You’ll be tickled to know that Jack is putting back together the medieval music group called Danse Macabre that he had here well over twenty years ago. Of course, there’ll be new musos including my wife, Catherine, joining the players from the first version of the group.
Danse Macabre’s been looking for a hurdy-gurdy player for quite some time now, as Jack had no trouble finding violinists, bagpipers and just the right amount of percussion in the form of hand drums, but good hurdy-gurdy players are as rare as musicians willing to play all-night dances! So he cajoled Catherine into joining his group. Finch is playing English bagpipes, specifically Leicestershire smallpipes, as popularized by Julian Goodacre, Jack and Bela are the violinists, and one of my Several Annies, Justina, is skilled at hand drums, being a fan of Davy Cattanach, who played them with the Old Blind Dogs some twenty years ago.
It’s fun to watch them play as they’re trying to avoid the achingly dull manner in which most Medieval performance groups perform, as if they’re afraid the music community will disbar them for being innovative. Instead, they’re adapting the music to modern sensibilities, making it more fast-paced, more sprightly than it’s typically played. They’re more akin to the Penguin Cafe Orchestra and the Turtle Island Quartet.
Like Leaf & Tree, Catherine’s other Medieval music group, they’re planning on touring next Winter in Europe, preferably in January and February when I can take time off to travel with her. I’ll send you their press packet as soon as I’ve got it, as ideally they’d like to play several dates in Stockholm, and I know you’ve got the contacts to make it happen, having done it for Leaf & Tree.
I’ll see you in just a few days, and we’ll be staying in Stockholm for at least ten days. Your teaching is over now I believe, so it’ll be fun just to hang out. Catherine’s bringing her violin home and I’ve got my concertina as she wants to do some busking just for fun.