Dates for the Diary

We have three concerts coming up over the next few months that may be of interest. Do join us if you can!

Thursday 16 November 7.00pm

Uckfield Music Club, Bridge Cottage, Uckfield, East Sussex

We will be examining Henry VIII as a musician and composer, discussing the musical education he received as demonstrated by the Henry VIII Book (Lbl. Add. MS 31.922), and his ability as a composer. The concert will feature works by Henry himself and other composers at his court. It will be preceded by a short AGM meeting of the Uckfield Music Club (non-members may enjoy refreshments during the meeting).

Thursday 21 December 1.10pm

St Matthew’s Church, Redhill, Surrey

A Christmas programme featuring medieval and renaissance carols from around Europe with instrumental accompaniment. From the sublime beauty of late medieval polyphony to the rumbustious yuletide carols of the fireside and tavern, the music reflects Christmas cheer from the four corners of the continent.

Sunday 3 March 2024, 3.00pm

Green Cottage, Crowborough, TN6 2DF

We are delighted to have been invited back to perform for Crowborough Arts. Their request was for a light, mainly secular programme featuring as many different instruments as possible: now there’s a challenge we couldn’t resist! The works will be drawn from across Europe, focussing particularly on music for dancing, feasting and entertaining.

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Medieval Music in the Dales 2023

Faronel at Bolton Castle

David and Michael will be performing at the Medieval Music in the Dales festival at Bolton Castle in Yorkshire in early September. See for more info on the concerts, workshops and talks that form this year’s programme.

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Crowborough Arts Concert

Sunday 28 May 3.00pm, Green Cottage, Crowborough, TN6 2DF

Our next concert for Crowborough Arts features music from the 12th to the 16th centuries reflecting themes that were important in medieval and renaissance everyday life, from love to war and devotion to dancing. We will also include a brief foray into the 1620s to honour the tercentenary of Thomas Weelkes with one of his more unusual works: The Ape, the Monkey and the Baboon. This reflects the popularity of these animals in Jacobean life (although, as you can find out, it wasn’t much fun being an ape in those days…).

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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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