Following the success of last year’s sell out Auricula Suite premiere performance, East Riding Musicians ‘My Ancestors were French’ are preparing for a special Auricula Suite concert and flower display at National Trust’s Calke Abbey, the home of the oldest surviving Auricula Theatre, on Saturday 20th April.
The Auricula Suite, a tribute to the small alpine flower the Primula auricula uses live music, songs and spoken word to tell the folk tale of how the Huguenot refugees brought the flower to England in the 16th century. It is a tale of a journey to a new land, of persecution, love and loss, and a new beginning.
The My Ancestors were French ensemble comprises singer and songwriter Louise Duffy-Howard, guitarist Richard Duffy-Howard, Amanda Lowe (hammer dulcimer) and Quentin Budworth (hurdy-gurdy).
The concert will be accompanied by artist Jo Beattie’s exhibition of fabric auricula hangings, created especially for Calke Abbey. Jo's textile work features the beautifully coloured auriculas and like much of her work is based on memories, so is a perfect accompaniment to the concert.
Concertgoers will also get the chance to exclusively visit the gardens after hours before the concert to see the flowers in the early evening light.
The Auricula Suite is only performed in April and May to coincide with the flowering of the Primula auricula, so despite the success of last May’s sell-out premiere, fans of the Auricula Suite have had to wait a year for it to come round again.
Richard explains, "I have a growing collection of auriculas, and the idea to write the suite of songs began when we discovered the fascinating story of how they were brought here by the first people to be called ‘florists’, the Huguenot refugees. Auriculas are particularly nostalgic flowers, and the traditional way of displaying them on a miniature theatre complete with stage, curtains and even candles is appealing and unusual."
Auricula Suite composer, Louise continues, "The music really came to life when we teamed up with internationally acclaimed hammer dulcimer and hurdy-gurdy players, Amanda Lowe and Quentin Budworth, whose 16th century style instruments perfectly suit the songs."
The East Yorkshire based musicians will be launching their new recording of the Auricula Suite, which will be available at the concert at Calke Abbey. More information about the songs and musicians can be found at http://auriculasuite.net.
Tickets £12, Booking Required on 01332 863822
Gardens open from 6pm, Concert begins 7.30pm