AN ACCOUNT OF THE INTERNATIONAL PIPE AND TABOR FESTIVAL 2016
HELD IN GLOUCESTER 2nd TO 4th SEPTEMBER
This year’s festival was one of the most enjoyable we have held, though again it was not as well attended as we might have hoped. Our international guests were a French duo, Mi Ombre Mi Soleil, otherwise known as Solène Riot and Sigrid Guillaume.
The festival followed the usual format, beginning with our Symposium which we held, as last year, in the Wheatstone Room of the city museum. This is a venue well suited to our purpose, and Bill had put together a full programme of interesting talks.
- A study of mouthpieces for three-hole pipes: Mike Hutley
Zen and the art of pipe & tabor playing: Atsufumi Ujiie
- Distribution and overview of iconography of mediaeval and tudor taborers in the UK: Gillian Guest
- Music of the angels?: The musician carvings on Gloucester Cathedral and what we might learn from them: Simon Pickard
- The collection of folk instruments at the University of Wales, Bangor: Christina Ruth Homer
- The tambourinaire in the French Renaissance: Solène Riot
- The Forlana, a dance form from Venice: Bill Tuck. This topic was presented as a poster display.
We then spent an evening in the Conservative Club rooms, where we enjoyed a sumptuous feast of food and music and where further members joined us.
On Saturday morning we gathered at the Ed Shed of the Folk Museum, now called the Museum of Gloucester Life. Downstairs, sales stalls were set out, while upstairs Andy Richards took the workshop on tunes for the procession. When we gathered for the procession at 1.30pm, it was rumoured that we would be following a shorter route than usual because heavy rain was expected at the wrong time. Alan Myatt, the larger than life town crier, must have friends in very high places, because the rain stayed away and the procession wound its usual long route. With our impressive banner in front, we led the Civic Trust (again!).
After the procession we gathered at the Cross and performed a Big Dub, and still the rain held off. This was followed by the AGM in the Ed Shed, where much discussion took place.
The Fountain was again the venue for a very early evening meal before we went to the Park Street Mission Rooms for the evening (when at times we could hear the rain beating down on the roof!) The first half was the members’ opportunity to play a party piece or two, and we enjoyed a very varied programme which included two of the entries in our competition. Solène (pipe and tabor) and Sigrid (diatonic accordion) played the second half and it was not long before the chairs were cleared for dancing. We had been glad to welcome several people who had come to the concert because a French dance duo were to play, and the dancing was both enthusiastic and skilled. Solène and Sigrid play their own compositions and the music was haunting and delightful.
On Sunday morning we enjoyed two excellent workshops which we held in the Conservative Club. First Solène took us through a series of taboring rhythms for dances, and demonstrated how a single tune could be adapted to each. Then Clive, the winner of the competition to compose a new piece for pipe and tabor, gave us a very thoughtful hour’s tuition, explaining the ideas behind each section of his piece, and working on the part playing. Afterwards at the Fountain, three players with Clive and a technician or two went into an empty room and made a recording of the Taborers’ Clarion.
This year the weather was not conducive to playing in the courtyard, so we contented ourselves with eating, talking, having a drink and enjoying each other’s company until it was time for each person to leave.
All in all, it was an excellent weekend.