We’ve completed day 2 of rehearsal, and find ourselves at once elated, frustrated, moved, and challenged!  What a repertoire – exquisitely beautiful, fiendishly difficult, and endlessly fascinating.

We’ve been unknotting rhythmic kinks, drawing on Mark Rimple’s understanding of the notation. Since he often plays the contratenor line in these pieces, he’s the rock of the rhythm section.   Tom’s experimenting with instrumentation, which is saying something, considering the arsenal of winds, plucks, and reeds he plays – oh, and did I mention he sings, too? Shira brings a wonderful quality of improvisation to the group in addition to her gorgeous tone and sense of phrasing.  David is fiddling with rebec and vielle in turn, and since he designed the program, keeps us on message with his overall vision for the pacing and variety.  I’m just wallowing in gorgeous poetry and soaring melodies.

The most wonderful thing about this music, though, is that once we’ve mastered some of the most difficult passages any of us has ever slogged through, the music lifts us above all the work and takes on an almost luminous beauty that is just breathtaking.  We can’t wait to  share it.


Ellen Hargis

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