Monday, 10 September 2018

Medieval Music in the Dales 2018

The Medieval Music in the Dales festival took place this weekend at Bolton Castle.

Organised by locally based wandering minstrels Gill Page and Paul Leigh, it is now in its third year, and attracts performers and audience from across Europe, all converging on the imposing Bolton Castle overlooking Wensleydale.

Performances took place across both days in the courtyard, tavern and bedrooms, all accessible via the spiral staircase which saw a lot of traffic from authentic looking medieval musicians carrying instruments as recognisable as a viol, to more unusual pieces such as hurdy gurdies, and even wind instruments that looked for all intents and purposes like walking sticks. Instrument makers were also in attendance, selling beautiful pieces, including remarkable French made "string drums", the psalterium.

Local companies including Neeps and Tatties provided food for people enjoying the performances in the courtyard, where a number of participation events were run, such as music and storytelling events for children to get involved with.

Organiser Gill Page said that she was very happy with the weekend, and was keen to point out that it is a celebration of medieval music rather than a re-enactment event, and costumes were entirely optional: one event in the tavern saw musician Paul Martin in jeans and a flat cap playing some "early English techno" on a "Jew's harp".

Gill and Paul have already organised the musical themes for the next three years - come along next year to experience a very lively Bolton Castle.