Build another Barsham 7

Build Another Barsham

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The way to get musicians along to your event is to offer them a good time in return for their music.

To keep your part of the bargain and ensure that a good time is what they get there needs to be a minimum of hassle and muddle around the music stage. Put it in quiet spot away from competitive noise and bustle. A few trees help acoustics. In the absence of foliage you may need a canopy over the stage. If the design of the site allows for it a slope in front of the stage means the audience can see without craning necks.

There have never been amplifiers or microphones at Barsham because acoustic music seems more in keeping with the mood of the Faire. Amplification and electric instruments also create problems of electricity supply. Try and get hold of a piano to keep on stage as it isn't the most portable of instruments. Remember that when a piano has been on a journey is needs tuning. Whoever is responsible for the music MUST book the piano tuner or all is lost. At night the piano can be parceled in layers of thick polythene for protection against damp and the elements.

Solo performers should not be excluded but duos, trios or more do stand a better chance in the open. Constant music develops a mood of relaxation around the stage, which is important to the enjoyment of musicians and audience. Long intervals of silence are not advisable as the audience disconsolately drifts away and each act has so start back at square one, with no atmosphere to build on. The secret is to keep the running order flexible, the pace easy.

Blowzabella To track down the wealth of musical talent that thrives in your locality begin by contacting folk clubs. Visit the clubs, get to know the organisers and musicians explaining the purpose and style of your event. Make sure that every promise to play is followed up a few weeks beforehand with a visit, or as least a letter; then closer to the day send complimentary tickets for each musician and a guest.

Local rock bands should not be overlooked, as many of them will be happy so play some kind of acoustic music. Music societies, choral groups end the music departments of colleges and schools are also likely to produce performers and other contacts.

At Barsham we do pay an early music group, The Bridewell Consort, from Norwich to play from their own stage throughout the three days. A great deal of medieval music was written for festivals and feasts. Its languid quality makes it especially suitable for outdoor events. For names of medieval music consorts write to the Register of Early Music, Stock Farmhouse, Chertsey, Farnham, Surrey.


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