An evening of music (and dancing) from the tutors of our 2018 Hurdy Gurdy & Bagpipe Weekend.
Gilles Chabenat is regarded as one of the very best hurdy-gurdy players of his generation. He began playing the hurdy-gurdy at 13 with Les Thiaulins, an association devoted to folk arts and traditions. Following private lessons with Georges Simon, he won several music awards and subsequently devoted himself to his region’s traditional repertoire with a desire to branch out into other musical styles.
In the wake of Valentin Clastrier, he thus felt the need to reinvent the instrument and the playing techniques associated with it. Around that time and after several years of research, luthier Denis Siorat developed a contemporary-style electro-acoustic instrument which facilitated the integration of the hurdy-gurdy into the modern musical experience.
In 1992, Gilles Chabenat began a twelve-year partnership with the Corsican group I Muvrini. During that period, he met and worked with a number of renowned artists: Véronique Sanson, Stephan Eicher, Jean-Jacques Goldman, Sting, as well as Frédéric Paris, Edouard Papazian, Alain Bonnin, and Gabriel Yacoub to name but a few. More recently, he has been collaborating with jazz musicians and also works regularly with Eric Montbel, Didier François, a Nyckelharpa player, Gabriel Yacoub and Patrick Bouffard.
Gilles’ musical experience and evolution are thus constantly shaped by the people he meets. In his approach to hurdy-gurdy playing, he draws essentially on the multifaceted nature of an instrument which has been in constant evolution for more than one thousand years.
Francesco Giusta (Italy) started to play hurdy gurdy at the age of 11 with local tutors before developing his technique with some masters of the instrument; J F Maxou Heintzen, P Bouffard, G Jolivet, G Diaz, T Nouant, S Durand and V Clastrier.
Within the years he has played in several bands, mostly in folk and medieval music performing at many folk and medieval festivals in Italy and France; worked with Lou Dalfin and in some musical project with Sergio Berardo.
He recorded some CD’s (‘En l’aire ailamont’ in 2011 and ‘Podre’ in 2013 with La Mesquia, ‘Balfolk’ in 2014 with Trigomigo) and was a guest in ‘Bon Nadal Occitania’ in 2009, with Sergio Berardo, ‘Cavalier Faidit’ in 2011 with Lou Dalfin, ‘Santulubbiranti’ in 2015 with Malanova.
Claire Dugué a native of France, encountered the hurdy-gurdy in London during her college training as an instrument maker. She was captivated by the instrument and has been making hurdy-gurdies ever since.
Joel Turk is one of our regulars at Halsway Manor, as he has been teaching hurdy-gurdy to the most advanced players over the past 2 years. He is back this year to look after the beginners! Joel is well known for being a member of the great band Red Dog Green Dog.
David Faulkner has been playing pipes for over 25 years with groups such as the Eel Grinders and Jon Swayne’s Zephyrus, and performs regularly as a duet with accordionist Steve Turner. He has toured in Europe, Canada and America. He has led many pipe courses in the UK and abroad and has worked as a community musician for nearly 20 years.
Olle Geris is highly regarded as one of the very best bagpipe makers and players. She grew up in a very artistic and musical family. As a child she learned the flute, but soon she shared the passion for bagpipes with her father, with whom she went to take a bagpipe class in Brussels. When the opportunity came to begin in the workshop of Remy Dubois (the famous Belgium pipe maker) as apprentice bagpiper, she made the choice to focus entirely on learning how to make this instrument. In 1995, she won the first prize at the St.Chartier Competition in duo with Machteld Truyens. She participates in many concerts in different formations: Willem Schot, Swart & Co, Zefiro Torna, Camerata Trajectina, Rans Flagel, Göze, Idool 1900… She has conducted many courses for making reeds or for the bagpipe. She took over the bagpipe making workshop “D’un souffle a l’autre” in 2009.