Saturday, 20 September 2014

Early in the morning

Up at 4am this morning to travel out into the Black Mountains to put on an early morning event at the little medieval church of Partrishow (see the previous two blogs for more details and pictures). 

Although there was no sunrise at 7.30am, when the event started,  it was very atmospheric with the grey mists over the surrounding countryside and an army of bats flying around the church. 

We managed to get everything organised ready for the start ...

A very appreciative small and audience listened to the full fifty minutes. 

There were some lovely moments: birdsong as Chrissie Mavron played her solo outside in the church porch;

Ashley Long's closing double bass solo surrounded by the sound of the singing bowls in and outside the church: Michael McCartney magically prolonged ending to one of his solos leading to a long-held silence and Catherine Handley's beautifully poised flute solos (not easy in a cold early morning church). And then breakfast for everyone afterwards with Cathy Morris’s frittatas and my bara brith

Thanks to all the performers and to Cathy Morris, Alex Thacker and Maja Palser. On to the next stage! 

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Music at Partrishow

I've been at Partrishow Church in the Black Mountains today for rehearsals for a performance there on Saturday morning (20th September) ... at 7.30am.

The event is a pilot performance as part of the work I am doing on my Arts Council of Wales “Creative Wales” Award and about 35 minutes of music played by four instrumentalists: Catherine Handley (flute), Christiana Mavron (violin), Michael McCartney (guitar) and Ashley Long (bass). The performance uses many of the different spaces around the church. Here is Christiana Mavron playing her solo movement - in the porch to the building ... 

... and Michael and Catherine performing their duo at the west end of the church under the bells.

Here is the whole group in front of the extraordinary 15th century rood screen ...

... and viewed through the rood screen.

If you would like to come along, do drop me a line by going to the contact page on my website or to my usual email address. 

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Partrishow at Dawn

A very early start to visit the small medieval church of St Partishow in the Black Mountains at dawn for research as part of the Arts Council Creative Wales Award that I am currently working on. 

Partishow, or St Issui, stands on a hill amongst the mountains and has one of the most extraordinary oak rood screens that have survived. 

The simple whitewashed walls are also decorated with pre-Reformation paintings and at the west end is a closed off hermit’s cell and chapel.

Because it is surrounded by mountains and hills, dawn is about an half-an-hour later than normal.  Inside the church all is still quite dark and outside there is just a glimmer of dawn in the East.

Inside, everything is still quite dark.

Eventually the sun rises over the mountains and floods the valley surrounding the church with light.

I can now head home with notes on how to use the church at this time of morning for a performance – watch this space for more details …