Our popular Hurdy-Gurdy Workshop Weekend is for players of all abilities. Early booking advised.
We welcome Spain’s finest exponent of the hurdy-gurdy (zanfona) – Germán Díaz– and the return of England’s most imaginative player of the instrument, Cliff Stapleton. Both experienced teachers, they understand the history of the instrument while taking it into new territory and often surprising directions through composition, improvisation and constant experiment. Claire Dugue, hurdy-gurdy maker and repairer of the highest quality and impeccable taste, will be there to help people get the most out of their instruments with tips for maintenance. Beginners are welcome. Mike Smith is on hand to help people who want to participate in the weekend but may not feel ready for masterclasses and technique workshops. You will need to supply your own instrument.
Germán was born in 1978 in Valladolid, Spain, where he studied classical guitar and classical philology at the University of Valladolid and postgraduate studies in cultural Tradition. He studied hurdy gurdy with the likes of Rafael Martin, Pascal Lefeuvre, Laurent Tixier, Isabelle Pignol, Gilles Chabenat, Nigel Eaton, Patrick Boufard, Laurence Bourdin, Valentin Clastrier, and many more.
He has performed all over the world (Colombia, Brazil, Algeria, Russia, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Morocco, Slovenia, Finland, Switzerland, Netherlands, Norway, Moldova, Ukraine ...) in prestigious venues and festivals such as the Theatre Royal in Marrakech and the Miró Foundation -Barcelona -...
Germán has collaborated with numerous groups of artists and interpreters including Rao Trio, Viellistic Orchestra, Wafir Shekeldin Gibril, Pascal Lefeuvre, Valentin Clastrier, Joaquín Saura, Medieval Urueña Quartet and many, many more.
Cliff Stapleton is a prolific composer of beautiful and hypnotic music created for the hurdy-gurdy. He performs both solo and in groups, for theatre and for film. His past work ranges widely from contributions to the powerful folk dance style of Blowzabella to the electronic other worldly landscapes of Coil. For over 13 years he has been a member of Cyclobe who have recently performed several haunting and hallucinatory concerts at the invitation of both Antony Hegarty and Brian Eno.
Cliff is moved to create tunes and trance-like sounds that are unique to this ancient instrument, the hurdy-gurdy, and which bleed mercurially into the realms of magical improvisation.
Cliff will guide you, in detail, through techniques of fingering and musical expression using three simple melodies which relate to drone, no drone and with trompette rhythm. His aim will be to create a strong collective sound from all players in the class and a communal feeling of “being in the zone”. An ability to read music will help but good ears and eyes are essential. Be prepared to “be open” and to learn and enjoy his method for it is designed to enhance your music whatever your playing style
Claire will host this fantastic weekend as well as being on hand to talk about set up and instrument making. Claire spent 5 years studying musical instrument making in London. Claire set up her workshop in Ramsgate, Kent, in 2001. She specialises in making fine, hand made hurdy-gurdies.
While taking inspiration form the past, Claire's style is very individual.Using modern technologies, her instruments are reliable, responsive and easy to play. Carrying on traditional craft techniques, her hurdy-gurdies have a modern yet timeless beauty.
ALSO (same time):
Jon Swayne Bagpipe Workshop Weekend 2016
For players of Jon Swayne border pipes and other compatible pipes in G.
Bagpipe maker and player Jon Swayne and bagpipe player Paul James have been playing pipes together all over the world for 36 years in the band Blowzabella. Jon will be tackling technique and teaching some fine English traditional tunes that work well on the pipes. Paul will be teaching techniques to help your bagpiping posture and relaxation while wringing a bit more emotion out of a tune through various fingering techniques. He will also be doing sessions for beginners who want to participate in the weekend without the pressure of being in a more advanced group. You will need to supply your own instrument.
Music is not available in advance because the weekend is about styles, approach to music and techniques and tutors often change some aspects of what they will do to suit the participants on the day. Where tunes are taught there will be music provided for those who want it - or you can play by ear if you prefer...