Hello and a Merry May Day to all! Unfortunately I've had a monumental chest infection so the lovely people at Treadwells have moved the May Day gig to 12th May. So we'll get to 'Bring in The May' yet! My May Day was spent obtaining antibiotics and finishing mixes for the album.... yoiks.... and coughing. On the mend now though. Good news also was that the BBC Radio 2 Folk Show with Mark Radcliffe gave Hunt The Hare a spin on their programme tonight, what a nice surprise... You can listen again here for the next week. Merry May. Lx
Yes indeedy. My May EP (Hunt The Hare - Chapter 1) was made with grateful assistance from English Folk Dance and Song Society . At the same time I was appointed as a one of their Resident Artists and am proud to be so. EFDSS @ Cecil Sharp House in Camden run lots of folk related learning initiatives; classes for adults and children in music and dance; however, I want to particularly mention the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. Housed within Cecil Sharp House, many folk music fans, musicians, storytellers, designers, illustrators, artists, creatives generally etc know about this jewel already but if you're just interested in anything relating to folk song, dance, lore of Britain and elsewhere, you'll be well rewarded if you make a trip to this library, I reckon.
I adore this place and have spent many many afternoons rifling through its tons of books, pamphlets, manuscripts and listening to many many gems from the archive recording collection housed here. I've learnt heaps about folk music from going to some of the Folk Music in England evening courses taught by eminant folklorist extraordianaire Steve Roud.Find out more here http://efdss.org/front/About%20Us/about-us/21
¡!¡!¡!¡! Brand new EP release ¡!¡!¡!¡! ¡!¡!¡!¡! Brand new EP release ¡!¡!¡!¡! ¡!¡!¡!¡! Brand new EP release ¡!¡!¡!¡!
'Hunt The Hare~A Branch of May' is a limited edition, hand stamped on quality recycled card, numbered CD EP.
May 1st sees the release of a collection of songs, the first since 'Wild & Undaunted', which includes both traditional English folk songs and original pieces revolving around the idea and month of 'May'.
After touring and performing Wild I felt I wanted to develop some of my own song-writing and have been busy doing so during these last few years. Amongst them is the title track of this EP 'Hunt The Hare' which I wrote using a little lap harp I acquired a few years ago. I was delighted that Alasdair Roberts agreed to record this with me as I'm a huge admirer of his work. He contributes vocals and guitar and the track is produced by Gerry Diver.
I've also always been intrigued by traditional May songs, and indeed many fascinating 'May' traditions. As well as the now distant memories of Maypole dancing, May Queens etc as a child I became aware (largely due to the contents of the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library) of other fascinating traditions such as the Padstow Hobby Horse and the Helston Furry dance, both in Cornwall and Morris teams who dance at dawn on May 1st to 'Bring in the Summer'. Also, many many folksong tales are set in the 'month of may' which although may be for arbitrary reasons all lend themselves to some interesting explorations of May as a theme.
So in looking for a 'b' side to present Hunt The Hare with I thought a traditional May song would be great, however, 1 thing lead to another and I couldn't leave it at that. I feel there's much more to explore to explore.
Hunt The Hare ~ A Branch of May by Lisa Knapp
I've just had the best morning. As I was walking to work past a local church I noticed they were ringing their bells. Being, as usual, rather intoxicated at the sound of bells I thought I'd try and record them on my phone, as you do. I was walking towards the bell tower when someone came past me to go into the bell tower and politely asked what I was doing. I explained that I really love the sound of bells and wanted to record it and they said would I like to come up? So, I've just spent a lovely forty minutes, sat in the top of the bell tower, watching and listening to a lovely group of gentlefolk ring rounds and changes and patterns called things like 'The Queen's' and the 'Cambridge something or other'. I hadn't realised how mathematical it all is… I feel a tune coming on in 'plain bob minor'. What brilliant fun!
Lisa Playing in Gerry Diver's "SPEECH PROJECT" Ensemble...
It's been a pleasure to have been in workshop and rehearsal for this project over the last year. I have been playing hammered dulcimer and violin and a vocal appearance of a sort ?? in one of the pieces live. It's a fantastic suite of music conceived and created by Gerry involving some luminous Irish Musicians such as Shane MacGowan, Christy Moore, Martin Hayes and more. We debuted Speech Project with specially commissioned visuals at Liverpool Irish Festival in November which was absolutely thrilling and a real pleasure.
To find out more about Gerry's SPEECH PROJECT go here.
The release date for the CD is 6th February 2012 on One Fine Day Records distributed by Proper Distribution.
Here is a list of SPEECH PROJECT tour dates for the New Year. Would be great to see you there.
2nd March, The Purcell Room @ Queen Elizabeth Hall, London
3rd March North Wall Arts Centre, Oxford
7th March The Junction, Cambridge
8th March The Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal
9th March, Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury
16th March The Met, Bury
17th March MAC, Birmingham
18th March The Sage, Gateshead
24th March Howard Assembly Room @ Opera North, Leeds