MP3 Paul Butler Consort - Of Dyverse Mynstralsye
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17 MP3 Songs
CLASSICAL: Traditional, FOLK: Traditional Folk
Paul Butler is a multi-instrumentalist who researches, plays, and occasionally builds medieval and renaissance instruments. Originally trained in classical violin and choral music, he discovered folk and early music in college and it rather stuck. A chance meeting with Heather Rose Jones at a science fiction convention brought him to her harp workshop where he absconded with a lap harp (she did eventually get it back), and decided he really had to learn this instrument. He discovered the vielle, and was surprised to learn it actually is a different instrument than a violin strung with gut and has enjoyed experimenting with it's peculiar sound. His love of early music and arrangement forced him eventually into the studio to play the variety of instruments he owns all at once. This work represents his first attempt to record "Paul and the all-Paul band!"
Paul has performed for a over a decade in re-enactment societies, at renaissance faires, in museums, and for educational settings both as an individual and as part of several groups, including the celtic/medieval ensemble Burlap Lute and the renaissance dance band the Bhakaili Branslers. His research into early music has attracted him to some of the more unusual medieval and renaissance instruments. He has tried to approach the music to create a sound closer to the buzzy, somewhat clashing sounds and structures that were so popular in the medieval and renaissance periods. To this end, he acquired several rarely experienced historical instruments to recreate this sound. Chief among these for this album is the bray harp - a small harp strung in gut with small "L" shaped pins that brush against the base of the strings at the soundboard, generating a sharp "buzz" on the attack. The result is a small harp that is very loud and has an interesting snarling buzz (thus "bray" like a donkey) that one person described as a cross between a harp and a marimba. Also included in this tonality are gut strung vielles that have a sharper, more nasal tone than the modern violin most are used to hearing, and which are often played with continual drones like a bagpipe. Reedy wide-bore renaissance recorders and cornamusen (kind of like a bagpipe without the bag) used in consort round out the sound. To contrast this are several sweet and lyric pieces on the album using the more common folk harp - itself very similar to the medieval lap harp - to show that the early folk weren't all reeds and snarl! Paul's voice, ranging from dark baritone to light tenor, finishes off the effect in either direction.
So sit back and imagine yourself a noble sitting at feast in your hall, calling for the minstrels to entertain with dance, song, and music. They present you this collection of pieces to delight, arouse, move, and enchant!
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