(Concerts, workshops, Sat & Sun)
Antón is one of Galicia’s top gaita players, who won some of the most important gaita competition prizes in the early stages of his career, which started in the seventies. He teaches gaita playing and very often joins with some of the best folk bands in Galicia to play in international festivals. He is always willing to research, to develop new techniques, and to improve existing knowledge.
Antón is also a skilled and highly respected gaita maker, having developed his professional skills at the workshop of Seivane.
He will be accompanied by Carlos Beceiro (bouzouki) and Raquel Fontes (galician percussion). They will be presenting their latest musical project and new CD
(Saturday concert, Sunday presentation)
Callum comes highly recommended by Julian Goodacre, among others, as an innovative piper whose questing approach to the hitherto unexplored acoustic possibilites of the smallpipe is taking the instrument into areas most of us have never encountered!
He is currently studying recorder and Early Music at Trinity Conservatoire of Music, London with Dan Laurin and Philip Thorby. He is an enthusiastic and accomplished bagpiper, having won solo piping competitions in Scotland and England and has just ventured onto the big screen appearing and playing in Steven Spielberg’s War Horse film. In October 2012 he was guest soloist of the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall. He plays regularly with the Royal British Legion Brass Band and Godalming Brass Band.
With the help of pipe maker Julian Goodacre, Callum has begun to experiment with the capabilities of the Scottish Smallpipe. He has developed a chanter that can produce almost a three-octave range, and a drone system that can play in almost any key. He also plays a double chanter, which offers many possibilities and uses it as a polyphonic instrument as opposed to a louder version of the standard smallpipe. Callum is very passionate about composing for the bagpipe, and enjoys pushing the instrument to its limits. He is delighted to play at this year’s ‘Blowout’.
(Workshops, Sat & Sun, Saturday Concert with Jonny Dyer)
Vicki, second generation piper, is a leading exponent of the Scottish Smallpipes in England and has conducted major research into its teaching pedagogy, in 2007 creating her own Scottish smallpipe tutor book and CDrom. Vicki is half Swedish and teaches Swedish music around the country on nyckelharpa, English border pipes and also Swedish Säckpipa. www.swan-dyer.co.uk
Hérétique create fresh and innovative music based on traditional dance tunes and songs from all over Europe.
Michael Beeke(Bagpipes, recorder, percussion, vocals)
Michael is a European dance music specialist. He is an expert in early music studying in particular the development of bagpipe repertoire from the medieval period to its present day place in modern folk traditions. He was a member of the John Dipper Band and has worked with a huge variety of performers across the folk and early music worlds. He is currently developing his skills as a bagpipe maker.
(Button and Piano Accordions, Bandoneon, Vocals)
Murray has performed everywhere from Celtic Connections to The BBC Proms. He has played contemporary classical repertoire with some of the country’s leading orchestras and opera companies but his first love is traditional music.
A tutor on the “Folk degree”, he teaches regularly at UK accordion events and his DVD “Accordion: Mastering the Art” is available worldwide.
He has worked in bands with members of Sin-e, Uiscedwr, Flook and Adrian Edmonson’s Bad Shepherds.
(Hurdy gurdy, guitar, vocals).
Jon is renowned for his work with traditional English folk music. His debut solo album was released by Fellside Records to considerable acclaim and he has subsequently appeared as a guest musician on numerous CDs.
A resident at Ryburn folk club, Jon has worked in bands with artists such as Pete Coe, Chris Coe, Nic Jones, Paul Sartin, Keith Kendrick, John Spiers, Jon Boden and Benji Kirkpatrick.
Pete has played fiddle for dancing since the early 1970’s and various bagpipes since the 1980’s, when he became a (non-genetically linked) Goodacre Brother. Since moving to Scotland in 1992, he has written extensively on the Lowland Scottish bagpipe and its music and is editor of ‘Common Stock’, the journal of the Lowland and Border Pipers’ Society. An enthusiastic exponent of the music of the Scottish Lowland bagpipes, he has uncovered numerous previously unrecognised sources from the 16th and 17th centuries. He was awarded the Martin Lowe Trophy for his contribution to the performance of Lowland and Border music at the annual competition of the Society in 2012.
Tom works in museums, castles, churches and other historic places using his bagpipes to help interpret the past. He is intrigued by the history and folklore of bagpipes and particularly interested in medieval and renaissance music. Tom revived the Minstrels’ Court midsummer gathering in Chester in 2008, which has grown each year since. www.pilgrimsandposies.blogspot.com
Richard has worked freelance in schools, museums and heritage sites since 1992, mixing music, drama, dance and story both in workshops and performance, as a way of teaching history of various periods. Bagpiping figures regularly in this work, along with many other instruments.
Having worked with Tom Hughes many times in recent years, Richard is delighted to have been involved with Tom’s recreation of the Minstrels’ Court. http://www.richard-york.co.uk/
‘They’re not supposed to do that!’ Exploring what the smallpipes can really do.
Callum will talk about his investigations into the further realms of the smallpipes.Prepare to be amazed!
“I will choose a tune for us to play together, it will be something simple – Muiñeira do Chao [Galician tune composed by the most popular Galician bagpipe maker: Xosé Seivane]. I will play a gaita in G, so you can use your G bagpipes, it will be a good combination… I will think about something else apart from the Muiñeira do Chao.
The workshops will be interpretation skills classes, always working with tunes, not only with exercises. It’s more practical, when there isn’t much time, to work on specific tunes, and at the end of the class we’ll be able to play some Galician traditional tunes together .”
The art of the polska – workshops for G border-style pipes
These workshops are aimed at finding the feel for the different types of Swedish polska and taking the mystery out of the elusive second beat, building on Erik’s workshops last year.
Cliff returns to lead this year’s hurdy gurdy masterclass in the refectory.
Cliff is a veteran gurdy-player. An early member of Blowzabella, he has performed and recorded with The Drones, Sheila Chandra, Nigel Eaton, Primaeval and Angles. An experimentalist, he has worked extensively in theatre, plays in a free-jazz duo with saxophonist, Tim Hill, and is a member of the electro/industrial band, Cyclobe
Cliff will be exploring technique and repertoire, building on the strengths of those attending. Please note, this workshop is not for absolute beginners.
There will be number limits for these workshops, so please make sure you book a place, by ticking the box on the application form, and returning it asap. Important: admission is by season ticket only.
Medieval processional and Renaissance dance tune workshop for pipers and other musicians.
In these two workshops we shall be preparing music to play at the Blowout concert and, if you’re also able to be in Chester to play for the Minstrels’ Court the following week, so much the better.
We shall be be exploring how and why bagpipes were so important in medieval processions and working on learning an arrangement of ‘Dum Pater Familias’ from the 12th century Codex Calixtinus. We’ll be making sure we can play it without the dots so that we can walk in procession and pipe at the same time. The tunes will be suitable for G pipes, but in order to create an impression of a medieval massed band of minstrels we will be encouraging other musicians too, if the instrument is medieval in origin that’s great, but anything that can play a tune, drone or rhythm whilst walking will be great. We’ll also bring along plenty of percussion for people to use on the day.
We’ll then move on to the Renaissance and work on learning the Branle d’Ecosse from Arbeau’s Orchesographie of 1589, and then learn the accompanying dance steps so that we can pipe and dance at the same time. A challenge? Perhaps, but we’ll approach it in a relaxed way – after all we there to have fun! Musicians who want to just play the tune are very welcome, as are dancers without instruments. If time permits, we’ll also try the Branle Charlotte.
Music for the workshops can be downloaded here:
It will also provided on the day, in order to learn and then dispense with. Recordings of the tunes are available on SoundCloud for those who prefer to learn by ear.
Diggin’ the Dird – A new look at some [very] old dance music from the Scottish Lowlands
[You need three things to play for dancing – time, volume and dird’ Danny Rose, Orkney fiddler, 1928]
Scottish music underwent a dramatic change around the mid-18th century. In this workshop we will explore tunes from the extensive repertoire of dance music which survives in various much earlier sources, looking at the idea of ‘dird’ and what it can teach us about playing [and dancing] ‘hornpipes’ [especially three-time ones], ‘reels’ and ‘jigs’ in a very different way, as well as one or two surprising dance-types not usually associated with Scotland.
Music for bagpipes in A, D, or G, but all instruments welcome. Music available prior to Blowout for any participant who wants it.
By popular request, Pat will be leading us through some of the dances likely to feature in the Bal, plus something new, no doubt!
There will be a “drop in” session for any beginner pipers who would like some assistance with any aspect of their piping – you only have to ask…
Please note: The programme is subject to change and any updates, including a detailed timetable and music notation for the workshops will be posted on our website: www.bagpipesociety.org.uk
The following pipe makers will be exhibiting their wares and will be glad to help you draw up your wish list:
Whistle maker Phil Bleazy will also be in attendance.
This become quite a success and we have expanded our services, to include a small range of commercial recordings, mostly produced by BagSoc members (sold on commission only) and a selection of tune books. We will also provide a table for you to display any pipes you wish to sell. We will also continue with our CD swap shop – bring along your unwanted pipe CDs and swap them for someone else’s – small contribution to BagSoc funds invited.
Polesworth Priory has a beautiful setting among mature trees and the remains of a monastery by the river. We have unlimited access to the mediaeval church and vestry (services permitting) and we have hired the adjacent community centre from Friday pm to Sunday 6.00pm. This gives us plenty of space and facilities, which include a good number of toilets, warm dry rooms, a dance-sized hall with stage, kitchen and a bar with real ales ordered.
Camping at the Blowout will be in two main areas: inside the Priory’s secure and fully enclosed walled gardens and also the adjacent field, both of which are secluded and well away from public rights of way. There is unrestricted access to the modern toilet facilities throughout the night. Spaces are available on a first come basis.
Wash facilities are still limited to small hand basins, but hey – we’re all friends …
Polesworth is not a tourist area and accommodation is scarce. There is one hotel in the village and a B&B not too far away – contact me if you are considering either of these options. Tamworth is only a short drive away and can offer a wider range of accommodation.
Over the years, the smooth running of the festival has relied upon the hard work of a few totally unpaid volunteers who put in more time than they should. Please be prepared to lend a hand whenever you can, whether it involves collecting up empties, sweeping round, putting out or clearing chairs, wiping tables etc.
Please make our lives as stress free as possible by paying as early as you can. Cheque payment by post is preferred, but other arrangements can be made for visitors from overseas. For further information use the email address below
Vanessa (The Blowout’s official caterer) will again be providing all the meals for the weekend – quality, quantity and value for money (no price rise for the third successive year)! However, in order for this to work, it is vital that we all pitch in with setting out, clearing away and general all round helpfulness.
Please read: All meals must be booked and paid for in advance*. Kitchen facilities are tight and we have had to set an upper limit to the number of meals we can provide. The cut off date for meal bookings is Saturday 1st June. We cannot accept ANY orders for meals that arrive after this date. Please do not arrive and expect to buy meals over the counter!
*Visitors from overseas excepted – see Paying (above)
Fri 7th June
Vanessa’s vegetable special! Stew, mash plus pickled cabbage, onions and gherkins, yoghurt, fruit
Saturday 8th June
Big breakfast £3.50
Cereals, bacon & egg bap, tea, coffee, juice, toast, jam etc
Pasta Bakes, seasonal salads. Tiramisu, fruit
Evening meal £6.00
Big Vegetable Curry, dhal, raita, onion salad, chutneys, rice, lime pickles.
Fruit salad, mango couli, yoghurt
Sunday 9th June
Big breakfast £3.50
“Big Soup”, bread, salad. Cakes
Postal address: Polesworth Priory, High Street, Polesworth B78 1DU
Nearest Motorway Junction M42 Junction 10, take A5 (East) to Dordon, then follow signs to Polesworth. From Tamworth, take the B5000. At the mini roundabout in Polesworth turn left over the river then follow second paragraph below.
Directions from the A5 Grendon (near Tamworth). At the Black Swan Roundabout turn on to Spon Lane, which is the exit on the opposite side of the roundabout to the pub. At the end of the lane, turn left on to the B5000. On entering Polesworth, stay on the B5000. You will pass a Gulf garage on your right. Take the next right turn over the bridge, signed to Warton.
Turn right into the Community Hall, Library and Surgery car park. On arrival and before you set up/ pitch tents etc, please walk through the park to the church and make yourself known at the reception area, where you will be directed to the appropriate camping spot.
PARKING – IMPORTANT, PLEASE NOTE:
The driveway is now complete and is no longer a car park! It’s definitely a driveway.There are only a few spaces available for cars, quite close to the Church, but they are solely for disabled visitors to the site. There is no problem with the usual drop off and unload, either by the Refectory door or by the garage, which is probably an easy way into the garden. After drop off, re-park, either by the Memorial Hall or on the College Car Park, which is the next entrance up from the Gatehouse, opposite the Co Op. Both are really convenient — within 100 metres of the Church.
We are getting an increasing number of caravans and camper vans and this is beginning to cause some space issues in the main car park round the community hall. Please seek me out before you park up, otherwise you may have to move later!
See you in June