Folk musician Emily Askew will share her knowledge of early music at a conference in Hungary in October that celebrates English culture.
Emily, who was part of The Elizabethan Session, the English Folk Dance and Song Society’s (EFDSS) recent joint commission with the Folk by the Oak festival, will talk about early music and its influence on her as well as perform at a SPECHEL event in Pécs from 21 to 23 October.
Emily’s knowledge of early music, combined with her experience as a traditional musician, played a key role in The Elizabethan Session.
Two new pieces she wrote - True Lover's Knot Untied / The Great Hall and The Monnington Pavane / Ortiz Ground - are both based on popular dance tunes of the Elizabethan era. Both feature early music instruments with a traditional music slant.
She also features widely across the album playing instruments including the vielle, bells and hurdy gurdy to add an authentic medieval sound.
SPECHEL is the Society for the Popularisation of English Culture and of Hungarian Culture in the English Language Medium. It is a non-profit society based in southern Hungary that organises festivals, clubs, academic and public talks, and film screenings in celebration of English culture.
Emily, together with singer Victoria Couper, who performs in a number of early music ensembles, were invited to Pécs for the annual British Autumn series of events.
The seasonal programme includes poetry and prose recital competitions for local schoolchildren, conferences and performances including the visit by Emily and Victoria.
EFDSS Artist Development Manager Neil Pearson said:
“Emily is a great ambassador for English folk music and illustrating how it can combine with other genres such as early music to create a unique sound.
“Her experience as part of EFDSS’ The Elizabethan Session was unique. She will be able to share that with a new audience and help them learn more about the English folk scene as it is today.”
Emily’s knowledge of early music played a key part in creating the music of The Elizabethan Session, that was inspired by the material and history, stories, myths, characters and legends of the era.
She is an extremely versatile musician playing 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.
Emily studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and as a member of the Askew Sisters, she has twice been a BBC Young Folk Award semi-finalist and in 2005 won the New Roots competition.
A keen chamber musician, Emily also performs with a range of early music ensembles. These include Medieval and Renaissance groups The Artisans and The Dufay Collective. She also enjoys collaborations between different art forms. She has performed in operas as principal recorder at Glyndebourne and as a multi-instrumentalist in productions for Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, the Apollo Theatre, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse and the Hampstead Players.