On Friday 22nd March, the Lords of Misrule musicians did something rather unusual in our group’s recent history – we did a gig that wasn’t part of a Lords production or a CMS event! We were invited by the organisers of Rúnagaderung – a weekend-long celebration of music inspired by the history and mythology of early northern Europe, put on as part of the annual Jorvik Viking Festival – to play a selection of medieval pieces as part of the line-up at the Fulford Arms venue.
We didn’t actually have that much Norse material in our repertoire (aside from ‘Drømde mik en drøm i nat’, a beautiful 14th-century Norse song), so our set-list was mostly a hodgepodge of Latin, French and English pieces from the 14th-16th centuries chosen by our musical director Alana Bennett. The playlist included two songs from the Red Book of Montserrat (‘Cuncti simus concanentes’ and ‘Stella splendens’), ‘Agincourt Carol’, a song about drinking and making merry called ‘Tourdion’, and ‘Pastime with Good Company’, an original composition by King Henry VIII.
The audience didn’t seem to mind the historical anachronism too much though! The Fulford Arms was packed to the rafters for our set, and the crowd went particularly wild for our final piece ‘Montarde Bransle’ (if you’ve ever been to a Lords performance, this is the tune we play during the bows). In all my time as a musician, I’ve done performances in schools, medieval churches, concert halls – but this is the first one I’ve been to where people dressed as Scandinavian raiders have been moshing to a clarinet solo. It was a wonderful new experience, and I hope that it will be the first of many future Lords gigs.
You can find out more about the Lords of Misrule on their Facebook page, and their Twitter.
Post by Tim Wingard, current CMS PhD.
Photographs by Andy Pountney from Powerplay Magazine/Ave Noctum. Included with permission.