I just finished laying out the next Early Music Hawaii program called “Music of Three Faiths: Medieval Christian, Jewish and Muslim Spain,” by the Peabody Consort from Baltimore, MD. In a way it was a chance meeting that I had at the 2013 Boston Early Music Festival which led to the Hawaii concert tour for this group!
If you go back and read my post, Recorders galore, you’ll remember that I had opted to go to a recorder concert on the Sunday, June 16, 2013 while Carl Crosier decided to attend the service at Church of the Advent. That meant I had an extra ticket to give away and I randomly selected a young student, Aik Shin Tan, standing in line at the box office.
I’ll never forget that concert because there were 14 recorder players, all playing from memory and constantly switching instruments ranging from sopranino to contrabass recorders.
“…everyone kept switching instruments. By the end of the concert, everyone got a chance to play soprano, alto, tenor and bass parts. I know there are at least two different fingerings for recorders, so every player definitely had to be versatile. I guess also they didn’t worry about germs, since the same recorders were played by at least four or five people, and no one used a cloth to wipe off the mouthpiece. Maybe I’m just too fastidious!”
I found out that Aik Shin was a recorder student from Peabody and we have been connected on Facebook ever since. I met him again at the Boston Early Music Festival in 2015 and we greeted each other like old friends!
As I am now on the executive board of Early Music Hawaii, a couple years ago I asked Aik Shin whether the Peabody Consort would be interested in playing in Hawaii. He immediately put us in touch with Mark Cudek, the chair of Peabody’s Early Music Department, and indeed, next weekend the group will be in Hawaii! I had hoped that Aik Shin would come with the group but he is now living and studying in Paris! (Lucky devil!)
It’s going to be a super interesting program, when all three religious groups not only coexisted in medieval Spain but also sometimes played music together. The group is coming with all sorts of instruments I’ve never heard of: gittern, vielle, oud, tar, doumbek, riq and ney. Read a fascinating interview with Mark Cudek about this program here, which gives the history of this collaboration and even includes Aik Shin’s name as part of the group.
The Peabody Consort will actually have three performances in Hawaii: the first two will be under the sponsorship of Early Music Hawaii: Saturday, November 11 at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu, 7:30 pm; and Sunday, November 12 at the Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity in Kona, 3:30 pm. The third concert will be at the University of Hawaii in Hilo, Tuesday, November 14 at 7:30 pm. If you want a sneak peek at the Early Music Hawaii program, you can click here: Peabody program
Here’s a performance of the Peabody Consort from the 2013 Boston Early Music Festival to whet your appetite!