Wednesday 12 July 2017

Orpheus Caledonius on the road

In 2016, Žac Ozmo and L'Avventura London joined forces with Scottish folk-band the Old Blind Dogs and singer Siobhan Miller to perform songs from William Thomson's Orpheus Caledonius, the first collection of traditional Scottish songs to be published along with their melodies, in 1725 (see Hilary's review of their concert at Spitalfields Festival). Now the same forces are taking their performances on tour starting at the Petworth Festival on 14 July, with further performances at the Cheltenham Festival (15 July), Queen's Hall, Edinburgh (12 October), Brighton Early Music Festival (27 October).

Thomson's collection was created against the backdrop of the immense popularity of Scottish tunes in 18th century Britain, it became so successful that a second collection, featuring fifty more songs, was printed five years later.

The performances from Žac Ozmo, L'Avventura London, the Old Blind Dogs and Siobhan Miller mix baroque with folk elements to bring this 18th century experience to life, mixing popular ballads about war and love with lively toe-tapping dances. The wide range of musical instruments employed, offers a journey through the history of music, from bowed baroque strings, recorders, lutes, cittern, and baroque guitar, to pipes, whistles, fiddles, mandolin, acoustic guitar, and an array of percussion instruments.

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