We had a good turnout at the meeting, to which we welcomed two visitors – Yasuhiro from Japan, and Kyrre Slind from Norway.
David Bateman told us about a part-built Harwood and Isaacs lute kit that he came by. He finished the job with some refinements of his own and showed us the resulting lute which works beautifully. He was encouraged to perform on it at a future meeting.
Dorothee passed her Martin de Witte lute to Rob, who played a Scottish piece on it. Dorothee, new to lute, managed a few notes before nerves got the better of her. We have all been there, Dorothee! Hang in there. Keep at it. What you did play sounded beautiful.
Eric Thomas, fresh back from studying with Paul O’Dette in Urbino, played Dowland Fantasia 1a beautifully and with lots of graces, on his 7-course Barber and Harris lute. It’s such a difficult piece to play well on the lute, but Eric showed us he was on top of it.
Yasuhiro Nakashima played his own beautiful arrangement of a Scottish traditional piece, followed by a stunning fantasia from the Sienna manuscript, both on his 7-course lute. We were impressed with the tiny manuscriot book in which he writes his tablatures!
Philip Lord is making great progress with his new Michael Lowe 13 course baroque lute. He started with an anonymous gavotte from the Saizenay manuscript and followed with another anonymous piece in Miguel Yisrael’s baroque lute method. He is showing a great affinity with baroque lute music.
Rob MacKillop played his new guittar (Scottish/English wire-strung guitar) which is tuned in G. It was made for him by Paul Doyle in Galway. He played two pieces from the Jean Kirkpatrick manuscript – some lovely variations in different time signatures on “The Lea Rigg” followed by an anonymous “Allegro” which was reminiscent of the music of Weiss.
Bill Samson played his own 7-course lute – The first piece, “Packington’s Pound” is often credited to Francis Cutting – the earliest important Elizabethan lutenist/composer – but being a ballad tune, it is probably just an arrangement of an anonymous piece. This was followed by the anonymous “Packington’s Galliard” and then by Cutting’s variations on Greensleeves – the earliest known intabulation of this piece.
Stuart McLuckie played his 8-course James Marriage lute – a lively gigue by John Blow, followed by a trickier piece called “La Bressanina”. It’s good to hear Stuart play – he always brings a lively voice to proceedings.
Chris Jupp borrowed Stuart’s lute to play the dark-sounding “Mr Dowland’s Midnight” and the soothing “Orlando Sleepeth”. The subject matter could have sent the audience to sleep! But the next performer, visitor Kyrre Slind roused us with a very rhythmical piece from Attaignant called “Haulberroys” on his 8-course Venere replica by Barber and Harris.
It is always wonderful to have visitors, especially from far-flung places, and few places are as far flung to a Scotsman as Japan! I hope we haven’t seen the last of both today’s visitors.
Thanks again to Chris Elmes for the use of his venue.