With our first gig planned for May, I can now say with confidence, this is a thing that is happening!
Robin Burton is a bit of a one man folk industry locally. He started the Stroud Wassail, runs Swing Rioters – I’ve sung with them a few times, and an outfit called The Jovial Crew. He’s involved with The Folk of Gloucester – a space I’ve also been involved with as a steampunk. Last year he asked me to write a mumming play full of Gloucester characters and I had the pleasure of seeing that performed back in November.
In the autumn, I posted online some photos of me with the viola as I pushed my way back into playing. I find the accountability of sharing things helpful, often. Robin is not the reason I started playing again, but on seeing the photos he asked if I’d be interested in getting some folk music going with him. Since then we’ve been exploring that whenever time has permitted.
There’s been an interesting process of comparing repertoires, discussing what we’re interested in doing musically, and starting to pick songs and put arrangements together. The current set we’re developing is based on the traditional music we both already knew, as that seemed like a sensible way in. When collaborating, there are always processes around figuring out how to work with someone, and that’s been good and interesting, too.
This isn’t a priority project for either of us, and probably it’s going to be for local gigs or if we happen to both be further afield at the same time with our other projects. Swing Rioters is Robin’s first priority, and The Ominous Folk is mine. Nonetheless, it’s really nice to have someone to play with and to be able to get together with regularly for music, and that’s really important for me. I’ve missed being an instrumentalist, and it’s good to have more room for that in my life.
I am blessed in the people I get to work with, and play with and hang out with.