The lost pre-modern styles and idioms of Northern Europe, re-imagined through the arts of memorisation and improvisation.
I delight in ancient oral tradition music: the music and performance arts which were the norm thousands of years ago, and which survive as fragmentary traces into the modern world.
Music archaeology, not so much in the sense of digging up and reassembling broken bone flutes, but of unearthing the traces of ancient style and idiom that have been preserved underground in the carrying stream of the living tradition. The intertwined connections between vocal music, poetry, and instrumental music are especially important and rewarding here.
This is visceral, human music, speaking in old native tongues and engaging ancestral identities. It can move quickly and impetuously in improvisatory bursts, or it can unfold slowly and incrementally over long meditative spaces. This is the soundworld equivalent of the Book of Kells.
Simon Chadwick, St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland. Return to Index page.