"In Nottamun Town..."
An evocative program of ancient songs from the British Isles, including ballads, storytelling, and virtuosic instrumental solos.
Be ready for merriment, humor, love, and tragedy! Brian Kay's newest program features music and songs surrounding some of Britains most famous stories and people of old. King Arthur, Robin Hood, Henry VIII, and William Shakespeare all play a role in Nottamun Town...
You will experience King Arthur and Robin Hood themed songs, music from Henry VIII's very own manuscript, and some of the original music from the plays of Shakespeare. Beautiful Irish and Welsh ballads are also featured throughout the performance. Whether you like early music, theater, love songs, or lute solos, this program has something for you to enjoy.
Medieval and Renaissance Lutes, Lyre, Harp, Guitar, Pipe & Tabor
Excerpt: Nottamun Town
Music from the plays of William Shakespeare.
-What did the music sound like in Shakespeare's plays?
-What instruments would have been used on the stage?
-What did Shakespearean dialect originally sound like?
Each of these questions approaches a deeper understanding of 17th century English theater, and specifically, the works of William Shakespeare. The information yielded from these studies has been used to create a holistic representation of the music Shakespeare would have heard in his lifetime, even in his own original productions! A closer look at the sources from this time reveals that there were essentially two types of songs...more
Excerpt: O Mistress Mine
Ziryab: Rose of Roses
Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and Medieval music from the three faiths - Islam, Judaism, and Christianity - and the uniquely Spanish and South American music born from these styles.
Ziryab was an African slave troubadour in 9th century Baghdad. As the story goes; the Kalif of Baghdad suffered from insomnia and he would have his favorite oud player, Ibrahim Mouseli, play for him at night until the Kalif eventually fell asleep. One evening the Kalif requested Mouseli but he was not available, so one of Mouseli’s students, a young man of 17 called Ziryab (Blackbird), played for the Kalif instead. The Kalif was transported and he called for Ziryab night after night. But Mouseli threatened his student that he would be a dead man if he didn’t leave Baghdad...more...
Folk and Art song from England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales accompanied on Medieval and Renaissance lutes and harps.
We generally think of art song and folk song as independent musical styles performed by different people, but a closer look at the history of these styles shows that they have been shared and utilized by the same people for centuries. Art song was a highly intellectualized music composed and performed for Kings, Queens, and other members of the aristocracy in Medieval and Renaissance Europe. Folk songs were the songs of the common man, passed down through the centuries orally, like stories of long ago - subject to change with every generation of storyteller. Every so often, a folk tune would find its way to the ear of a court composer...more
Excerpt: Bryd One Breere
Out Of The Mist
A duo program featuring early Medieval music and songs from the British Isles and Scandinavia.
The early medieval music of the British Isles is shrouded in the proverbial mists of time. More deeply, even, than the music of Western Europe. This is due in part to the cultural and linguistic upheaval of the Norman Conquest of 1066, and the widespread destruction of artifacts wreaked during the Suppression of the Monasteries of 1536-1541. Medieval Britain was a cultural and linguistic crossroads, where the Norse of the Danelaw and the Anglo-Saxon of Wessex, Mercia, and Northumberland coexisted with the Venerable Bede's Latin, and all three blended with Norman French to create Middle English. This program brings together music from a variety of sources to tell the story of this tumultuous world. The earliest known poem in the Anglo-Saxon language, a song attributed to the legendary Viking king Ragnar Loðbrok, music from the medieval cathedrals of Dublin and Glasgow, polyphony from Orkney Islands, and one of the first Middle English love songs.
Peter Walker - baritone, Kravik lyre,
medieval harp, kantele, bagpipes
Brian Kay - tenor, Sutton Hoo lyre, medieval lute, pipe, tabor
Programs for Kids!
Brian is now offering mini-concerts and interactive theatre presentations for elementary, middle school, and high school, as well as camps and workshops.
Brian Kay is a modern-day troubadour. That means he is a singer, musician, actor and storyteller!
His programs for kids include music, storytelling, acting and interacting. The audience will learn all about an important historical figure, character, or fairytale through music, and will hear some of the most ancient instruments in the world.
These interactive shows range from 20-30 minutes and can be made longer or shorter depending on demands.
Brian is currently offering the following Kids Concerts:
-The Emporor's New Clothes
-Ancient Bards, Minstrels, and Troubadours