We are delighted to be inviting Lady Maisery back to Halsway in 2022 to lead their third Creative Singing Week, an exploratory course for intermediate and advanced singers to develop their creative skills.
With traditional and contemporary folk song as our starting point, this mid-week course is a chance to delve deeply into the songs we sing, work on how to make our music more meaningful and discover what might move us forward in our personal musical journeys.
Hazel Askew, Hannah James and Rowan Rheingans of Lady Maisery will be your guides and mentors in the creation of new music, arranging and harmonising traditional songs, creating new tunes for old song texts and writing new songs. Workshops will be a variety of whole group activities and some small group self-directed tasks, so participants should be open to exploring ideas in this way.
The week will include: learning some inspiring folk songs by ear, exploring our voices through vocal and breath work, creative musical and writing tasks, improvisation with others, working with archives/library texts, and chances to perform or share songs in a supportive environment.
Though the format remains unchanged from previous years, the trio will choose material carefully, to ensure enjoyable new challenges for returning participants!
Participants are invited to bring along instruments if they wish and there will be chances during the week to focus on playing an instrument if desired, but some parts of the week will focusing purely on singing so all participants have to be happy to sing.
We’ll have an informal Lady Maisery gig as part of the programme, to which participants are encouraged to contribute if they wish!
Workshop places are limited to 30 people, so please book early to avoid disappointment.
Who’s it For?
This course is aimed at intermediate and advanced level singers. You’ll be interested in exploring your own creativity – making new arrangements, sourcing archive material, and even writing new songs. You’ll need to be open to working in small and larger groups and trying new ways of working.
In an English folk scene currently bursting with bold and innovative folk music, vocal trio Lady Maisery shine brightly. With their unique approach to harmony singing, intelligent and thoughtful arrangements of both traditional repertoire and original compositions, Hazel Askew, Hannah James and Rowan Rheingans harness and celebrate their united voice. Whether unearthing a feminist twist hidden in a traditional tale, delivering a poignant anti-war ballad, or showcasing their immense multi-instrumental talents in original compositions that draw on a myriad of musical influences, Lady Maisery are skilfull explorers of the power, beauty and vitality of song. Over the last five years, the trio have toured widely, performing sell-out shows across the UK and Europe.
Underpinning every performance are Lady Maisery’s distinctive harmonies: sometimes lush and rich, sometimes dark and invigorating, they intertwine with assured precision. The trio are also one of the foremost English proponents of mouth music, or “diddling” – once common in England, and still found across parts of southern and northern Europe, this form of singing without words is a perfect showcase for their sheer musicality. Each also an accomplished instrumentalist, many songs are expertly accompanied by a rich tapestry of Rowan’s fiddle, banjo and bansitar, Hazel’s harp, concertina and melodeon, and Hannah’s accordion and foot percussion
Lady Maisery’s members are all highly respected performers in their own right: Hannah James is currently touring her first solo show ‘Jigdoll’ and also plays in folk legend Maddy Prior’s trio ‘3 for Joy’; Rowan Rheingans is half of BBC Radio 2 Folk Award (‘Best Original Track’ 2016) winning duo The Rheingans Sisters and also plays with BBC Folk Singer of the Year Nancy Kerr & The Sweet Visitor Band. Hazel Askew is well known as a musician and singer in award winning duo Askew Sisters, the early music group The Artisans and has also composed for films. All three are also key members of the English/Scottish supergroup ‘Songs of Separation’ whose debut album and stunning premiere at Celtic Connections festival pushed them straight into the indie album charts top 20 in January 2016 – a very rare accolade British folk!
As Halsway Manor’s Artists in Residence in 2017 the trio ran multiple courses, both as a trio and also as individual artists. This third week-long course is a development of their popular Lady Maisery Weekends run during 2017, allowing participants the opportunity to explore voice and song in greater depth, with one of the UK’s leading vocal trios.