Focus: Will Finn and Rosie Calvert | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Who are you and where are you from?
We are Will Finn and Rosie Calvert, and we’re a traditional/contemporary folk duo who happen to be married to each other! Will is originally from Blaydon and Rosie was born and raised in Heaton and we still live in Newcastle.

What is it you do?
We research, arrange, and perform traditional and contemporary folk music from all over these islands and beyond. We also occasionally write our own material, but the bulk of our repertoire is traditional! Our main thing is harmony singing – we both love to create unusual and interesting harmonies with only our two voices, which can be quite a challenge! We also play instruments – piano, ukulele, and steel pan.

How long have you been doing it?
We’ve been singing together in one form or another for about 15 years, but this particular duo has been going for the last 7 years.

What inspires you?
Good question! All sorts of things – nature, history, the need to express political beliefs, dance, storytelling. Most of all is the work of other folk musicians over the generations – traditions have been so carefully passed from hand to hand over hundreds of years sometimes – hard to think of anything more inspiring than that!

Tell us about your music.
Most recently, we’ve been working on a show that is themed around the animal kingdom – what stories about animals can tell us about them, about us, about our changing attitudes over time. We’re hoping to make the show a multimedia piece, with music, story-telling, and crankie boxes, which are old-fashioned scrolling panoramas for visual storytelling. We’re really excited about this show and we’ve found a wealth of great traditional repertoire for it – from bees and beetles to foxes and otters to herring and whales!

What have you got coming up in the future?
Our animal show is called “From Burrow to Blessing: Animals of Story and Song”, and we’re hoping to have that finished later this year. We’re also running a series of harmony singing workshops and gigs throughout the year called A Season of Song – each will be a day-long event focussing on seasonal repertoire. Our winter event is taking place at The Cumberland Arms on the 20th of February and we’re planning for our spring event to be sometime in May!

Where can people find out more about you?
Our website is www.willfinnandrosiecalvert.com, or you can find us @finncalvert on twitter, @willfinnandrosiecalvert on Facebook and Instagram, or join our mailing list here.

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