Respectable Groove occupy unique musical territory, fitting neatly into neither jazz nor baroque niches, let alone the mainstream 'classical' tradition. With its unmistakable combination of recorder, harpsichord, double bass and percussion, the group interprets medieval, renaissance and baroque music through a kaleidoscope of jazz and contemporary influences. Improvisation, just as it was for musicians from centuries past, is an essential ingredient of the intriguing mix that is Respectable Groove. After the phenominal success of their take on Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas, (Prepare to suspend your disbelief. Two things stand out - the players themselves, sensitive and virtuosic, and the sheer gusto of the performance. The spirit of Purcell's opera is captured and teased…if you like ground-breaking, cage-rattling recordings this is for you. Early Music Today), the band’s most recent project is Bach and the Organist’s Daughter, a semi-dramatised musical account of Bach’s 250 mile walk to meet Buxtehude, featuring some of the folk tunes he may have learned on the way, which inspired his work - including the Goldberg Variations – a recreation of the young Bach’s ‘audition’, his encounter with the woman in question, and the musical backdrop to an extraordinary and formative episode in Bach’s life.
Evelyn with David Gordon (harpsichord) and Frances Kelly (baroque harp)
Handel was a renowned recycler of his own as well as others' music. This trio presents two methods of sustainable music-making familiar to musicians of the period: the performers follow Kirnberger's instructions for 'tossing off sonatas' by re-writing the recorder part of some of Handel's best known sonatas for the instrument. And, inspired by Handel’s contemporary John Weaver's 'passions and affections', the trio perform dramatic new suites for recorder and continuo based on arias and danced airs from some of Handel's operas - the 18th century equivalent of the take-home CD.
Ruth Wall has worked with the BBC Singers, Philharmonia Orchestra, the BBC Concert Orchestra, Portishead’s Adrian Utley, composers Gavin Bryars, John Lunn, Graham Fitkin, Ross Hughes, conductor Charles Hazelwood and theatre director Cal McCrystal. She has recorded and toured worldwide with British band Goldfrapp and has recently performed and recorded with jazz saxophonist Andy Sheppard, trumpeter Noel Langley, bassist Charlie Jones and with Northumbrian piper Kathryn Tickell’s new band, The Side.
Evelyn directs Zero Gravity which was formed in 2006 to give the first performance of Introduction Groove by David Gordon. This Cambridge-based ensemble has gone on to give many more first performances including A Family Likeness by Gavin Bryars and Lightdance by Jonathan Dove. Listen to some of their work on http://www.srp.org.uk/commissioned-music
If you are a recorder player of Grade 8 standard or above, able to play most sizes of the instrument, and are interested in joining us, please contact Vic Morris firstname.lastname@example.org
The Loves of Mars & Venus - The reconstruction of the music for the first ever ballet.
John Weaver’s The Loves of Mars and Venus, first performed in London in 1717, is now recognised as the first ballet d’action (ballet with no spoken words) and one of the most significant works in the history of dancing. Although originally well-received, it has not been performed since 1724 and was considered ‘lost’.
Evelyn studied the existing incidental music from the late 17th and early 18th century London stage and from this considerable repertoire, chose music to fit the detailed notes left by John Weaver. Using the works of London composers Clarke, Croft, Eccles, Finger, Paisible and Purcell, Evelyn has now recreated the ballet score. This was performed and recorded in Cambridge in 2012.
The next stage of recreating the ballet is underway.
Dido’s got the Blues
Respectable Groove with Giles Poirier, dancer and choreographer
Respectable Groove has put together a critically-acclaimed re-working of Purcell’s musical drama which re-captures the quintessence of baroque adventure. Poirier, a non-English-speaking French dancer, has adapted the work of the great French choreographers of the period to further re-interpret the music. The resulting dramatic transformation reveals further layers of comedy and tragedy, entirely new characterisation and offers a uniquely enriched view of late 17th century art.
‘The whole evening was, simply, wonderful. Poirier danced..with a strength of technique, refinement of style and musicality that revealed the full beauty of what contemporaries called belle dance.
Respectable Groove were equally marvellous. Gordon’s version of Dido and the group’s creative playing went far beyond a conversation with this opera, it went right to heart of the drama and conjured Purcell’s entire stage world.
The whole ensemble, musicians and dancer, explored and exposed the passions within Purcell’s masterpiece in a way that very few early music performers do. The evening ended quietly, with the exquisite pathos and dignity of Dido’s lament.
The whole performance was utterly compelling, a tour de force’ Recorder Magazine