurðsson and others.

As a chamber musician, Liam has performed and recorded with many leading Early Music ensembles. For several years he was a member of the renowned viol consort Fretwork, with whom he toured internationally and played an active role in commissioning new works.

Beyond the realm of early music, Liam has worked with a wide variety of artists including Damon Albarn, Nils Frahm, Matthew Herbert, Valgeir Sigurðsson, Bryce Dessner (The National), Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire), Martin Parker, and Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond). He has contributed to the creation of several large-scale operatic works: Damon Albarn’s Dr Dee (2011-12), Shara Worden’s You Us We All (2013), and Valgeir Sigurðsson’s Wide Slumber (2014).

In April 2015, Liam became the first musician to be awarded a 6-month Artist Residency at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, in connection with the opening of their new Europe 1600-1815 galleries. Currently, Liam is professor of viola da gamba at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he also teaches Medieval and Renaissance Performance Practice and leads a viol consort.

WEBSITE

Tiff Wear

Tiff Wear

Tiff is a theatre maker and facilitator, exploring the non-verbal languages of space, rhythm and physicality. He facilitates nature based learning experiences for children and adults; volunteering as a trainer with the charity organisation Forest School Camps and curating an annual community gathering in the forest.

He was recently in South America working on a theatre project, and spent two weeks in the Brazilian Amazon living with an indigenous community. He is very interested in the role of ritual within community and what the Western world has to learn from indigenous cosmologies. 

James Edwards

James Edwards

James’ love for the natural world was kindled by making and sleeping in forest bivouacs as a Boy Scout. For more than a decade, he has balanced his career as an actor and musician with regular work for Wildlife Trust BCN (Beds, Cambs, Northants).

As a composer, he has created songs, scores and soundscapes for a wide variety of theatrical productions, many of them performed in the open air. He is a passionate believer in the importance of connecting with and deepening awareness of the natural world, and is still at his happiest traipsing around a woodland, whether in Cambridgeshire, Bavaria or Siberia!

Will Parsons

Will Parsons

Will is co-founder of the British Pilgrimage Trust, and has been pioneering new directions for British pilgrimage since 2004. Author and Wandering Minstrel, he has taken British pilgrimage from Radio 4 to BBC 1 to Vogue Magazine.

BPT WEBSITE | A WALK AROUND BRITAIN WEBSITE

Anna & Elizabeth

Anna & Elizabeth

Inspired by the richness and tradition of mountain music, Anna & Elizabeth gather songs and stories from archives and visits with elders. They bring these songs to life in performance with sparse, atmospheric arrangements using guitar, banjo, fiddle, and the uncanny blend of their voices in close harmony. Anna & Elizabeth accompany their songs with stories — of the lyrics, of the singer, of the quest to learn the song—and they illustrate them in mesmerizing fashion. The two revive the old scrolling picture show, dubbed “crankies”—intricate picture-scrolls illustrating the old songs they sing, which they create in tandem with papercuts, shadow puppets, prints, and embroidered fabric.

“If you've never thought your tastes would lean to mountain music, take a deep breath and soak it all in." - NPR Music

Anna & Elizabeth met in 2011, and their work has brought them to stages across the world, including the Atlanta Museum of Modern Art; folk festivals in Brooklyn, the Yukon, Chicago, Maine, and Uzbekistan; residencies at universities; summer traditional music schools; and small theaters and folk clubs across the U.S. and U.K. Their second album, which features Grammy nominee and legendary folk singer Alice Gerrard, was released March 2015 on Free Dirt Records. It has been featured on Vice’s Noisey, the Huffington Post, No Depression, and NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Concert series.

This winter, Anna & Elizabeth are beginning a new cycle of work, inspired by ballad singers of the 1930s and 1940s in Vermont and Virginia—the states where they grew up. Spending time in archives, with the families of these singers, and with a director, Anna & Elizabeth will explore connections between place and tradition to develop a new show, a new set of crankies, and a new album inspired by these ballads.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER

Corin Stuart

Corin Stuart

Corin is a biologist, actor and storyteller. Growing up in East Sussex he has always had a fascination with wildlife and is a particular expert on trees, having worked as a teacher and workshop leader for the urban regeneration charity "Trees for Cities”.

He has hosted events and workshops for many years, often in the persona of the embattled Basil Fawlty. However, for this event he is hoping to keep his cool and offer you a quiet and warm welcome to Sussex and the natural history of the Nightingale.

FACEBOOK | TWITTER

Aidan O'Rourke

Aidan O'Rourke

Both a “dazzling fiddler” (Scotland on Sunday), and an “unfailingly strong and imaginative” composer (The List), Aidan O'Rourke stands at the centre of the modern Scottish folk music revival. Loved for his warm lyrical fiddle style and admired for his adventurous compositions, O'Rourke has emerged as one of Scotland's leading artists, defining a modern attitude to traditional music. In February 2014 he was named Musician of the Year at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.

Uniting all of O'Rourke's musical activity is his deep fascination with Scottish culture, landscape and territory. With an Irish ancestry, O'Rourke grew up in the highland port of Oban, his family settling later to the Island of Seil. His earliest years were coloured by the sound of Irish traditional music played in the home by his father, and he began formal training on the fiddle at the age of eight. Studying locally at first, he went on to absorb a range of different playing styles from various distinguished Highland teachers. Winning multiple prizes on the Scottish competition circuit, by the age of 14 he was touring the UK, Europe and North America.

O'Rourke is best known for his groundbreaking trio Lau, formed in 2005 with accordionist Martin Green and singer/guitarist Kris Drever. Releasing their debut album, Lightweights and Gentlemen, in 2007, Lau immediately captured the attention of a many thousands of music fans across a wide spectrum of genres, receiving a wide variety of media coverage. In the six years following, Lau have released two more highly acclaimed studio albums, two live albums and a series of collaborative EPs, with each new release gaining a wider audience for the band. Frequently garlanded with awards, Lau have been named as 'Best Group' in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards no fewer than four times since 2008, leading one journalist to stress that 'other groups were available!'

As a natural development of his life as a fiddler, O'Rourke has been writing tunes for many years. Embarking on more formal compositions, in 2011 he was named Composer of the Year at the Scots Trad Music Awards. Among a number of prestigious commissions have been pieces for Celtic Connections festival and the Sage Gateshead, as well as works for the Tolbooth in Stirling, Mull’s An Tobar arts centre, and acclaimed visual artists Dalziel and Scullion. He has recorded and released three solo albums, all widely hailed as records that stretch far beyond traditional melodies and tunes, into contemporary jazz, minimalism and the avant-garde.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER

Nessi Gomes

Nessi Gomes

Born on the tiny Island of Guernsey to a Portuguese family, British singer- songwriter Nessi Gomes channels influences from both sides of her ethnicity, blending the essence of the traditional, emotional and ‘larger than life’ Fado folk music with British contemporary inspiration.
 
Though spending most of her life in the Channel Islands, the turning point in Nessi’s musical expression took place six years ago when she lived in Central America. The years she spent away from her home shook her world and reshaped her writing. She shifted from the more obvious themes of love, loss and broken hearts to ruthlessly exploring her inner geography, insecurities, beauty and light that she found there. Her quirky and emotive voice began to reflect a brutally honest portrait of an inner world where shadows and hope, sanity and insanity dance magically together; where mysteries are unveiled.
 
In October 2013, Nessi returned to the west with her deeply personal raw material and with a vision to record her songs onto an album. The task to slow cook the project was given to the Grammy nominee producer and film maker Duncan Bridgeman (1 Giant Leap, Hecho En Mexico).  
Since then, over the last one and a half years, inside a rusty little blue boat on London’s Regents Canal, Nessi and Duncan recorded her debut album – Diamonds & Demons.  
Both of them locked themselves in the boat while giving the songs the time to ripen. Duncan worked with great patience; Slowly opening a creative tunnel into Nessi’s inner world and peeling back layers of doubts and resistance. He took her sweat, tears and raw talent and transformed them into a complete album.
  
The album reveals an authentic and heartfelt search for light, depth, hope and truth. It is a quest of art, love and trust.  A series of intricately detailed, hauntingly atmospheric and lushly textured avant-ballads.  It fulfils Nessi’s wish to deeply touch and shake the audience, to stir and shift something within them, to speak of the uncomfortable so that it may pass, and to expose and sing the human experience to its fullest expression.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER

Helen Chadwick

Helen Chadwick

A singer, songwriter, composer, performance creator and voice coach, with a background in theatre, Helen writes unaccompanied songs for voices and creates solo and group performances with Helen Chadwick Song Theatre.

Helen Chadwick has been commissioned to create song theatre performances for the Royal Opera House, English Touring Opera, Greenwich and Salisbury festivals, and has composed for the BBC, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre, where she is composing the songs for Light Shining In Buckinghamshire which opens in April.

She has recorded ten albums, including her latest House of Light. Helen is the founder with Thames Festival of the mass choir charity project Sing for Water. Helen Chadwick Song Theatre’s productions include:

War Correspondents - based on interviews with journalists working in conflict zones

White Suit - an outdoor show based on the testimony of a Colombian land mine survivor.

Helen also creates concerts and site-specific work and is touring a trio version of Dalston Songs, which was commissioned by the Royal Opera House. She has collaborated extensively with storytellers, including a performance on Aphrodite and the Gods of Love commissioned by the Getty Villa in Los Angeles. Her solo song theatre performances have toured in Europe and South America.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

Alice Zawadzki

Alice Zawadzki

Alice Zawadzki is a vocalist, violinist, songwriter and composer based in London. Her work as a performer, collaborator, composer and speaker, has seen her gain considerable repute as a distinctive and individual presence on the creative European music scene.

Anglo-Polish Alice’s rich musical background and “whimsical hyper-creativity” (MOJO Magazine) converge into artistry which draws upon her early exposure to New Orleans jazz and gospel with the legendary Lillian Boutté, and extensive classical training as a violinist, and a continuous exploration of improvisation, poetry, and folk music from diverse traditions.

“all propelled in a voice of velvet suppleness and gutsy emotional power” - The Arts Desk

She performs extensively as both a soloist and as a collaborator, with headline performances at most of the major UK alternative and jazz venues and festivals. She also performs and collaborates at underground venues in the London scene and on unexpected platforms, with a keenness to nourish music at its roots.

WEBSITE

Abraham Brody

Abraham Brody

‘..a fine musician […] vibrant colours with plenty of virtuosity [..]An unexpected and arresting experience.’- Michael Church, Review, the Independent, February 2015

Abraham Brody is an artist using music, performance, and video.

He is interested in pushing boundaries between performer and public, as well as the limits of our everyday awareness and consciousness into what he calls ‘spiritual consciousness.’
In order to bring this ‘spiritual consciousness’ into his works he often researches cultures which are still connected to their ancient roots such as Buryat Mongol Shamanism and the pagan traditions of Eastern Europe.

WEBSITE

Rituals and their potential to raise consciousness and deepen self identity are themes of great importance in his works. He often uses long in his performances to create a deeper connection between himself and his audience, allowing them to achieve a new level of focus and consciousness.

He also performs internationally as a violinist and singer, creating compositions based on folk music of his Lithuanian and Ukrainian roots. As a musician he has performed recently at Joe’s Pub at the public theatre in New York with Czech artist Iva Bittová, at Sziget Festival Budapest, Barbican Hall London, Ronnie Scotts Jazz club London, Royal Festival Hall London, Underdogs Gallery Lisbon, Kristupo Festival Vilnius, Boston Symphony Hall, and Prague Smetana Hall, among others.

Sam Lee

Sam Lee

Events with Sam

How many traditional English folk singers do you know who come from North London, studied at Chelsea School of Art, worked as a forager and wilderness expert while moonlighting as a burlesque dancer – until a chance encounter led to the door of the great Scottish Traveller singer Stanley Robertson, and an extraordinary four-year apprenticeship into the arcane, living world of traditional song that few outside the Traveller and Gypsy communities have ever experienced?

Since bursting on to the folk scene at the end of the Noughties, Mercury Prize nominee Sam Lee has blazed a trail as an outstanding singer and song collector. He’s also been the driving force behind the eclectic, award-winning folk club The Nest Collective,  founder of the vital Song Collectors’ Collective, and the originator of Singing With Nightingales.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | THE NEST COLLECTIVE | SONG COLLECTOR'S COLLECTIVE

Oli Langford

Oli Langford

Whether sharing the stage with Arthur Jeffes in Penguin Café Orchestra and the other half of Sundog, or backing artists as diverse as Depeche Mode and Diana Krall, Oli is a virtuosic violinist with a wealth of studio and live experience.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK

Preetha Narayanan

Preetha Narayanan

Preetha Narayanan is an accomplished violinist who has performed and led projects extensively around the world as a soloist, collaborator, and in bands such as Oi Va Voi and Shammi Pithia. Merging Western and Indian Classical training with a wide range of influences from her collaborations and research, Preetha is sought after for her distinctive voice and unique sound. She completed a Masters in Leadership at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London in 2010, where she is currently doing doctoral research.

Preetha has co-founded two ensembles: FLUX, a four-member band developing a reputation for multi-instrumental talent and energizing sound and Quest Ensemble, a contemporary classical trio whose original works seamlessly blend improvisation with devised composition. 

In addition to performance, members of Quest work together in London, the UK and abroad to lead projects in education and collaborate with artists of all mediums.

TWITTER | FLUX WEBSITE | QUEST ENSEMBLE WEBSITE