Tag Archives: new music for hurdy-gurdy

2020

This is a tune I found on the Hurdy-gurdy after studying Scandinavian folk music with a number of teachers during my Arts Council funded DYCP (Develop Your Creative Practice) year. It was written in D harmonic minor and has an ABAB structure it is written to be played for dancing and in folk sessions. When I was studying the Scandinavian music, I found it to be quite melancholy and reflective in character so I wrote this tune as an up-tempo response to that.
It’s a Slängpolska a type of walking freeform dance in 3 time very popular in Sweden. It’s definitely a party tune, a smile in a sea of sadness. In a way it’s my two fingered salute to a year that is still trying to get its act together. I have a feeling that this tune will be popular with younger players, dancers and festival audiences when the time comes for playing it out.
The tune is inspired by the playing of leading Scandinavian Hurdy-Gurdy players Nicholas Koch Simms, Johannes Geworkian Hellman and Anders Norudde from the legendary Swedish Band Hedningarna.
I premiered the piece to an audience of 5000+ Hurdy-Gurdy players on the Hurdy-gurdy Community Facebook page. What larks!

Rioja for Ena

Here’s a tune I wrote for my mum it’s a waltz for Ena she’s in her 80’s and now lives in a care home in Huntingdon as she has complex medical needs. Her separation from my father was hard to witness after 50 years of marriage they were inseparable and love each other deeply. When my father could no longer look after her, he visited her every day until Lockdown in March.

In May my mother was diagnosed with Corona Virus and we got the call from the care home it doesn’t look like she’s going to make it she’s not talking and having trouble breathing. My brother called and asked what should do? We started talking about mum and I asked him what would she really like and he said Rioja later on that day armed with a bottle of Rioja my brother donned the full PPE required to enter the care home. My mother was asleep so he left the wine by the bed with her favourite chocolates for good measure.

We got a call from the care home the following evening she’s awake, her breathing is much easier she’s smiling and laughing and drinking the Rioja and enjoying the chocolates,

A testament to the miraculous restorative powers of Rioja and the fortitude of my mother.