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Kate & Corwen



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Contemporary Folk

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Kate & CorwenContemporary Folk Music

If you peer through the layers of folklore and listen for hints in the extant oral traditions still alive on the fringes of Europe, maybe you can catch a glimpse of how our ancestors heard music, and saw the world. In a world full of noise and machines, bright lights and flickering images, it's easy to forget what music can do.

We bring you a feast of ancient sounds with contemporary style. Influenced by Faroese tradition, the Kalevala, Sean Nos singing and Anglo-Saxon and Celtic Poetry, we seek to rediscover the lost epics of the British Isles and bring them to a modern audience. Ballads become trance-dances, work songs become spells and forgotten instruments speak again taking us into a strange world of mythology and folk belief.

Though drawing on many influences we are determined that their music should remain at its heart, deeply British, rooted in these Islands. Pipe and Tabor is not lost among the sounds of Kantele or Spilapipa, the Welsh Pibgorn and Crwth rub shoulders with the Gusli and Sruti Box.

Looking outwards can be a way of looking deeper into British tradition. How did the Anglo Saxons play their lyres? We do not know, but perhaps we can learn from the Finnish Kantele tradition. How was the Shetland Gue played? We do not know, but its brothers the Tallharpa and Jouhikko give us clues. Like many First Nations Peoples we can learn about our deep selves from the traditions of our neighbours, some of whom still remember what we have forgotten...

If you would like to book us for your folk club or other event, get in touch.

Click on the following links to listen to some samples:

Samples (Live Performances)
listen THE LAILY WORM AND THE MACHREL OF THE SEA at Glastonbury Town Hall
listen CRUEL SISTER at Glastonbury Town Hall
listen KNOWLTON BELL at Glastonbury Town Hall
listen HIGHLAND WIDOW'S LAMENT at Glastonbury Town hall


Subscribe to KateCorwen's channel on Youtube.


Kate and Corwen play The Highland Widow's Lament with Damh the Bard. This song is heard over the opening credits of the 1973 film The Wicker Man.


Kate and Corwen play The Cruel Sister, on Viking instruments (horsehair kantele, and Jaw harp). This medieval ballad is widespread across Northern Europe, it tells the story of the murder of the younger sister by the older who is jealous of the attention given to her sister by a suitor. An instrument is made from her body which tells the tale to shocked onlookers at the older sisters wedding feast...

Kate and Corwen play Sweet England, a traditional English folk-song.



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