"The one thing all the great singers and musicians have in common is that they are all completely individual" Martin Carthy MBE.
This simple sentence conveys so much of what is central to all folk music, no matter which corner of the world it comes from. The Summer School breaks down into bite size chunks some of the elements which encourage the development of our own individual repertoire and style.
Creative interpretation ... As well as learning by ear we will look at the creative interpretation of traditional manuscript. By looking at elements like phrasing, bowing, tempo, harmony and variation we can each begin to work out a version of the tune which fits us.
Music ... We may learn repertoire from books, technique from a teacher but music must come from within. All students are given the opportunity to write their own tunes and Ruskin Mill is a highly inspirational site for this. Over the years many strong pieces have emerged from the summer school. John Dipper's beautiful 'Ruskin Mill Waltz', recorded by The English Acoustic Collective on their 'Ghosts' album, is one example. As the week progresses, small ensembles from duets upwards begin to form organically allowing individuals a chance to try out ideas and new tunes.
Individual Stories ... We can only make our own music if we are able to tell our own individual stories. The smallest spark of inspiration can be the beginning of a great tune if we are open to the possibility. Music should be a strand that runs through our lives and relates to our everyday activites, which is why we see cooking and eating together as such an integral part of the summer school.
Rob plays with Leveret as well as many other artists. He's an inventive concertina player, multi-instrumentalist, composer and teacher who has led numerous workshops and courses, and is widely regarded as an inspiring and supportive teacher.
Miranda is a fiddle and viola player and teacher. She is a founder member of Methera and has been involved in countless EAC Summer Schools as both a tutor & a student.
Sam plays with Leveret and solo and was the inaugural artistic director of the National Youth Folk Ensemble. A former EAC summer school student, he's a unique fiddle player and an inspiring teacher and we are delighted he can join us again this year.