Belinda Sykes & Joglaresa – Make We Mirthe

This was an evening with a difference!

Warmed by the presence of a near capacity audience including the Cockermouth Early Music group, the five musicians proceeded to give us a joyous view of medieval music, playing early instruments, gittern, castanets,dulcimer, bagpipes, tambourine, pipe, harp and singing along with them. The group’s instinct for ensemble work and clear sense of rhythm was there from the start and the general effect of music from a bygone age (much of which is still with us) wove a spell over the listeners who were caught up in the general feeling of brightness and beauty which emanated from the group. Belinda Sykes entertained the audience with knowledgeable and often humorousinformation before singing and playing, Angela Hicks’ pure voice produced some fine solomoments, Louise Duggan’s tambourine playingwas inspired, Lea Crowthorne’s castanets seemed to have a life of their own and his voiceadded some fine sound, and hearing May Robertson play the gittern certainly convinced us of her ability to play a stringed instrument, with power and beauty. It was a pleasure to see so many smiling facesamongst the audience, clearly indicating their approval of the proceedings. Does our DNA hold something of the rhythms of the past and respond to what we heard last night? I like to think it does!

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