Phoenix Folk Virtual Ensemble
Phoenix Folk Virtual Ensemble is a project which aims to provide an opportunity for our online community of musicians to create ensemble performances, using new arrangements of traditional tunes. It has been running every month since October 2020.
The project is open to players of any folk instrument. There are a mix of parts available (tune, harmony, bassline, chords, simple harmony/tune skeleton) so players of all levels of ability are welcome to take part. Individual performances don’t have to be perfect, the main aim is to have fun and play music together!
You don’t need any special equipment to take part – just something to record yourself on eg. a laptop, tablet or smartphone.
We’re friendly and easy to get in contact with, and will help with any questions throughout the month.
How it works
The project runs in blocks, each lasting one month, during which time participants can download a resource pack containing sheet music, audio and video for two tunes (or sets of tunes). A Zoom rehearsal takes place a week before the recording deadline. This is optional, and we make the rehearsal recording available for those who are unable to attend. After the rehearsal, participants send us video (or audio) of themselves playing along to the guide tracks included in the download. We mix the audio into an arrangement and create a video collage. Everyone taking part will receive a copy of the videos to keep, and we also share these online as a ‘performance’.
The cost for taking part is £7.50 per block (per person), but you can pay more if you wish to make a voluntary contribution to our costs. There’s no obligation, and you are very welcome to pay the basic fee. The price includes all learning materials, one zoom rehearsal and being included in the ensemble videos for both tunes/sets of tunes.
Block 39: December 2023
This month (December 2023) we’re playing a set of festive wassailing tunes along with a beautiful Norwegian hymn that we came across in Edward Huws Jones book, The Nordic Fiddler. We feel it fits the season nicely. The tunes are:
- Wassail set: Gloucester Wassail, Apple Tree Wassail, Here we come a wassailing
- Norwegian Hymn: I see you, sweet lamb
Extracts of the arrangements (played on fiddle & guitar)
Sample playalong tracks:
- Zoom rehearsal: Sunday 10th December, 4.30 pm UK time (if you can’t attend, you can view the recording instead)
- Recordings: Please send these in by 10pm (UK time) on Friday 15th December (or 12 noon on Saturday 16th December, by arrangement)
- Video release: We’ll aim to release the ensemble videos in time for Christmas
Block 1: October 2020
Coilsfield House (Gow, arr Condie & Dodgson)
Bear Dance/Theme Vannetaise (Trad, arr Condie & Dodgson)
Block 2: November 2020
51st Highland Division’s Farewell to Sicily (Robertson, arr Condie & Dodgson)
Arran Boat Song/Oyster Wife’s Rant (Trad, arr Condie & Dodgson)
Block 3: December 2020
Halsway Carol (Nigel Eaton, arr Condie & Dodgson)
The Christmas Set (Trad, arr Condie & Dodgson)
Block 5: February 2021
Rothbury Hills (Jack Armstrong)
Morpeth Lasses/Cuckold Come out of the Amery (trad)
Block 6: March 2021
Inisheer/The South Wind
All Through the Night/Pant Corlan Yr Wyn/Ymgrychdon Y Waunlwyd
Block 15: December 2021
Christmas Set (O Come O Come Emmanuel, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, In Dulci Jubilo)
Joe Hutton’s March (Archie Dagg)
Block 28: January 2023
Scots Wha Hae, Ye Jacobites by Name
My Love is Like a Red Red Rose, Ye Banks and Braes
Block 32: May 2023
Wallington Hall (Billy Pigg)
Memories of Father Angus MacDonnell (Mike MacDougall)
Block 36: September 2023
Grace Darling Gold (Dodgson & Condie)
Queen’s Delight (trad), Haggis Hunter’s Jig (Katy Robinson)
Block 37: October 2023
Da Slockit Light (Tom Anderson)
Halloween Set: The Ghosts of Jamie Allen & Old Tom of Oxford