Joglaresa : music for Magna Carta

LBMC indulged in a different sort of music on Saturday 17th October. The change of style was better suited to a different venue, so we decamped to St Barnabas’s church. Sadly, the well-known, mediaeval heating system there was in one of its grumpier moods. But were we down-hearted? Not a bit of it. We enjoyed an exhilarating evening of mediaeval music. Belinda Sykes has been passionate about this kind of music for a long time,  and is the driving force behind (and usually in the forefront of) this group of very able musicians, who blend well together.

It is the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta this year, and the concert Joglaresa gave us (“Robbers, Rebels & Royals”) took music from those days when, if you were ruling class, you were still a Norman speaking French; if you were a cleric you spoke Latin and if you were a peasant you spoke an English a century older than Chaucer’s. If you had gone on Crusade (as many did) you (or your accompanying serfs) might well have picked up the rhythms and cadences of the Arabic songs heard there. Thus our evening’s entertainment contained all these things crafted into songs about, inter alia what a rotten activity Crusading is, Robin of Sherwood, Marion (and her other boyfriend), the seasons, the state of the roads, greedy barons and how beastly it is to be poor. (The ways of the world have changed rather little in some respects.) The rhythms were delicious; the melodies and harmonies played and sung teased the ear in a more complex way than one might perhaps expect. And, conversely, the simpler laments just wrung the heart.

After the interval performers and audience demurred at returning to the interior of the chilly church and we all made ourselves comfortable in the modern hall. Smiles all round. The gut-stringed instruments were particularly grateful.


Published by Judi Moore

Hi there, I hope you find something to interest you here. In December 2017 I published my fourth book – ‘Wonders will never cease’. It’s a satirical campus novel set in the fictional Ariel University in 1985. If you enjoyed Tom Sharpe’s Porterhouse novels, Willy Russell’s ‘Educating Rita’, David Lodge’s campus novels or Malcolm Bradbury’s ‘The History Man’ back in the day, you may enjoy revisiting the ivory towers of 1980s’ academe thirty years on. See what you think. “It is December, 1985. The year is winding gently towards its close until Fergus Girvan, a Classicist at Ariel University, finds his research has been stolen by the man who is also seeking to steal his daughter. But which man is, actually, the more unscrupulous of the two? And is there hope for either of them?” In the autumn of 2015 I published a volume of short fiction: 'Ice Cold Passion and other stories'. I am also the author of novella 'Little Mouse', a shortish piece of historical fiction which I published in 2014 and, a sequel to it, 'Is death really necessary?', my eco thriller set in the near future and which, confusingly, I published in 2009. All the books are available from all good online bookshops and FeedARead on paper, and as e-books on Kindle. On a semi-regular basis, and about a month after the event, I post here reviews which I do for Big Al & Pals, the premier reviewer of indie books, based in the States. My interests tend to thrillers, SF, magic realism and other quirky stuff. On this blog are also posted the reviews I did for Leighton Buzzard Music Club over some five years up to the end of 2015. LBMC present annual seasons of eight monthly chamber music concerts at the Library Theatre in Leighton Buzzard, Bucks. They select young musicians just beginning to make their name - and the concerts are usually magnificent. I was very proud to be associated with them. I review other music, books, theatre and exhibitions which I've particularly enjoyed. BTW - it says the link to Facebook is broken. I dispute that. Click it and see, why not?

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