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Sophia Brumfitt News

Renaissance Unchained and other news

The last year has been a year of great achievements. While not doing as much singing as I would have liked, I have completed my Masters in Musicology from Royal Holloway University of London. Writing my thesis on Troubadour and Trouvère songs in early medieval manuscripts took up the majority of my summer, alongside settling into a new home and being adopted by a family of stray cats!

The most notable performance project was creating a performance for a BBC4 documentary, produced and presented by Waldemar Januszczak. 

Renaissance Unchained

2016 saw the airing of music arranged and performed by Sophia, featured within the BBC4 series ‘Renaissance Unchained’. Waldemar Janusczcak heard her singing in a local church, employing her on the spot as the ideal performer to illustrate the power of text and ‘the heavenly in music’. 
Performers
Anne Allen
Sophia Brumfitt
Jennie Cassidy
David Hatcher
Kate Hawnt

London Audience

Concerts with Mediva this weekend!

Friday 27th June 1pm
voluntary donation
St Mary at Hill, Lovat Lane, London

Friday 27th June 7.30pm 
tickets on the door £12 (£8 concs)
St. Anne’s, Highgate, N6 6AP 

Ann Allen- Director- shawms & recorders
Corina Marti- recorders
David Hatcher- fiddle recorders & shawm
Tim Garside- percussion
Sophia Brumfitt- voice

So many people have asked when I will be doing a concert near to home, and I rarely have any news of anything around London.  I think some of my non-music friends are beginning to suspect that I'm not an active musician at all!  So I'm delighted that Mediva will be doing a lunchtime concert in the City on Friday, and an evening concert at St. Anne’s Church, Highgate.  

Mediva don’t do many concerts in the UK, since the director Ann Allen and many of her musicians live between Basel and Paris.  It is a joy to play music with her and the friends and musicians she draws together,- the music is always bright and imaginatively crafted, but always informed and respectful of the enormous heritage this ancient music carries. I can’t wait to meet up with them tomorrow for rehearsals and catching up.  The weather seems made for bright, brisk music making.

Give your ears a treat! The sweet sound of English 14th and 15th century music- was known as ‘Contenance Angloise’- a style admired throughout Europe for its rich textures and harmonies. Come and enjoy upbeat dances and some of the sweetest hymns to the Virgin Mary ever written.

Getting moving

A very heartening couple of months! sparked off by a visit to London from my good friend Moira Smiley!  She had come to the UK from California to perform at Celtic Connections, but came to London for a couple of days to make a house concert, and to join a group of wonderful singers in her ‘Song Structures’.  Nine of us met together in Stoke Newington and spent an inspiring lunchtime and afternoon sharing food and singing, improvising, listening and making friends- and that same evening dashed to Broadcasting House to record a 25 minute slot for Sara Mohr-Peitsch’ Radio 3 show ‘The Choir’!

 

Moira’s concert the next day, courtesy of the wonderful Vivien Ellis, was again, a musical joy, and a creative springboard for me.  Moira’s knowledge of traditional musics and vocal knowledge, combines easily with her intuitive creativity, and sense of herself.  It left me reflecting on this thing we call authenticity, and how it has become such a battleground- for Early Musicians, and for Folk Musicians- as if making our own artistic decisions, and sounding our own voices is in some way a historical compromise- or as if following literal stylistic evidence is an excuse to avoid making our own personal decisions about the message and colours of a song, or our own resonances and feelings heard within that song.

 

So now, nearing the end of Lent, and the music of the churches has been of reflection and loss.  I’m looking forward to singing in the Good Friday Recital at St Anne’s Church in Highgate (more details to follow).  I have been out of the singing loop for a long time now, I have wondered how I could ever get started again - but with the support of my peers and the ever enthusiastic Jessica Cash, I have used the time to keep working on my voice, researching and listening, and am in as good a vocal form as I have ever been.  

 

Welcome Spring!