... though not all at once!

I play a quite unreasonably large number of instruments, from truly ancient to modern. I normally choose two or three for each story visit.

Ancient Greek Lyre image from vase

These enhance the atmosphere, they help the listeners settle to a listening state of mind; they frame some stories, their music creates space between stories - and many are just lovely creations in their own right, as well as playing attractive music.

My style is generally to concentrate on the spoken words of telling, rather than incorporating music into the story, but I'm collecting more stories where music plays a part, and I'm currently developing more stories with music played during the telling, rather as many ancient storytellers did.

Harps and Lyre
wire strung harp

Thanks to David Joyner for this image

Harps are among the oldest known instruments in the world. Quite recently in their history, they were played by Anglo Saxon storytellers. Scots and Irish harps, and harpers to play them, were status symbols for Kings there. My wire-strung clarsachs are both Scottish-made, one in medieval, one late 16th Century style. My gut-strung harp is more European in style. The lyre is almost pure Ancient Greek, though modern made. All have different voices, all ideally suited to being played along with speech.

"Clarsach" =Scots/Irish harp. Think of a famous drinks logo. Pronounce it almost as "Clarsack" but with a very soft "ch" sound at the end.

Seiriol Harp
wire strung harp
nuremburg harp
Greek Lyre

Image supplied by the school, reproduced with permission

Bagpipes, none of them Scottish

I may play these at the start or end of a session, occasionally as part of a story, but unlike the string instruments, never to speak over!

Renaissance bagpipes
And also...
hurdy gurdy
Pipe and Tabor

Photo by Suzanne McNicholas, reproduced by permission, and with my thanks

Melodeon and Piano Accordion

My work telling traditional stories and playing music for schools and museums is mainly in the counties of Northampton, Bedford, Buckingham, Oxford, Leicester, South Lincs, Rutland, Warwick, and Herts.

While most of my work is in schools, I love performing for other audiences too. I travel further afield too. It's always worth asking!

Please Contact me for more details