Whilst the accordion and hurdy-gurdy are familiar to many in the folk music world, there are some musicians who transform the very boundaries we believe those instruments are capable of. Their journey of discovery is often a very personal one, driven by passion and one that knows no bounds.
Melodeon player Andy Cutting is one such musician. Many festival goers may think they are familiar with his repertoire but he’s not afraid to dabble in musical alchemy as he demonstrated on his collaboration with Kings of the South Seas (Free Folk Vol. 1)
Anne Niepold of Belgium is another such player who began her love affair with the accordion from the age of 13. She has studied with some of the best and whilst she is familiar with traditional music developed a keen interest in improvised jazz. She also studied at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels where she was awarded the prestigious Toots Thielemans Jazz Award.
For her latest project, she has joined forces with hurdy-gurdy extraordinaire Gregory Jolivet of France, who, as well as being a well-respected soloist has played in UK favourites Blowzabella…a bedrock of musicians for whom pushing boundaries is a regular pastime. Jolivet’s playing looks effortless, and his face frequently gives away the joy he receives from playing the hurdy-gurdy, an instrument that he transforms into ‘cool’ – funky, melodic, poly-rhythmic and effortlessly tuneful.
This is the first time that Anne Niepold and Gregory Jolivet have joined forces so I’m intrigued as to what NAUTILUS, their new project, will sound like.
They have announced a series of concerts (details below) which will include both solo and duo performances – so there are plenty of opportunities to catch that creativity at play. They promise great tunes inspired by their respective folk traditions and their own brilliantly crafted contemporary compositions designed to test these traditional instruments to the limit. They’re both charming, charismatic and very funny too! Musical satisfaction guaranteed.
Anne and Greg describe the inspiration for NAUTILUS
Like Nemo’s Nautilus, this musical submarine is conceived as a research laboratory, a museum and an instrument for excitement. Its hull cannot yield, it holds fast and defies the most violent seas.
The Niepold-Jolivet duo invites you aboard. Sometimes facing winds and tides, sometimes barge, sometimes a pleasure boat, cruise ship or majestic sailboat. It is loaded with cargo coming from all over the world, from the South Pole to Lapland.
Dare to embark on this vessel for a trip to unexpected musical depths. After all, is it not the Nautilus that rediscovered Atlantis?
“It was marvellous, a feast for the eyes, this complication of coloured tints, a perfect kaleidoscope of green, yellow, orange, violet, indigo, and blue; in one word, the whole palette of an enthusiastic colourist!” (Jules Verne, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, 1869).
Anne Niepold and Gregory Jolivet – Nautilus Tour
Wed 08 Feb. The Anvil, Basingstoke Hampshire
Thu 09 Feb. Wetherden Village Hall, Wetherden Suffolk
Fri 10 Feb. St Clement’s Church. Hastings High St, Hastings, East Sussex
Sat 11 Feb. 8 pm. Prema, Uley Bethesda Chapel, Uley. Gloucestershire
Sun 12 Feb. Pebbles Tavern, Watchet 24 Market Street, Watchet, Somerset