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Why yet another blog?

October 14, 2010

This is the first installment of musings and random ruminations about our chosen music, how it affects our lives, how it appears to be received by the individuals who make up our listening audiences, and why we believe early music is not only relevant but offers a much-needed source of solace in these fractious times.

First, while what we perform surely lies center most in the expansive classification known as ‘early music’, we have consciously chosen to build our own bridge to the past, prioritizing discovery through our own research as a means to understanding the ephemeral lost sounds, and how making music was once integral to daily life.  Having had the happy circumstance of meeting while singing functional music – Gregorian chant and renaissance polyphony for a weekly Latin Mass – we take great stock in the practical aspects of performing under conditions that must have been similar to those experienced by our forebears 500 years ago.

That is not to say we eschew academic insights published by the many eminent specialists in our field on meaning, use, and performing practice of early music.  In fact, we probably spend far too much time keeping up with current research.  But we are preoccupied with understanding how the music sounded and was received in its own time, and how to bridge the aesthetic chasm that lies between then and now.

Another reason for the blog is to share some of the other aspects of our lives.  For instance, who knew that Donna is an award-winning photographer and gardener?  Or that Ron is a prize-winning fiddler?  We hope to share the occasional non-lute-related snippets from time to time.

The essays that will follow are not intended to poke sticks at established edifices and organizations, nor to imply that we are in possession of the true knowledge.  We are interested in sharing our insights on such matters as voice types and communication of text, the vital importance of pulse, audience reaction to melancholy music, the phenomenon of aural adjustment to quiet music, collective attention span, and just who needs our music anyway?  Tune in for the answer.

And by the way, tune in also to the syndicated radio program Millennium of Music with host Robert Aubry Davis.  Below is a link to a program first aired September 13, 2010 that features music from three of our CDs, now available for streaming (Thanks, Robert).

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  1. Joseph Mayes permalink

    Thank you both for your thoughtful writings – especially about voice production and recording techniques. Reading intelligent, insightful stuff goes a long way toward humanizing the early music scene.

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