We in SWEMF have never set out to micro-manage the arranging and runningof workshops - although we have some helpful Guidelines for Workshop Organizers on the website, they are intended as just that - guidance, not rules. Perhaps because of this, we have always been able to offer a good range of workshops, spread throughout the year and the region, and have drawn on the services of a range of excellent tutors, often thanks to suggestions from members.
So please do keep the suggestions coming - we are now looking to start arranging events for 2016, and while we have a number of interesting possibilities in the pipeline, more ideas are always welcome. Meanwhile my feeling as Chair is that some parts of the region have not been as well served with activities as others, so I will myself be leading a ‘voices and instruments’ workshop in Cornwall, and possibly also in Dorset, on the fascinating publication Teares and Lamentations of a Sorrowfull Soule by Sir William Leighton (not as miserable as it sounds!) - more details in March. This will be a good opportunity for me to meet, and hear the views of, members in those parts of the SWEMF area.
And don’t forget that we are always open to suggestions for what one committee member at a recent meeting called ‘more off-the-wall’ events - those which are more specialized, or which might attract a smaller number of members - not everything has to be for everyone. For example, the Chant workshop given by Dr Emma Hornby last year was very much enjoyed by those who attended, even though we recognize that this repertoire is not everyone’s cup of tea. Likewise the Renaissance Wind workshops, which Simon Pickard has arranged, have attracted members and indeed others from outside the region - you’d be surprised how far people will go for a chance to play their shawms and cornetts!
You can make suggestions to any committee member - contact details are listed here. We look forward to hearing from you. Meanwhile, have a very good festive season with lots of enjoyable music-making!
It was a pleasure to spend a couple of hours on the EMF stall at Greenwich, especially as all but one of those who approached for information during mystint were from the south west. The talk of the Festival on Thursday was theJapanese recorder-maker Takeyama, whose instruments were demonstrated most expertly by Naomi Okuda. She was accompanied by Pawel Siwczak, on a new harpsichord made by Andrew Wooderson. This was the ‘Did you go to ...’ event of the first two days. The harpsichord was beyond reproach, bright and capacious, but it was the seamless, weightless column that Okuda produced that seduced the audience. She played a treble recorder and a voice flute, made from maple, the lower instrument yielding an edgeless quality, perhaps enhanced by the material. One person, in raptures, steered her partner directly to Takeyama’s stand, stating urgently, ‘We really must have one each!’ No small commitment, the cheapest instrument being £320.
There are lots of good things coming up in the SWEMF region this quarter. including many Christmas and Advent concerts. Our first workshop after Christmas is Josquin for voices in Glastonbury, focussing on the Missa L’homme Armée, with Monteverdi in the morning. Nancy Hadden will be back in West Bay in March with Lassus and the Munich court, and further workshops are planned for the spring and early summer: see Clare’s editorial for her proposed ‘Chair’s Workshop’ in the extremities, and do look out for more details of these and other delights next quarter, including a workshop on the Brumel and Tallis Lamentations with Robert Harre-Jones in mid Devon. Meanwhile, a very Happy Christmas to you all!
The South West Early Music Forum (SWEMF) is a charitable organisation promoting all aspects of early music in the South West of England. Its constitution can be found here. It is one of ten regional Fora, which cover most areas of the UK, and are affiliated to the National Early Music Association, NEMA, who have recently produced a report on the future of Early Music in Britain.
The South West Early Music Forum region includes Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Bristol, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire and brings together amateur and professional musicians, musicologists, teachers and pupils, instrument makers, and early music enthusiasts.
Throughout the year a series of workshops and playing and singing days are organised within the region where members have the opportunity to study works under the guidance of early music specialist tutors. These activities include Baroque Chamber Music Playing Days, Singing Days focusing on particular composers or periods, and Workshops preparing larger scale works for both voices and instruments etc.
SWEMF also organises a number of social events including the Annual General Meeting in May which is sometimes combined with a residential weekend providing ample opportunity for music making and the opportunity for members to voice their views and suggestions on the future operations of the Forum
Members receive a quarterly Diary of Events announcing future activities of SWEMF, and other EM Fora, and also concerts and other events both within the region and elsewhere. Application forms for forthcoming SWEMF events are included in the Diary of Events mailing and are also available on the website.
Membership forms can be printed from the website. The next subscriptions are due on 1st April 2015 for for 2015/2016. For details click here.
A Membership List (last issued with the March 2012 Diary) gives information concerning members' particular interests, instruments played, voices sung etc. so that they may arrange joint activities outside those organised directly by SWEMF.
This site is maintained and Dick Little. Please send any comments or suggestions for improvements to firstname.lastname@example.org. Suggestions for additional links are particularly welcome.
Last modified: 7 December 2015