Maddy Prior & Forgotten Lands
Showing on Mon 15 Apr 2024
Maddy Prior and Rose-Ellen Kemp (her daughter and fellow singing teacher) are embarking on some shows around the UK joined by musicians Andrew Sinclair (Steeleye Span guitarist) and Ruth Elder (viola and piano).
Maddy and Rose-Ellen have taught vocal technique and song together for over fifteen years, leading weekend-long courses throughout the year at their voice studio retreat Stones Barn in Cumberland. They love to sing harmony together and so have reimagined some of their own compositions, especially those originally created for voices, into four parts for the band to perform. They have also chosen some very special songs from the tradition and other artists to perform alongside them.
The band's sound is based around their four part harmony along with virtuosic viola playing which goes from dream-like wistfulness all the way through to thick, textured rhythmic crunch. This works in a powerful tandem with Andrew's extraordinarily intuitive guitar skills, creating wide landscapes of drone, arpeggio and full-tilt riffs.
The themes they most often gravitate towards are three-fold. Firstly, Border Ballads and songs about the Border Reivers based on stories and traditions from the areas they live in Cumberland. Secondly, songs from a female perspective, often focusing on encouraging and giving voice to those movements which chime for equality. Thirdly, a universal topic; the human condition. Songs that we can all relate to aspects of, about love, family and our world.
The performance is all at once harmonically impressive and challenging, entertaining, uplifting and light-hearted, thoughtful and eclectic.