Wine and early music…

Henners Vineyard, Herstmonceux, Saturday 18 June 7.00pm

We are delighted to be performing very close to home at an unusual wine-tasting event to herald the beginning of English Wine Week at the wonderful Henners vineyard in Herstmonceux in June. The evening will consist of a tasting session of the vineyard’s excellent wines complemented by medieval and renaissance music carefuly selected to reflect the history or character of each wine. The music will range from the court of Henry VIII, via the homeland of the wine god Bacchus himself, to the heartlands of Burgundy (home to the Chardonnay grape). Hosted by the vineyard’s resident wine expert and cellar door manager Rebecca Apley, the evening will be a celebration of the arts of the viticulturist and musician that will appeal to the palette, nose and ear alike!

Tickets and more details will appear on the Henners website.

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Behind the scenes with Alt J

Alt J’s album The Dream topped the UK album charts back in February. The opening track, Bane, featured David on crumhorn, rackett and medieval pipes. In this podcast, you can hear the group and producer Charlie Andrew explaining how the sounds of the instruments were incorporated into the track during the editing process.

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Faronel at the Uckfield Festival

St Margaret’s Church, Buxted, Saturday 16 July 5.00pm

On July 16 we will be contributing to a concert in memory of Martin Eastwood as part of the Uckfield Festival. We played with Martin and his wife Jane for many years in the ensemble Schola Noctis and have many happy memories of a fine musician and consummate gentleman. Martin is pictured second left below – back in the days when we did costumed gigs!

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Faronel at the Mayfield Festival

Saturday 23 April 2022

On Saturday 23 April you can hear us playing music from the time of Shakespeare as part of the ‘Sonnet Saunter’ event for the Mayfield Festival run by the Wateryard Group. You can enjoy an hour’s walk around the village punctuated by actors reading sonnets by the bard at intervals around the route, and then enjoy some Tudor music whilst you partake of refreshments. Tickets can be purchased here and you can find out more about the festival here.

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St Matthew’s Church, Redhill, Surrey

17 February 1.10pm

We are pleased to be returning to Redhill to participate in the lunchtime concert series at St Matthew’s church. Our programme will present vocal and instrumental music that reflects various aspects of medieval and renaissance life such as war and conflict, prayer and devotion, love and courtship, feasting and dancing.

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Crumhorns and ∆ …!

David was in the studio recently recording with indie band Alt-J for their forthcoming album The Dream, which will include some of Faronel’s bagpipes, crumhorns, cornamusen and racketts. The recording was done in an appropriately medieval setting – the great hall of the 15th century Papermill near Benenden.

The album will be released on 11 February 2022.

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Gin & Topic

The combination of gin and early music being a particularly pleasurable one, David was delighted to be invited to take part in the podcast series Gin & Topic recently. His tipple of choice was Anno’s Extreme 95 – the world’s strongest gin! David talked to hosts Sarah and Áine about medieval and renaissance music and demonstrated some instruments for them. You can hear the results from April 9th here.

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Medieval Music in the Dales

Faronel will be on the virtual stage of the online Medieval Music in the Dales Festival on 20th March at about 7.25pm. We will be performing two songs by St Godric of Finchale, and the virelai Par maintes foys by Jehan Vaillant. You can hear our contribution (starting at 06.11) at

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Return to Clayton

St John the Baptist, Clayton, West Sussex, 7.30pm, 22 June 2019
Tickets £10, available on the door

We’re looking forward to our visit to the beautiful church of St John the Baptist in Clayton, West Sussex on 22 June 2019. We performed there in 2017 when we presented a programme exploring the beautiful wall paintings. This year we will be exploring the 14th and 15th centuries in the first half of the concert and then looking at music from the last two Tudor courts in the second half.

We are including some intriguing English songs from the 14th century and a selection of pieces from the Libre vermell, a famous collection of music for pilgrimage

As usual we will be playing instruments that are appropriate to the music of each period, including harp, psaltery, bagpipes, symphonie, rebec, medieval fiddle, recorders, crumhorns and racketts.

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A Medieval Day in Hawkhurst

On March 1st we took part in a Medieval Day held at Saint Ronan’s School in Hawkhurst, Kent, where David is Director of Music. The children participated in workshops in music, history, English and much else throughout the day, and we also contributed a medieval dimension to the Friday evening chapel service in conjunction with the chapel choir. The revels rounded off with a medieval banquet at which we provided a musical backdrop to the feasting, drinking and good companye!

As an example of what can be achieved in a school workshop, here is a group of 10 and 11 year olds who learned to play Les Bouffons in their session. Not bad for 30 minutes’ work!

Although we don’t wear period fancy dress for concerts, we made an exception for the banquet, and were delighted to welcome Debbie Katis, Saint Ronan’s music administrator, to boost the percussion!

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