History - A Brief Summary
Mary researched unpublished songs collected in Cambridgeshire by Vaughan Williams, Cecil Sharp and others. Some were published in a book which won an award from a local history society. The songs became part of our repertoire and we recorded many of them.
We made 6 albums of our music: the first on home-made CDRs; the next four on the Wild Goose label and the last, in 2012, again recorded at home but to much more professional standards than the first, and produced on pressed CDs.
For much of that time we were also involved in Suffolk Folk, a non-profit folk music and dance promotion organisation. Mary was chair, treasurer and advertising manager at different times; Anahata edited and typeset Mardles, the quarterly magazine, and ran the web site. Suffolk Folk is no more, but the magazine has continued as a thriving East Anglian folk web site.
We were part of a ceilidh band that we started with two members of Gog Magog Molly and which became very popular in the Cambridge area.
We made three visits to the Mill Race Festival of Traditional music in Ontario, Canada, where we made many friends and extended our stay every time well beyond the festival weekend itself.
In 2017, on Anahata's retirement from a day job in microelectronics and software, we moved to West Yorkshire, where Mary had lived before, and found ourselves close to Keighley, home of the Famous Bacca Pipes Folk Club, which welcomed us warmly into "the family" and provided us with a ready-made curriculum of club nights, music sessions and other song, dance and social events.
We rekindled links with the Ryburn 3step organisation in Ripponden, and found ourselves leading the music for the annual Long Company mummers play and occasionally playing for their longsword team.
At the start of 2020, we decided not to pursue further singing performances. We had a small handful of gigs booked for the year, but the coronavirus pandemic forced the issue and they were all cancelled anyway.
We do intend to return to playing ceilidhs when that becomes possible (not yet: I'm writing this during the autumn 2020 lockdown.) Meanwhile we are putting some performances on YouTube, continuing with Bacca Pipes as an online Zoom event, joining in with the Ripponden Old Bridge tunes session (also a Zoom meeting), digitising a collection of tapes and vinyl LPs, and discovering the abundant and beautiful walking country around us. And Mary's developing her already considerable artistic talent by getting back into watercolour painting.
Anahata has been contributing tune arrangements for the local folk magazine TykesStirrings, many of which we have also recorded as YouTube videos. We do get occasional requests for "the dots" for our tune arrangements, so in the interests of making our work more widely available, we are putting it on this new version of our web site. There probably won't be a printed tune book, but you'll be able to download it all here. It'll take a while to build up...
We still have CDs and books available to buy - see the CD Shop on Anahata's web site.
While you're there, if you happen to be looking for cheap hosting for a web site, or want one created, see Anahata's Web Hosting service. Local customers include The Bacca Pipes Folk Club, TykesStirrings, Ryburn 3Step, The Village Music Project and Pete Coe.