Folk, Mini-Operas, Cries of London
I had a lovely day trying out something new with young musicians from the RNIB; I often don my folk hat as a performer these days, but haven’t really led workshops using much traditional music, so this was the perfect opportunity to get stuck into some fresh songs and approaches. We co-arranged a beautiful vocal version of The Unthanks’ Newcastle Lullaby (I insisted upon pronouncing this in the Northumbrian fashion, naturally…) and then worked on arranging Jamie Woon’s take on Wayfarin’ Stranger. This was transformed from Jamie’s own loop vocal arrangement into a version for an ensemble including voices, percussion, recorders, flute, double bass, ‘cello and harpsichord. Brilliant! In the afternoon, the group divided up to have a go at arranging two London-based folk songs, and created wonderful fresh sounds including unusual seascapes for these traditional numbers. The performance to parents at the end of the day was great, and Sally from the RNIB said she would have thought it was being performed by adults if she was just listening. That’s good enough for me!
And here’s a version with added percussion to evoke church bells, footsteps, horses’ hooves and carriage wheels: