Faustus have been announced as Halsway Manor artists in residence for 2016. The project, which Arts Council England have agreed funding for, creates a unique partnership between Halsway Manor and the band, centred around the development of new arrangements of rare traditional English folk music; these will be shared through workshops, two national tours and the recording of Faustus’ third album – they released their last album Broken Down Gentlemen in 2013, read our review here. The project combines the bands expertise, made up of Benji Kirkpatrick, Saul Rose, Paul Sartin, with the professional resources of Halsway Manor including their extensive folk library and archive.
Faustus will begin researching and rehearsing new material at Halsway Manor in the early part of 2016; a national tour in March will include new works in the set list, sharing them with audiences for the first time. The album will be recorded in the Summer of 2016, before a second national album launch tour in October, making a new collection of English folk material widely available. Additionally Faustus will offer two workshop weekends at Halsway Manor over the year, sharing their considerable expertise with singers and instrumentalists wishing to explore ways to source, interpret and perform traditional material. The first of these takes place early in April, the second later in the year (dates tbc).
On behalf of Faustus, Saul Rose said: “We thank Arts Council England for their support of the project. This is a great opportunity for us, and for Halsway, to be discovering, reviving and sharing English material. The icing on the cake is that we can also offer workshops in the unique environment of Halsway Manor, helping musicians to discover and interpret traditional material for themselves, and passing on what we’ve learned over the years.”
Crispian Cook, CEO of Halsway Manor said: “We couldn’t be happier to have Faustus – leading exponents of Traditional English music – working with us in 2016.This will be the first in a series of year-long artists’ residencies at Halsway Manor, demonstrating our commitment to supporting artists and developing new work.”
Faustus are Benji Kirkpatrick (Bellowhead), Saul Rose (Waterson:Carthy) and Paul Sartin (Bellowhead). Faustus tour twice a year in the UK and regularly headline folk festivals in the UK and in Europe. They have two critically acclaimed albums to their name, the first of which received a BBC Folk Award Nomination in 2009. Faustus have been together as a band for nine years and the three members, despite their relative youth, bring over sixty years of professional experience.
Halsway Manor, National Centre for Folk Arts, provides a permanent home for the enjoyment, study and development of folk music, dance and culture in England and draws on traditions from across Europe and beyond. Unique in the UK it hosts over 340 days of residential and outreach activity every year covering all facets of the folk arts from instrumental music, song and dance to traditional storytelling, crafts and instrument making. Halsway Manor is committed to excellence and opportunity for all with a broad programme that covers amateur exploration, professional development, the creation of new work and stewardship of our heritage.
Photo Credit: Ian Andrews