SongsMy interest in English traditional music is informed not only by listening to source singers but also by research into the literature and recordings of collectors such as Cecil Sharp, whose widespread collection included many beautiful songs from the two sisters, Louie Hooper & Lucy White, from Hambridge. Here is my interpretation of a verse of one of their most poignant songs, No, my love, not I (MP3) in a version from a track of the album Sharp Practice on the Wild Goose Label.
Maud Karpeles, W.Percy Merrick, Percy Grainger and Kenneth Peacock from Newfoundland are more of my great favourites on the collectors lists.
More recently I have been involved with deciphering manuscripts of Ralph Vaughan Williams who visited Meldreth, Cambridgeshire for the summers of 1906 and 1907. He visited many of the surrounding villages and collected songs from local inhabitants. Most of the songs on the CD Cold Fen consist of arrangements of these songs. I have also resurrected songs from the village of Cottenham in Cambridge which were collected by Ella Bull from Charlotte Dann (nee Few) who worked as a servant for the family when Ella was a little girl. Several of these can be found on the CD Fenlandia . Many of the songs I have researched are now available in my new book Folksongs collected in Cambridgeshire, published by Hedingham Fair. A little of this work has been published, in collaboration with Derek Schofield in English Dance & Song, the magazine of the EFDSS. in EDS Summer 2006 I am currently working on more of RVW's songs collected in East Anglia, along with others from George Butterworth (killed on August 5th 1916 at the Battle of the Somme.)
Having been born and educated in Wales prior to moving to England,I have a number of Welsh language songs (some with choruses!) in my repertoire. Ar fore dydd nadolig (MP3) is a performance of a mediaeval Welsh Christmas carol at the Ryburn Three Step Folk Club in December 2000. (bagpipe drone courtesy of Steve Harrison) with the audience joining in with a certain amount of hilarity and great enthusiasm.