04 Nov SE dives into the history of the Mary Rose with help from Trobár
Les Délices’ award-winning webseries and podcast SalonEra continues its fourth season with Shipwreck! premiering November 13th. This episode probes the fateful history of The Mary Rose, Henry VIII’s flagship, with guests Allison Monroe and Peter Walker, two multi-instrumentalists and early music polymaths. Featuring stunning recordings from recent performances by Cleveland’s Medieval ensemble Trobár, fans of Medieval music, naval history, and the sordid lives of Tudor royals will love this unique and colorful episode.
Shipwreck! will premiere on November 13th on the Les Délices YouTube Channel, at salonera.org, and on all major podcast platforms. Each episode of SalonEra streams free with a suggested donation of $15/episode. Video episodes are available from their premiere date through June 30, 2024, with podcast versions of the same episodes available at salonera.org and wherever podcasts are heard.
Henry VIII’s turbulent reign, marked by war, religious schism, and a series of unsuccessful marriages, dovetailed with his prized flagship, The Mary Rose. Completed in 1511, The Mary Rose was a state-of-the-art warship complete with 6-8 large gun ports and she met with victory in early battles with France and in Scotland. On Sunday July 19, 1545, Henry VIII watched from the shore as The Mary Rose sank during the Battle of the Solent, a confrontation between French and English troops. The exact cause of the sinking remains unknown but it is believed that mere dozens of more than 500 men aboard survived.
The Mary Rose sat at the bottom of the English channel until 1982, when she was finally exhumed along with over 19,000 objects from the period. Among the finds that came up with The Mary Rose was a chest full of instruments. Included were pieces of two small, boxy vielles (or fiddles), several three-hole tabor pipes, and the first douçaine that had survived to the modern era. Previously, the soft, sweet sounding douçaine (also called a styll shawm by the English) was known only through descriptions.
The dynamic Medieval ensemble Trobár, led by Artistic Director Allison Monroe, told the story of The Mary Rose through music on a May 2023 program that featured Les Delices’ Debra Nagy. This episode of SalonEra features recordings from that concert, which imaginatively reconstructed instrumental music, songs, and even sea shanties as they might have been heard on board (or adjacent) to The Mary Rose, including music composed by Henry VIII himself. Guest Allison Monroe shares insights into the creation of the program while baritone, storyteller, and multi-instrumentalist Peter Walker, relays ship’s story through readings drawn from Edward Hall’s Chronicle in addition to historic bagpipe tunes that evoke The Mary Rose’s early battles in Scotland.
SE 4.2: Shipwreck!
Premieres November 13, 2023
Henry VIII’s flagship The Mary Rose sank in 1545 with a chest full of instruments on board. We talk with polymaths Allison Monroe and Peter Walker about telling the ship’s story through music alongside featured performances from medieval ensemble Trobár.
SalonEra (SE) was launched as a webseries in 2020 to share a world of early music with a dedicated global audience at home. Since the beginning, SalonEra’s winning formula has combined high-quality recordings with insights from an inspiring slate of guest artists. Over 35 episodes later, the award-winning series is increasingly featuring in-person performances and interviews, expanded to include podcast versions of episodes and – new this season – they’ll introduce SalonEra Sessions, a free live-taping experience accessible to Cleveland fans of SE.
SalonEra’s 4th season will include seven new video episodes highlighting a diverse range of repertoire. In addition, The SalonEra podcast will also release exclusive episodes about select programming from Les Délices’ 2023-24 15th Anniversary Season, featuring musical insights, historical context, and audio highlights.
Trobár is a small band of voices and instruments dedicated to bringing medieval music to modern audiences. The word trobar comes from Occitan, the language spoken in the middle ages in what is now southern France, and encompasses numerous meanings: to find, to meet, to create, to compose, to invent. This word encapsulates the spirit of discovery and invention that we bring to musical texts of the middle ages. Trobar was founded on the belief that music has the power to bridge cultures, despite the separation of time and place, language, ethnicity, or religion. Our mission is to explore the human experience as viewed through medieval music and the stories of medieval peoples. We strive to produce material that is rooted in historical research, imaginative in inspiration, cohesive in concept, excellent in performance, immersive through the incorporation of visual elements, interdisciplinary through its contextualization of music in art, literature, and history, and both educational and edifying in its impact. We engage with medieval scholars and performers globally; we share our work and ideas on a national stage through performances but also in workshops, masterclasses, and residencies with students; and we bring together new audiences within our local community in northeast Ohio.
ABOUT THIS EPISODE’S GUESTS:
Allison Monroe plays vielle and rebec; Renaissance, baroque, and classical violin and viola; and sings. Her performing credits include the Newberry Consort, the Boston Camerata, Piffaro, Apollo’s Fire, Atlanta Baroque Orchestra, Les Délices, Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, Seattle Baroque Orchestra, and the Washington Bach Consort. She won Early Music America’s 2017 Barbara Thornton Memorial Scholarship. Allison loves the creativity and research that goes into programming and directing concerts of early music. She co-founded and serves as Artistic Director for Trobár, a Cleveland-based medieval music band. She was also the Artistic Director for and a performer on Fair and Princely Branches, an album of music for the Jacobean princes, released in 2020. Allison has been a part-time Lecturer at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) since 2018, where she previously earned a Doctor of Musical Arts in Historical Performance Practice. At CWRU, she coaches the medieval and Renaissance ensembles, has directed the Baroque Orchestra, oversees the Kulas Instrument Collection, and teaches on medieval performance practice. She has also taught courses through CWRU’s Siegal Lifelong Learning program, at Interlochen’s Early Music Workshop, and is a frequent guest lecturer on medieval and Renaissance music.
Described as a “commanding” singer by a recent Boston Globe review, Peter Walker performs with the GRAMMY-nominated Skylark Ensemble, Handel + Haydn Society, Three Notch’d Road, Chapter House, GRAMMY-nominated Clarion Society Choir, Kuhmo Kamarimusiiki, Staunton Music Festival, Early Music New York, Blue Heron, and Pomerium, and is a member of the Schola Cantorum at the Oratory of Saints Cyril and Methodius. Peter is active as a researcher of early music ranging from the early Middle Ages through the eighteenth century, and has presented lectures at Vassar College and Case Western. Peter holds degrees from Vassar College and McGill University, where he studied with Drew Minter and Sanford Sylvan. He won the Overseas Class in the Lowland and Border Pipers’ Society Competition in 2016, and his article on tablature for the sordellina appeared in the journal of the Bagpipe Society in 2019. He has performed with Three Notch’d Road since 2015.