Faustus – 2016 Halsway Manor Artists in Residence
Over their time as Artists in Residence Faustus; Benji, Saul & Paul completed their new album ‘Death and Other Animals’, recorded at Halsway Manor which includes material drawn from the Halsway archive. The album is scheduled was released on 7 October before the trio embarked on a UK-wide tour during October – click here to see if they’re appearing locally to you!
Faustus ran two courses at Halsway during this year, working with musicians and singers to share their expertise in sourcing, arranging and performing traditional material. The second course culminated in recordings – listen here:
- Sprig of Thyme
- The Female Drummer
- The Battle of Curzola
- Trees Do Grow
- Seven No More
- Thief of Love
- Ye Mariners All
Faustus also joined us at our Sidmouth Folk Festival Reception providing music to accompany the Cider supplied by our friends at Mad Apple Cider Company. They represented Halsway at English Folk Expo, the annual industry showcase. They also spent time at Halsway rehearsing for their Autumn tour, and fitting-in community performances around Halsway with our local schools and communities.
Arts Council England have agreed funding to support the project which creates a unique partnership between Halsway Manor and the band, centred around the development of new arrangements of rare traditional English folk music; these will be shared through workshops, two national tours and the recording of Faustus’ third album. The project combines the musical expertise of Faustus (Benji Kirkpatrick, Saul Rose, Paul Sartin) with the professional resources of Halsway Manor including their extensive folk library and archive.
Faustus started researching and rehearsing new material at Halsway Manor in the early part of 2016; a national tour in March included new works in the set list, sharing them with audiences for the first time. The album will be recorded in the Summer of 2016, before a second national album launch tour in October, making a new collection of English folk material widely available. Additionally Faustus will offer two workshop weekends at Halsway Manor over the year, sharing their considerable expertise with singers and instrumentalists wishing to explore ways to source, interpret and perform traditional material. The first of these takes place early in April, the second later in the year (dates tbc).
On behalf of Faustus, Saul Rose said:
“We thank Arts Council England for their support of the project. This is a great opportunity for us, and for Halsway, to be discovering, reviving and sharing English material. The icing on the cake is that we can also offer workshops in the unique environment of Halsway Manor, helping musicians to discover and interpret traditional material for themselves, and passing on what we’ve learned over the years.”
Crispian Cook, CEO of Halsway Manor said:
“We couldn’t be happier to have Faustus – leading exponents of Traditional English music – working with us in 2016. This will be the first in a series of year-long artists’ residencies at Halsway Manor, demonstrating our commitment to supporting artists and developing new work.”
Faustus are Benji Kirkpatrick (Bellowhead), Saul Rose (Waterson:Carthy) and Paul Sartin (Bellowhead). Faustus tour twice a year in the UK and regularly headline folk festivals in the UK and in Europe. They have two critically acclaimed albums to their name, the first of which received a BBC Folk Award Nomination in 2009. Faustus have been together as a band for nine years and the three members, despite their relative youth, bring over sixty years of professional experience.