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Repertoire

Our repertoire is all written by David Braid.

It ranges from settings of texts from a wide selection of poets (see ‘texts’ tab) to instrumental duos of viola/guitar, viola/mandolin and songs for voice/guitar; voice/mandolin and voice/viola.

A noticeable feature of Braid’s works is their brevity, few of his works last longer than three or four minutes at most.

Concerning this he says: “I take Satie’s lead on this, his ethos of ‘not taking any more time from the listener than is absolutely necessary,’ feels right to me. I prefer brief, intense experiences to long drawn-out arguments”.

Occasionally, to add context and contrast we add a work by an earlier composer.

Instrumentation

The combination of soprano, viola and guitar/ mandolin is unusual.

However, musically this instrumentation touches all bases: three melodic instruments (counting voice) plus the fully harmonic instrument that is the guitar*.

The mandolin is of course, also an excellent accompanying/harmonic instrument in its own right; part of its lute heritage!

Three players also allows for highly flexible phrasing, and close ensemble. Also, our non-requirement of a piano enables performances in non-traditional venues.

*The guitar David uses is a gut-strung ‘Torres’ sized instrument, which has a warm and delicate tone; a slight step away from the more powerful
modern concert guitar.

Texts

With most of the repertoire including soprano, we perform settings of a wide range of poets.

These include: Larkin, O’Dea, Shakespeare, R.S. Thomas, Ho Hsiang-ning, Liao Chung-K’ai, GarcĂ­a  Lorca, et al.

These works are generally set in English, with the occasional foray into their original language (where translated) so the colour/tone of the original is not lost or wasted.