IPATF 2018

An Account of IPATF 2018 held in York 14th, 15th and 16th September

The 2018 IPATF was the best-attended festival we have had, with 27 taborers plus a number of spouses/partners participating.  We had taborers from Japan, USA and France as well as the UK.  We were based in the wonderful Black Swan (built in 1417), and held the Friday afternoon symposium in the panelled room upstairs.  Gez started proceedings with a practical look at how to adapt one’s playing to fit in with other musicians.  He called it cheating, but the view of the audience was that it was sensible modification!  Bill Tuck then gave an interesting theory on why the recorder was invented.  He was followed by Jameson Wooders who shared some results of his trawling through 17th and 18th century household accounts to find records of taborers in various parts of the country.  Bill then took charge again to lead a rehearsal of “L’Homme Armé”

Most people ate their evening meal downstairs (it was on this basis that we were not charged for the use of the upstairs room for the weekend), then it was back upstairs for a social evening of playing and catching up with old friends.

Saturday morning saw us back upstairs for workshops.  The beginners’ workshop, with no absolute beginners, turned into a very useful discussion session covering various aspects of technique.  This was followed by work on tunes for the evening’s dances and Sunday’s processions.

After lunch the AGM was held, then 4 of the Arbeau dancers arrived for a rehearsal of the evening’s dances and Bill took us through the music we had practised earlier.  Work stopped about 5p.m. and at 6.10 we gathered outside the Black Swan, some in mediaeval dress, and processed in a noisy musical line, the object of much interest and photography and some dancing, via the Shambles and Stonegate to St Helen’s church.  Here we had a short rehearsal before the concert at 7.30.  There were massed items, solos, small groups and the very fine Arbeau dancers performing dances of the 15th century.  We were also joined by York Waites’ taborers Tony Barton and Tim Bailey.  Afterwards many members returned to the Black Swan, where we socialised, played and talked till nearly midnight (though the playing had to stop shortly after 11).

Sunday dawned damp, but it was dry by mid-morning when in our mediaeval finery we met up and divided into 2 main groups for leading Mystery Play waggons. There were 4 acting stations this year – St William’s College, St Samson’s Square, St Helen’s Square and King’s Manor, and the taborers as usual made very effective bands to precede the waggons along the route and then perform while the staging on the carts was prepared.

Our job was done by about 5pm, and a number of us gathered in the Three-Legged Mare to relax and wind down after another very busy and successful festival.