- November 10, 2017
We flew back over 700 years to the strumming of a harp, a candle’s flicker and an exquisite, plaintive song. Clare Norburn’s latest concert-drama had begun its spell. Along with Ariane Prussner, she sang some ‘Cantigas de Santa Maria’ (c. 1280) and songs of women from medieval Spain. In between, Karren Winchester recalled their almost-forgotten lives, Sephardic Jew/Muslim/Christian, including a narrative of brutal suppression that just could not dull the beauty or joy of the singing. The harp (Joy Smith), a nyckelharpa and hurdy-gurdy (Clare Salaman), and an oud and vielle (Giles Lewin) gently embroidered those haunting lays while the atmosphere was further subtly transformed by Natalie Rowland & Pitch Black Lighting, and ancient music came vibrantly back to life.
All that beautiful music may have been ancient but the message of inclusiveness, tolerance and caution couldn’t be more contemporary.
St Paul’s Church, 9 November 2017