Years 5 and 6 enjoyed an afternoon with the folk trio Faustus
The legend of Faustus - the necromancer who makes a pact with the devil, uses Mephistopheles as a personal servant, and is eventually damned to an eternity hell - was used as the source for Marlowe’s famous play and for an opera by Gounod. It is also the name of a successful English folk trio, comprising fiddler and singer Paul Sartin, melodeon player and singer Saul Rose, and Benji Kirkpatrick, guitarist and bouzouki player and, yes, you guessed it, singer. They may not have made a pact with the devil, but they have learned to play and sing together damned well.
Years 5 and 6 enjoyed an afternoon of folk music with the trio, who were in Oxford to publicise their latest album Death and Other Animals. It’s well worth a listen if you are into folk music. The boys learned about the oral tradition - the way in which folk music is traditionally passed on and learned - Church modes (scales that form the basis of melodies), and performing in 5/4 time (a surprisingly popular time signature for folk songs). They sang along in harmony, attempted (hilariously) some traditional folk dancing, and enjoyed listening to these wonderful musicians singing some of their favourite songs. The thick, rich sound of the melodeon, a button accordion, combined with three-part singing plus fiddle and guitar to make a totally arresting and uplifting sound, and the boys had a great time. So, if your son now says he wants to be a folk musician, you’ll know the reason why. RP