New Words 2011

Walk the Way

with the Artisans, Vanderbilt and Aykroyd


Saturday 10 September 2011
7.30pm – 9.30pm

Review by
Maureen Ross

Stewart's Hall, Huntly [Map]

Tickets £8, £5 (concession), £1 (schoolchildren) available from Deveron Arts, Brander Library, Orb's Bookshop, Rizza's, or at the door

Medieval music, poetry and prose inspired by the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela

Walk the walk of walks from the comfort of your seat. Let London's early-music group The Artisans whisk you to the Iberian Middle Ages of song and praise. Be stirred by Paulina Vanderbilt's poetic pilgrimage — a journey of reflection and observation. Enjoy Lucy Aykroyd's experiences on St James's Way in extracts from her walking diary. Come and share the highs and lows of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela — but without the sore muscles or the blisters.

The Artisans

Emily Askew (vielle, recorder, bagpipes)
Yvonne Eddy (voice)
Hazel Askew (voice, harp)
Sarah Stuart (percussion)


Paulina Vanderbilt (reader)
Lucy Aykroyd (reader)

Ritual pilgrimage was an important part of medieval Christianity. Churches and places of worship would often be founded on sites where miracles took place or where religious relics were located. Music was an integral part of the pilgrim's experience and provided a language through which pilgrims of different nationalities could communicate. Songs and hymns of devotion to the Virgin Mary helped to give pilgrims the strength to travel the long distances.

The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela was built in honour of St James the Apostle after his grave was rediscovered in the ninth century. It is said that his remains were carried by boat from Jerusalem to the city of Santiago de Compostela. The cathedral became one of the most important pilgrimage centres and The Way of St James or O Camino de Santiago was a very popular pilgrim route during the medieval period.

The music performed by the Artisans is taken from three collections, known as the Codex Calixtinus, the Cantigas de Santa Maria and the Llibre Vermell.

See for more about the music.

The poems performed by Paulina are from her book The Way — a poetic pilgrimage (Blue Salt Publishing), which will be launched at this event. It is a collection of poems enriched with information on the Camino, Galician folklore, traditions and even cuisine, called a "lively mix" by Anna Crowe, who also describes the poetry as having "great verve and freshness and evoking landscapes and people with immediacy and empathy".

The Way

The Artisans

The Artisans are an exciting new medieval band emerging from London. Formed of musicians from diverse backgrounds in folk, world and early music, they bring together a broad experience from different genres. This has helped them to create fresh and exciting interpretations of this ancient music, whilst still remaining historically informed.

They have an interesting variety of well-researched programmes of music, spanning four centuries from England, France, Spain and Italy. With exotic dance tunes to rousing choruses, their playing enchants all those who hear them.

Performing on a range of fascinating instruments including recorders, bagpipes, vielle, harp, rebec, symphony, oud and a variety of percussion, this is a band to look out for!

See for more about the Artisans.

Emily Askew

Emily Askew is an extremely versatile musician who plays recorders, vielle (medieval fiddle), bagpipes and fiddle. Her interests are wide and varied reaching from the deep roots of folk music through to medieval, baroque and contemporary repertoire.

Yvonne Eddy

Yvonne Eddy is an exiled Geordie. Yvonne studied music at the University of Manchester and the Schola Cantorum in Basel, Switzerland, before finally giving in and moving to London, where she now sings with many professional church choirs and chamber choirs. She directs her own medieval vocal group Levedy and is a member of the medieval ensembles Le Basile, Mediva and Vox Animae.

Hazel Askew

Hazel Askew is known on the folk music scene for her singing and melodeon playing, but she started her musical education on the specialist music scheme at Pimlico School, where she studied concert harp.

Sarah Stuart

Sarah Stuart's interest in medieval and renaissance music has grown out of her early encounters with period performance as an apprentice on the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment's experience scheme for young players.

Paulina Vanderbilt

Paulina Vanderbilt mostly writes poetry but has a number of short stories and even half-finished novellas stashed away in her drawer — waiting their turn. She describes her poetry as a watercolour of impressions, vibrant and immediate. She lives in Holland now, but Scotland is the bones of her.

Paulina recently set up her own creative writing business to take her energetic, slightly chaotic approach to creativity to schools in Holland and the people in The Hague.

Her second collection The Way — a poetic pilgrimage (Blue Salt Publishing, 2011) will be launched at this event in Huntly. Her successful first collection, In Search of Salt (Koo Press, 2009) is available by special request.

Lucy Aykroyd

Wiltshire born, Aberdeenshire matured... Lucy Aykroyd is a mother of five and multiple granny. A virgin writer — cutting her teeth on transcripts of a mega walk across Spain in 2010, the Camino....

Naturally artistic, this new venture follows on from an extended painterly period, adding a new facet of creative expression to her portfolio of life... an interesting and unexpectedly exciting sideline to being a freelance gardener, yoga teacher and Swedish masseuse.

Promoted by

Huntly Writers
Music Centeral

Supported by

Enterprise Music Scotland
Gordon Forum for the Arts
Aberdeenshire Council
North East Writers

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