Due to COVID-19, this year’s Hurdy Gurdy & Bagpipe Weekend will offer a scaled-back version of our usual event.You’ll be able to meet, learn and play with others in a Covid-safe environment, with some great UK-based tutors (avoiding any potential international travel issues). We’re hoping to reschedule our 2021 team for 2022, watch this space.
Guaranteed to be one of Halsway’s noisiest weekends, this popular Hurdy-Gurdy & Bagpipe takeover is an intensive learning weekend of masterclasses, workshops, sessions and a Saturday night concert/dance. A frenzy of reeds, drones and buzzing things! Early booking advised.
The weekend is hosted by Claire Dugué, hurdy-gurdy maker and repairer, and she’ll be available to help people get the most out of their instruments with tips for maintenance. Our revised tutor team for 2021 includes Steve Tyler (Intermediate / Advanced Hurdy Gurdy Workshop), Scott Marshall (Beginner Hurdy Gurdy Workshop), and David Faulkner (Intermediate / Advance Bagpipe Workshop). As per last year, each tutor will dedicate themselves to a specific group for the full weekend allowing for maximum learning and progression. You will need to decide which group you wish to join and tell us when booking; numbers in each group are limited.
Important: Due to COVID-19 we are having to drastically reduce numbers on is always a very busy event. For this reason priority is given to those wishing to participate in workshops. Non-participants are however very welcome to attend when sharing a room with a participating partner / friend.
For an extra £40, participants can stay until Monday morning, including supper and B&B. Please enquire when booking.
Who’s it For?
This course will be for players of the hurdy-gurdy and / or bagpipers of all ages (under 16s must be accompanied by an adult)! We’re sorry but we have only three classes running this year, and there’s no provision for beginner bagpipers, but we hope to return to our ‘full-format’ in 2022.
Hurdy Gurdy – Intermediate/Advanced Class with Steve Tyler: Details to follow.
Hurdy Gurdy – Elementary Class with Scott Marshall: This workshop is for both complete day one beginners and for those who have been playing for sometime but want to brush up on their core techniques. Scott will tailor his workshop to the students.
You will work on good habits of posture and left hand fingering articulation. Regarding the rhythm and right hand technique, Scott will work through the basic useful buzzes and towards the “coup de quatre” level. Exercises will be linked to tune fragments and simple group pieces to make the workshop a more pleasant memorable experience.
Study material / videos should be available in December for this course, and later, recap videos will be made available for continued home study.
Bagpipes – Intermediate / Advanced Class with David Faulkner:
This course will be for bagpipes in G, and suitable for intermediate and advanced players. We will be exploring traditional English and Border Music along with newly composed music for the pipes. We will work with the more common dance rhythms, as well as the more unusual and perhaps a slow air too! We will look at simple ornamentation and how we can combine these to make more complex articulation and sounds. We’ll think about phrasing, fluidity and preciseness of playing. We will use all this to see if we can inject a little emotion and expression into our playing.
We will work by ear and with music scores as well. And hopefully it will be a lot of fun too!
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, producing quality instrument for amateur and professionals alike. Claire has become integral to the organisation of the weekend; she will be hosting the event and be also at hand to help with the technical aspects of setup and maintenance.
Steve Tyler is best known as a hurdy gurdy player, renowned for his rhythmic and inventive playing, and is equally at home with early music, traditional melodies or modern compositions. He has performed with such diverse artists as English folk singer Jackie Oates, German industrial/electronic musician F.M.Einheit and South African puppeteer John Roberts, and has played for theatrical productions (including Comus and Secret Theatre at The Globe’s Sam Wanamaker Playhouse), historical and traditional dances, mixed media performances and worked with storytellers Clive Fairweather and Dave Oliver.
For many years a performer of medieval music, his main interest is in patterns, rhythms, the interweaving of different parts and sonic structures, and to this end works on dark multitrack music mixing hurdy gurdies with dulcimer, reed organ, cittern and diverse instruments, inspired by patterns in nature, mathematics and the imagination.
Scott Marshall (England) has been playing hurdy-gurdy since 2005. He has been a regular festival and workshop tutor for the last decade. In 2017 he recorded his first solo album Gurdymania, followed in 2018 by Gurdymania 2, using multiple hurdy-gurdies and effects units. He is currently recording the third and final Gurdymania album before moving onto new folk and metal projects. He will be teaching the beginners class at Halsway focusing on good habits, solid playing skills and creating musical exercises for practice.
David Faulkner has been playing pipes for over 30 years. As well as playing solo he plays with Zephyrus, the Eel Grinders and the Steve Turner & David Faulkner Duet. David has much experience in leading pipe workshops and has worked at many festivals across Britain and Europe.