All posts by Quentin Budworth

Lens Based Artist and Musician

I’m on The BBC Music Introducing Mixtape with Tom Robinson with Agent Starling

Here’s what BBC 6 Radio presenter Tom Robinson had to say about the Agent Starling track European Howl.

‘Now in all the years since this podcast started I don’t think we’ve ever knowingly featured a hurdy-gurdy but there’s a first time for everything thanks to Agent Starling.’

BBC Music Introducing Mixtape – The BBC Music Introducing Mixtape with Tom Robinson – BBC Sounds

Scandinavian Folk Ornamentation

COMMON & TRADITIONAL ORNAMENTS – trills including trill-from-down and mordents – unison including “norwegian trill” aka unison+trill – drones (tune : ‘Herr Olóf’ from Sweden) – changing drone on a scale aka simple double-stops (mostly Värmlands polska & Røros pols) – dajstråk (tune : ‘Flödens död’ polska efter August Bohlin) MODERN & “COOL” ORNAMENTS – slide (up or down) – chop (tune : Halling etter Hilmar Alexandersen) (check the masters : Casey Driessen, Darol Anger, Rushad Eggleston) SELDOM OR SPECIFIC ORNAMENTS – long trills (mostly in Siljan region in Dalarna, Sweden) – rolls – vibrato

Agent Starling New release

DHM RECORD LABEL RADIO PRESS RELEASE                                        For immediate release

Agent Starling release European Howl

Agent Starling’s debut album, European Howl releases on all the usual digital outlets on May 4th, 2021. The ten-track album is full of catchy hurdy-gurdy tunes, new songs, hypnotic drones, live bass grooves & strings, all with an experimental edge.

Agent Starling are Quentin Budworth hurdy-gurdy and Lou Loudhailer voices & other instruments. Recorded in the first three months of 2021, European Howl also features Dexter Duffy-Howard on violin and cello. Recorded in Yorkshire UK by Agent Starling, the album was mastered in Oregon by Kevin Carafa.

The album is influenced by musical traditions from nations across Europe. A mix of instrumental pieces, spoken word and songs, themes range from a miscellany of Greek Tales (Wine Dark Sea), an elegy by a dying lover (Requiem) to Helicopter Arms, inspired by the glorious gurdy tune at the heart of the song. Delores County Ride is a tribute to the women who hop trains in Arno Bitschy’s film This Train I Ride, and the album’s title track is an ode to being European, a call for connection in today’s isolationist climate.

Quentin and Lou both have strong musical provenance. Lou was originally in prophetic UK Indie band Red Guitars and has gigged and recorded ever since, heading up psychedelic rock band Loudhailer Electric Company. Originally part of Suns of Arqa, Quentin is the force behind world fusion medieval rave band Celtarabia, also featuring Lou on bass. He spent the year before lockdown touring Europe meeting with other top hurdy-gurdy players exchanging tunes, techniques and experiences. The band usually play the alternative festival circuit throughout the summer, but due to lockdown restrictions on live music, Lou and Quentin joined forces to create Agent Starling and record European Howl.

European Howl releases on all the usual digital outlets on May 4th, 2021 on the DHM record label, catalogue number DHM028, distributed by Label Worx.

Pre-release available from Bandcamp now:

You can see videos of the album preview tracks here: Agent Starling Video Playlist

Agent Starling contact info:



Twitter: @AgentStarlingUK

Great response to Agent Starling’s preview tracks:

“This is wonderful. It has a feeling of antiquity and a feeling of something new. The music is a blast and the images are a constant wow.” Dan Kellaway (Luthier)

“Great video and what a wonderful, unusual sound.” Aine Kennedy

“Beautiful in every way. The music, the playing and the photography are all amazing.” Richard Harries

“Love this stuff soul-moving.” Kelvin Richmond

“This is wonderful. Love the fluid bass figures.” Landi Michaels

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Lovely to get this through on the Agent Starling email this morning:

‘Thank you so much for your submission to A Song for Us music map.

‘What a great song’.
Maija Handover – Sound UK – Extraordinary musical encounters

We’re helping to create a music map at

here’s the link to our song…/european-howl-by-agent-starling/

@sounduk2015 #ASongforUs#Agentstarling#hurdygurdy

I came across this seriously cool no cold!

Terje Isungset is one of Europe’s most accomplished and innovative percussionists. With over two decades experience in jazz and Scandinavian music he is taking these types of music far beyond their traditional boundaries, becoming more like a cross between a sound artist and a shaman. Crafting his own instruments from Norwegian natural elements such as arctic birch, granite, slate, sheep bells and even ice, he is highly recommended to those sensible to the poetry and simplicity of sounds. “Timbres” and “colours” are central in Terje Isungsets music and compositions. In the press, his work has often been described as innovative, visual, energetic, and different from any previously known concepts. Isungset has also been commissioned to compose music for Jazz Festivals, Dance Performances, Theatre, Film, etc. (40 commissed concerts) His composition efforts have also brought nine critically acclaimed solo CD`s.

Find out more here Terje Isungset | Musician & composer