A  L E T T E R   F R O M
 M a d d y   P r i o r

Hi friends

        We live in a rapidly changing world, it seems. A vulnerable America is re-drawing the battle-lines around the globe, and those once theoretical discussions concerning faraway places are now affecting our daily lives. The global village has become very small indeed.

        But there are some things that do not change. Maddy Prior and Friends will be touring in the Autumn. We will continue our celebration of the story Arthur the King, which was a delight to perform and has been gratifyingly well received by the audiences. I'm thoroughly enjoying the dramatic aspect of the piece, and John Dagnell has worked really hard on the back-projection that rolls behind us. He's also doing wonders with the video side of our endeavours, which is a rather new and exciting part of the work. The hours that Nick and Troy have put in are fully evident on this song cycle, and it is great to have such a satisfying musical working environment.

        Daughter Rose will be joining us as support in her own right. She may deign to sing some harmonies with us too! I may also be able to persuade her to sell some raffle tickets in aid of my sponsored walk from the Dead Sea to Petra for Cancer Research. I couldn't resist the challenge to walk along the route I envisaged the Three Kings taking.

        Which leads into the second tour, with the CARNIVAL BAND at Christmas time. We have a new album of the material that we first performed last year. Those of you that have seen it will remember the song cycle of GOLD, FRANKINCENSE AND MYRRH which leans heavily on the skills of the band in the area of Middle Eastern music. The songs portray the journey from Ethiopia, via Petra, Oddessa, Jericho and Jerusalem to Bethlehem of the three wise men. There is also a musical journey from the Middle East of the wise men to Medieval Europe representing the birth of the Christ child. There are some stunning performances and the whole cycle is played with great verve and energy. Something altogether different. We complete the CD with five other songs of a more traditional line. The Carnal and the Crane is a traditional ballad that Andy has set to three Playford tunes, Bethlehem Down is a beautiful and unusual song with music by Peter Warlock. Entre le Beouj is a charming French song, and The Oxen is a Thomas Hardy poem set to music. Finally, Rorate is a delightful lute song.

        So it's a busy autumn for us. Hopefully see you out there.


 March 2001 Letter