Join Becki Driscoll, Miranda Rutter and the participants in the Festive Fiddle Orchestra for a performance of folk arrangements for bowed strings – with a decidedly festive them. The arrangements designed and played in Halsway Manors Fiddle Weekend are such a joy we felt they deserved to be shared more widely. This is the inspiration for the Festive Fiddle Orchestra performance. Plus solo and duo performances by Becki and Miranda, and maybe an audience sing-along or two
Becki leads educational projects and workshops for festivals and specialist courses, ranging from beginners fiddle sessions, to mixed-instrument folk orchestras for all ages. She leads the prestigious English Fiddle Weekend at Halsway (together with Nick Wyke), and is an Associate Artist for Wren trust for whom she has led numerous community music projects including the Folk Orchestra of North Devon, the Fiddle Orchestra of Devon, regular music groups with children and young people, and a specialist early years project she developed with Bideford Bay Children’s Centre
She performs with Nick Wyke and the duo first collaborated on a busking trip around Spain and Portugal. Since then, they have made a strong impact on the British folk scene and received national and international acclaim. The duo’s compositions and their interpretations of traditional English tunes and songs are influenced by a wide range of musical cultures: “We are inspired by the people we meet and the places we’ve been.” Their style is unique; Becki’s melodic, emotive violin and viola blends with Nick’s driving fiddle chords and powerful vocals to create a rich, captivating sound.
Miranda Rutter took up the fiddle at 5 but soon had her ambitions set on playing the viola. She studied classical music in her youth and was a member of Pro Corda, but on meeting folk music in her late teens became enchanted. She became a member of Jabadaw and Fika while at Manchester University studying Social Anthropology. After a couple of years of travelling (both musically and geographically) she found home playing southern English folk music at Chris Wood’s first summer school at Ruskin Mill.
Inspired by the idea of making folk music that explored the sound and ensemble dynamic of the string quartet, she formed Methera – a string quartet with roots firmly planted in English traditional music. Their national tours, BBC Radio 3 broadcasts and collaborations have helped them establish a reputation as a scintillating live act, blazing a trail through the uncharted territory that lies between folk and chamber music.
She has also performed with the English Acoustic Collective and Morris Offspring in ‘On English Ground’ and with Chris Wood in his composition ‘Listening to the River’. She has taught on Newcastle University’s Folk Music degree course, on National Youth Folk Ensemble courses, at Folkworks’ Fiddles on Fire Festival, and on the English Acoustic Collective summer school which she co-directs.