By 1780, the East India Company had transformed Calcutta into a small English city. Musicians travelled from London to India, bringing the music of Corelli and Handel with them. Others, living in Calcutta and the surrounding area, asked local groups of Indian classical musicians to tune to their harpsichords so that they might join in, and transcribed Indian music into European notation.
Explore this music from the streets and soirées of a young Calcutta, where performers from many cultures traded melodies and wound them into their own traditions. Ensemble Tempus Fugit melds an unusual combination of period music and Indian sitar and song with shadow puppetry, dance and drama to tell a story of a traveller making his way to the musical heart of the City of Palaces.
Repertoire includes: music by Playford, Purcell, and Locke; music for sitar and voice; period transcriptions of Hindustani and Bengali songs.
Development of Calcutta was supported by a National Lottery grant from Arts Council England.
Interview with Lucie Skeaping on BBC Radio 3 about the Calcutta Project at the Brighton Early Music Festival:
Audience video, recorded informally at the Brighton Early Music Festival:
The hour was sad; I left the maid
A lingering farewell taking,
Whose sighs and tears my steps delayed,
I thought my heart was breaking.
In hurried words, her name I blest,
I breathed the vows that bind me,
And to my heart in anguish pressed
The girl I left behind me
Then to the east we bore away,
To win a name in story,
And there, where dawns the sun of day,
There dawned our sun of glory
But if I ne’er return again
Still with her name I’ll bind me
In constancy to her I love
The girl I left behind me
Paradevate bhava bhakta modini pahimam palini hamsini
O supreme goddess! The one dear to the dewless, protect me! the one with the noose; the royal she–swan;
karuna-kari, kamala-aksi, sundari kamini, kaulini sankari
the ultimate supreme, the merciful; the lotus-eyed; the beautiful, the enchanting one; the form of love inside the heart, the auspicious;
parisuddha citta ranjani malini pada panke-ruha padmini
the one who captivates the mind of the bull; the divinely pure, who has lotus-feet;
guruguha rupa dharini komala-akarini mantrini yogini sri
the form of the first master; the delicate one; the form of mantrini, yogini, sri.
Shooting the Breeze
Unique wind music for the homesick German
Oonagh Lee, Baroque oboe & recorders
Jakab Kaufmann, Baroque bassoon
Alex McCartney, Baroque guitar & theorbo
Katie De La Matter, harpsichord
Not one to fall out of touch, Telemann kept up with his old school chum Fasch, his godson C.P.E Bach, and traded letters and even gifts with Handel throughout his life: listen in as all four correspondents finally meet in a concert of rarely-performed music for winds from Handel’s distant homeland.
Fenton House, London — SOLD OUT
& St. Michael’s Battersea
Shall We Dance?
A cosmopolitan collection of the music, songs, and dances found in the courts and homes of seventeenth-century England, all underpinning the story of a mod prince and his court of rocker musicians.
Arbeau: Belle qui tiens ma vie
Locke: Suite from Musick for Severall Friends
Campion: ‘Beauty since you so much desire,’ ‘Come you pretty false-ey’d wanton’
Praetorius: Branle de la Torche
Caroso: Cascarda chiara stella
Purcell: ‘Take not a woman’s anger ill’
Playford: ‘Mr. Beveridge’s Ground,’ ‘Mr. Beveridge’s Maggot,’ ‘Emperor of the Moon,’ and an Irish adaptation of ‘Stingo’