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Fiery Dragon Company update 2024

Welcome to new band member Barry Sherlock on piano and recorder.

I have recently formed a small chamber choir called Fiery Dragon Singers who got together in January 2024. They specialise in acapella harmony but are gradually building up a repertoire of songs accompanied by Fiery Dragon Company. They had their debut performance when the two groups got together and produced a concert at St Mary’s Church in Broughton Gifford on 31 May 2024. You can watch videos of the concert by clicking on the videos tab.

Fiery Dragon Company are planning to make a CD soon.

Fiery Dragon Company update 2023

Trish Gange has left Fiery Dragon Company but we’re delighted to say we’ve been joined by Daniel Wolverson on violin and lots of other instruments.

Fiery Dragon Co and Eagle Alley performed together at Broughton Gifford church in May 2023 in a special concert in aid of Ukraine. We started by playing the Ukrainian National Anthem and the whole audience stood up while we played. It was very moving. Fiery Dragon Co also played at Bath’s Party in the City and Iford Manor in Summer 2023.

 

More Christmas Carols

As life gradually returns to something approximating normal, this winter (2022) for the first time in years we brought the Christmas carol sings back to the pubs of Bradford on Avon. In a year like this carols seem to take over much of my life from October right through to Christmas, what with a talk on carols to the Bradford on Avon Preservation Trust, rehearsing the Carols Choir and the Carols Band I lead and the events themselves. But it was a joy to be back in the pubs singing these wonderful carols again.

Performances are restarting for the Fiery Dragon Company aso and we look forward to playing at the Bath Party in the City on May 12th at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution.

The English Christmas Carol at the BRLSI

In December 2021 I gave a talk at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution on the subject of the English Christmas Carol. As I say elsewhere I have been heavily involved with the singing of old and unusual carols in Bradford on Avon for many years and this talk owes a lot to that experience and the disertation I wrote on the subject while I was at Bath Spa University. This talk has now been generously made available on Youtube by the BRLSI. It was recorded via Zoom which accounts for its very Zoomy appearance and the odd glitch but the talk and the examples come through well. You can watch it here.

New band member for Fiery Dragon Company

I’m delighted to say that Trish Gange, who plays piano and cello, has joined Fiery Dragon Company, and is practising with us via Zoom.

As soon as Fiery Dragon Company can get together again physically we plan to make a CD in my husband’s recording studio.  In the meantime you can visit our website and have a look at videos of some of our past performances.

The art of practising in a pandemic

During these extraordinary times we’ve been looking for ways to continue practising together whilst sticking to the rules to ensure safety for band members. The other band I sing with, Eagle Alley, is using specialist software called Jamulus to enable us to practice together over the Internet without it being disrupted by latency (the delay which disrupts normal attempts to co-ordinate sound across the net). However this carries quite high hardware requirements as well as some technical expertise to make it work and so in Fiery Dragon Company we are taking a different approach using Zoom in conjunction with the notation software Sibelius.

We use Zoom’s screen sharing facility so that each of us can hear all the parts being played. We all mute so we can’t hear each other but can each hear how we fit in with the other instruments as we play along with Sibelius.  It’s not perfect, of course, but it keeps us familiar with the music and it maintains continuity in the band so that when the day comes when we can all play together again and perform in public we aren’t starting all over again from scratch.

What will one day be …

I have started working with poet Keri Hendy once again with plans to convert the song-cycle we produced together ‘The Rise and Fall of King Bladud’ into an opera.  The song-cycle was performed in 2016 as part of Bath Festival.  Watch this space.

In other news Fiery Dragon Company managed a few social-distanced rehearsals in the back garden during the Summer. As summer comes to an end and indoor rehearsals aren’t practical while staying within the rules we are experimenting with using Zoom for the Winter practices.

What would have been …

In January 2020 Fiery Dragon Company performed at Bradford Roots Festival but after that the lockdown prevented us performing. Had times been happier we would have been performing in Bath’s Party in the City and at Iford Manor, both lovely gigs.  We’re hoping to be able to perform at these venues next year. Fingers crossed we all get out of this OK.

Coronavirus – you may have noticed …

Well, like everyone else my husband and I are sequestered away for the duration.  My band Fiery Dragon Company have likewise hidden away and our gigs are all cancelled. Likewise my talks at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution. Still, at least it’s giving me a chance to catch up on composing and on posting material on social media. Stay safe everyone!

Beware: Carols!

A bit of advanced warning; I’ve recently made arrangements to do two talks about Christmas carols, the first is on 15 November at the Priory Barn, Bradford on Avon for Bradford on Avon Preservation Trust. The second is on 15 December for Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution. More about this later.