La Manfredina & Tristan’s Lament (Late 14th century Italian dance music, arranged by Racheal Cogan)

Christine Williams – cello; Racheal Cogan – Eagle recorder.

Christine Williams and I have formed a new duo called Breath & Bow. I love working with Christine’s beautiful rich sounds on her cello and thinking about all of the possibilities of repertoire and new music to write and arrange for us.

We made our first recording a few weeks ago – an arrangement of two Medieval pieces called La Manfredina and Tristan’s Lament. It was fun, and just the beginning of a lot more recording sessions lined up for some of the music we have been working on together over the past four months.

Working intensively on this piece together was a great learning experience for both of us in learning to listen to each other and nut out how we aesthetically want to bring these two instruments and our very different musical backgrounds together.  Repertoire is a big one, I’ve been arranging different styles to hear what works and have some sketches of original compositions I will be working on. Then there are all of the aesthetic technical choices: how much vibrato do we want, so that we can grow into matching the vibratos together; what are our choices in slowing down and breath? And of course : ornamentation.

I’m choosing the Eagle recorder for a lot of our work together, it has a few more notes and a louder sound that seems to match the cello nicely.

Take a listen to our music together – we hope that you enjoy it. There will be much more to come, some more Mediterranean styles, and an arrangement I have been working on of a stunning piece by Hildegard von Bingen written about 900 or so years ago!

Stay tuned….

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