About the Terra Nova Consort

The Terra Nova Consort was founded in 1988, by Sue Carney and Pat O'Scannell, with the idea of exploring ethnic influences on the performance of early music. Subsequently, they were granted a residency at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Some years later, in 1998, Terra Nova attained national notice in the first EMA/Dorian recording contest, and began a new relationship with Dorian as recording artists for the label.
Since the release of their debut CD with Dorian, Renaissance en Provence, (1999) Terra Nova has been active on the national and international touring circuit. In the summer of 2000, the ensemble made their European debut at the Tage Alter Musik Festival, in Regensburg, Germany. Dubbed "the absolute discovery" of Tage Alter Musik 2000 by festival founder Stephan Schmidt, the Consort brought their fresh and inventive sound to a wildly appreciative international audience. They returned to Tage Alta Musik Festival in June of 2003 as the featured artists with their program of Spanish Renaissance Music called: Baylado!, and have been invited to return with their third: Song That Never Ends, traditional music of Galicia, featuring guest artist Shira Kammen.

Since its founding, Terra Nova has been actively involved in educational programs through Southern Oregon University, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Oregon Arts Commission, Elderhostel, and the Seattle Early Music Guild. In addition, members have appeared in educational settings throughout the west, bringing early music to students of all ages and backgrounds.

The Terra Nova Consort was part of a select group of U.S. touring ensembles named to a program called The Star-Spangled Season, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, and administered and sponsored by EMA magazine. A roster will be sent to thousand of early music presenters, and concerts made possible with matching funding for the 2003 season.

NEW PROGRAM

Alta California

Before the Gold Rush, California was a thriving Mexican colony. The music of Alta California reflects the grace, beauty, and abundance of the land,  telling tales of early California life that still drift on the warm breezes, enchanting all who listen. The Californios were blessed not only in their rich Mexican musical heritage, but also in the musical influences that came to them through their thriving ports. Dance music from the continent, Tangos from Argentina, and Flamenco from Spain melded with Mexican music (itself an earlier hybrid of Spanish and indigenous Native American culture) to produce one of the richest, most sonorous, and tuneful musical traditions to be found in the New or Old Worlds. This is the birthplace of Mariachi: where romance blooms on every tree. Where the gentle strumming and passionate serenading continue until dawn…

The Songs That Never Ends, traditional music of Galicia

This program is based on the works of Dorothea Schubarth, an ethnomusicologist who arrived in Galicia, Spain in 1978 during her summer vacation, having just published her first book: The Folksong in Europe, Diversities of its Forms, Although currently serving as the professor of harmony at the Academy of Music at Lucerne at the time, she was captivated by the music of the Spanish countryside, and began a seven year long adventure that would result in several groundbreaking books. Although she followed in the footsteps of others such as Inzenga, Pedrell, Don Castro Sampedro and Torner, just to name a few, her study was by far the most comprehensive, and the resulting book: Cancioneiro Popular Gallego, made room for a comparative study of the melodies never before possible.

The songs were recorded in the field and then later transcribed. In addition to the rigors of such fieldwork, Dorothea developed a system of classification fo the melodies as she went along. Her system was based on the works of Launes, Bartok, Vaisanen and Elschekova, and was cutting edge for her time which had so far produced only exhaustive classifications for text.

The songs are monophonic and unaccompanied, and contain rhythms which are both unexpected and artful. The texts are largely secular, and derive from the countryside in stories telling of everyday life. Many of the songs fall under the heading of worksongs, although not all are performed while doing the task being described. There are also romances and many other diverse forms. The forms derive mostly from, and are identified by their rhythmic content, and have exotic names such as muineira, jota, punto, fuilada, fiadeiro, molino, seran and many more. Some of these forms may be found within the Flamenco tradition as well, and the trems therefor are familiar. We have included a few pieces which might be called secular carols, and which touch on subjects of a religious or festive nature, without being intended for use in church. This repertoire is in the most direct way possible and example of true music of the people. It would have been sung in the kitchens, verandas, on the streets and on pilgramage. The oldest of the melodies are thought to have flowed in from such places as France and Portugal during the many pilgramages that occured in the area historically. One of the most famous, the pilgramage to Compostella originating in Portugal, happened during the Middle Ages, and is thought to be evidence of the Gregorian Chant origins of some of the music. Others speculate about Celtic origins even more ancient and dating back to Roman times. The Romans eventually defeated the Celts, and were replaced by Teutonic overlords as the overseers of the Galician people. There history of servitude under a foreign hand, love of storytelling and bodacious bagpipes make them have much resonance with Celts in other parts of the world.

You may well wonder why this repertoire. We have explored the music of Provence and southern Spain, so Galicia is a natural progression. Considering the strong background in Celtic music of some of our members, we found it hard to resist.

You are glimpsing into the beginning of the development of a Terra Nova Consort program that will eventually be recorded and performed elsewhere. This is our first approach to the repertoire, and much development will take place before we are ready to record it. We are lucky to have the talents of the Terra Nova Consort, as well as two wonderful guest artists in our attempty to breathe life into distant repertoire of brilliant and little heard music. Shira Kammen will join us on fiddle and vielle, and Rebecca Merusi joins the group as a percussionist.

We thank Kevin Carr for early contributions to the program as a bagpipe specialist on the timeless gaita, Spain and Portugal's contribution to the world of bagpipes.

We would also like to thank Canou, who taught workshops in percussion to the Terra Nova Consort during his visit to Ashland, and whose expertise as a gaita player in Galicia are legendary.

RECORDER BOOK

Pat O'Scannell and Sue Carney have collaborated on a series of recorder books to be published by Mel Bay Publishing. The Spring Garden: The Complete English and Scottish Country Dance Master for Recorders, Book 1, with arrangements by Pat O'Scannell, is now available. The book features over 40 of O'Scannell's 2,3, and 4 part arrangements for recorders (and other instruments). More information is available at www.4pato.com/recordings.shtml.

COLLABORATION WITH LOS TIEMPOS POSADOS

In the year 1999, Sue Carney and Pat O'Scannell, the Artistic Directors of the Terra Nova Consort, were given a wonderful opportunity which was bestowed on them by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the "Amistad" program at Southern Oregon University. The two musicians were sent to the Sister-City of Guanajuato, Mexico, where they met director Armando Lopez Valdivia and performed a concert with his accomplished group Los Tiempos Pasados at the Teatro de la Compania.

The directors and group members hit it off extremely well both professionally and personally, and thus began a great collaboration between the two groups which was to last four years, and is still continuing.

In 2000, Pat and Sue returned for a second visit, this time as official performers for the Festival Internacional Cervantino and representing Mexico in Mexico's largest, and one of the oldest, Arts Festivals, putting on over one hundred performances in numerous theatres, cathedrals, churches and outdoor venues throughout the picturesque colonial town of Guanajuato in September each year. Artists from all over the world appear during a three week stretch in this acclaimed music, dance and theatre event, for the multitudes who throng the streets from all parts of Mexico to attend the sold-out programs or many open-to-the-public performances in a number of outdoor locations.

In the year 2000 the two directors appeared in a show written by famed Mexican writer Juan Ibanez, who had died only weeks before the show opened, entitled: Siempre Es Hoy (It Is Always Today) featuring poetry and verse by the aging writer and music by Los Tiempos Pasados. The magical show was presented in a tiny and ancient church called the Santa Ana. With marigold petals strewn on the floor, over a hundred candles lighting the church, fog, and with the mesmerizing sound of Sephardic and other medieval music as a back drop, it was truly a wonderful experience for performer and audience.

The following year, Terra Nova in its entirety traveled to Guanajuato, where they performed a collaborative concert in the Juarez Theatre to a sold out and enthusiastic audience. Later that week the TNC performed Renaissance en Provence both in Guanajuato and later in Mexico City at the huge Instituto Polytechnica, and were well received. Upon returning to Guanajuato, the two directors performed a final time with Los Tiempos Pasados in a beautiful and aging cathedral located atop the surrounding hills. Los Tiempos Pasados performed in Ashland in September of 2002 in collaborative Green Shows with the Terra Nova Consort, as well as other concerts and workshops.


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