Blowzabella's annual mid-winter gig where they road test new material and have a bit of a party.
Paul James is a saxophonist, bagpiper, singer and composer from Newbury, England, who writes, arranges and performs music influenced by English and other European folk traditions.
His new album The Drowned Lover & Other Dark Tales is OUT NOW and the track 'Wakeful' is TUNE OF THE DAY on FOLK RADIO UK
Recently Paul was composer and musician for the critically acclaimed production of John Milton’s COMUS - A MASQUE IN HONOUR OF CHASTITY by John Milton and Patrick Barlow at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse (Shakespeare’s Globe, London). Reviews Independent Telegraph The Stage Evening Standard .
Paul is a member of the band Blowzabella, and plays with his pan-European band Evening Star and the folk dance band The Playford Liberation Front. He composes and arranges music for theatre, film and TV and leads band workshops designed to get groups of people playing spine-tingling arrangements of traditional and contemporary folk tunes.
Halsway Manor European Music Weekend
Develop your arrangement and ensemble playing skills to make imaginative arrangements that are exciting to listen and dance to.
Using music inspired by British and European folk music traditions, this is a long weekend of intensive workshops, discussions, rehearsals and performances in a friendly and supportive atmosphere. Musicians of all ages (including 16-18 year olds), any instrument, any musical background (folk, jazz, rock, classical) are very welcome. You’ll need to be able to read music and /or play by ear.
Course leader Paul James – border bagpipes, saxophones (Blowzabella, Playford Liberation Front, Evening Star) leads a crack team of Belgian diatonic accordion virtuoso Anne Niepold; Italian drums/percussion maestro Gigi Biolcati (Riccardo Tesi / Banditaliana), award winning Anglo-Irish fiddler Niopha Keegan (The Unthanks); and top bassist and improviser Victor Nicholls (Evening Star, Playford Liberation Front).
The aim of the course is to use British and European traditional dance forms – for example, jigs, polkas, bourrées and waltz melodies – and use that as the raw material to make new arrangements that can go any direction, combining all sorts of influences and ideas to make spine tingling music that is much more than the sum of the parts. Participants will take part in small and larger ensembles – listening, contributing and experimenting with ideas – towards a public performance on the Sunday night. It will be intensive but there will be time to relax and make new friends too Supported by The Anvil Trust.