Trouvère are medieval musicians Paul Leigh and Gill Page, We have been playing music together for more than twelve years, and our particular love is for the music of the high middle ages – the time of the crusades and of the arts of courtly love. We enjoy rediscovering, recreating and re-interpreting the magnificent music of these times, based on thorough historical research alongside our musical experience and understanding. Most recently we have been working on twelfth century material including songs from Norman Sicily and music of the troubadours; we’ve also been looking at the earliest English repertoire. We have a particular interest in the thirteenth century manuscript known as the ’Chansonnier du Roi’, and this formed the basis for our most recent CD Music for a Medieval Prince. Right now, we are hard at work on a new concert programme called ‘Magna Melodia – music from the time of the Magna Carta’, and there will be a new CD to accompany this.
The rich interweaving of strings is perhaps our signature sound, played on the gittern or lute and harp, though Paul also has a lovely line in a variety of medieval flutes which also work really well with the harp. But we have an amazing array of instruments and also love to combine bagpipe and medieval hurdy-gurdy or trumpet and shawm, and Gill has also been known to sing …
Paul encountered medieval music in the course of his music degree, where he ended up writing his dissertation on the modern reception of medieval music. He is particularly fascinated by the modal nature of medieval melody and harmony .
Gill is a medieval historian with a particular interest in crusader states in Greece. Her book Being Byzantine: Greek Identity before the Ottomans was published by CUP in 2008. She was thrilled to discover connections between her Greek studies and the music of the medieval west and very much enjoys exploring the musical background to the period.
This blog features regular updates on our activities, plans and research. Currently we are posting regular updates on our work on ‘Magna Melodia’, and Gill is also posting on her current costume project – a magnificent 13th century outfit!