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Posts tagged ‘NCEM’

Recording sessions offer at the NCEM York

As part of my work with the National Centre for Early Music in York we are opening the doors and encourage more people to come in to use the lovely, inspiring, bright, airy space.

One of the uses of the venue that suits really well – with its lovely acoustics, sound proofing and studio facilities is recording sessions (either studio style or with a small live audience.)

From Jan to March 2013 NCEM is offering a 30% its day rate (info below.)

Having used the space myself for recording projects i’d happily chat through the potential in the space but it is certainly well worth a look!


From the NCEM promo:

As we sink into the winter months The National Centre for Early Music has a warming offer on recording sessions at our beautiful St. Margaret’s Church in York: 30% off the standard hire day rate on any booking taking place until 31st of March 2013.

Together with the stunning natural acoustics of this inspiring space, few other medieval churches could offer such a warm welcome at this time of year. Renovated to an exceptional standard in 2000, the space boasts triple glazing, silent under floor heating, dedicated artists facilities, soundproofing and acoustic treatment to tailor your sound.

As a concert venue for 180 people the space suits more intimate ensembles perfectly. Either for live recordings or for studio sessions the space adapts well and allows you to shut out the world and focus on creating beautiful work.

With a range of well maintained early music keyboard instruments – see for details; there is little to complicate your time or arrangements. We are able to offer a range of support services too from session engineers to catering and accommodation.

The venue is well used by a wide variety of early music specialists (as well as jazz, folk and contemporary musicians) and recordings this past year include John Potter and Christopher O’Gorman (Hyperion) and Profeti della Quinta – winners of the 2011 York Early Music International Young Artists Competition (Linn).

BBC Radio 3 use the NCEM to broadcast live their annual Early Music Show from York and artists recorded by BBC Radio 3 for broadcast in 2012 include countertenor Iestyn Davies, Phantasm, Gallicantus with lutenist Elizabeth Kenny with artists for 2013 already booked to include Paul O’Dette, Ensemble Medusa with Patrizia Bovi and Fabio Bonizonni.

The BBC Music Magazine’s review of John Potter & Christopher O’Gormans ‘Conductus – Music and Poetry from Thirteenth Century France’ Recording (autumn 2012) gives great testament to the value of the church here at the NCEM:

‘Conductus proves that ascetic simplicity can be as deeply moving and aesthetically breath-taking as the most complex, heart-on-sleeve music … It’s hardly necessary to mention that the performances are superb, their precise diction well-served by Jeremy Summerly’s production and Julian Millard’s engineering. The sound is intimate yet resonant, closely-focused and detailed yet with an ambience vividly suggesting spaciousness’ (BBC Music Magazine)

 If you’d like to take advantage of our 30% discount on our daily hire rate (reducing the venue fees to £280 +VAT!) do please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you. Contact: or 01904 632220.


Krar Collective – NCEM

So i don’t know where else in York you are going find such a range of interesting, unexpected and high quality global artists!?

The NCEM, in their partnership with Making Tracks, have brought some great world music acts to the city over the last couple of years and continue to do so.

The Krar Collective on Friday 5 October at 7:30pm should be no exception. From the NCEM publicity:

Krar Collective perform a rootsy yet contemporary take on traditional music from Ethiopia based on other-worldy modes and driven by hypnotic rhythms. Led by krar virtuoso Temesegen Zeleke, a former star pupil of veteran Ethiopian legend Mulatu Astatke, fronted by the stunning, soaring voice of Genet Assefa and accompanied

by innovative drummer Amare Mulugeta, Krar Collective create a surprisingly big sound, leading one critic to name them ‘The Ethiopian White Stripes’. With a varied repertoire from gentle ballads to high-energy dance tunes, Krar Collective is set to surprise and delight.

‘Spine tingling stuff’ Fly Global Music


Making Tracks

A travelling season of concerts bringing the newest and most exciting music from around the globe to 12 major music venues in the UK.’ 

The NCEM in York are offering a buy one get one free offer on the following Making Tracks co-promotions:

Krar Collective Friday 5 October 2012

Melingo Thursday 8 November 2012

Yiddish Twist Orchestra 26 February 2013

Johanna Juhola 16 April 2013

Buy one full price ticket for any of these four concerts and get one other of these four concerts free. This offer is valid on full price tickets only. You will need to book the two concerts at the same time to take advantage of this deal, by phoning the Box Office on (01904) 658338.


The world famous Mysore Brothers in York

It would be impossible to write about all the amazing stuff that goes on in York, but from time to time things come across my radar that need sharing!

On Sunday 23rd September at 4PM India’s greatest violinist duo, the Mysore Brothers, perform in the UK for the first time.

The gig at the National Centre for Early Music is a rare opportunity to hear Carnatic music performed at its very best.

The NCEM provides the perfect setting for this intimate concert. Full details can be found –

You can read more about the artist here



‘what was the raghu dixit track sung on the andrew marr show on 15 april 2012?’

Turns out that one of the key search engine terms pointing people towards my website at the moment is:

‘what was the raghu dixit track sung on the andrew marr show on 15 april 2012?’

So i thought i’d better answer the question!

Raghu sang ‘I’m in Mumbai waiting for a miracle’ – From the Album Antaragni – The Fire Within (iTunes link).

If you enjoyed Raghu’s performance on the Andrew Marr show you can watch it again here: (BBC web link)

and you might like to have a look / listen to the EP we recorded together last summer at the National Centre for Early Music in York.

You can read more about the project here

or you can download the live EP from iTunes – Unplugged (Live in York) – Raghu Dixit

If you are in london you might like to come down to the South Bank Centre for Raghu’s concert with members of Bellowhead as part of the Alchemy Festival.

Double Duo – NCEM York – 14 April

I’m down again at the National Centre for Early Music in York looking after tonight’s concert – Double Duo.

Part of the Making Tracks world music series the performance is described as ‘Double Conversations for Oud & Percussion’ and it sounds like it will be a fascinating concert.

The NCEM website says:

Innovative, energetic and playful, the Double Duo is a new project created by London based oud player Khyam Allami, with highly respected Palestinian oud player Ahmad Al-Khatib, extraordinary percussionist Youssef Hbeisch and Italian frame drum master Andrea Piccioni.

Commissioned by Making Tracks, the two duos of oud and percussion will present original repertoire and arrangements developed especially for this project. Using the Maqam modal system as a basis, DoubleDuo combine their breathtaking instrumental skills through sensitive, dynamic improvisations, infusing the soulful, melancholic beauty of Arabic classical performance with a myriad of rich musical influences. From delicate interlocking nuances to high-energy improvised flourishes, it is a pure display of inspiring communication and world-class musicianship.

There is also a video clip on the NCEM site which is worth a look.

The Double Duo website is here.

(Also … if you are not sure what an oud is you can check here ;0)

So now you have read up  – there are still tickets available for tonight and if this sounds like your cup of tea (or you fancy something different) doors open around 7!

Hope to see you.


Exciting news from Raghu Dixit

I’ve just received the following press release from Raghu’s team – though it was definitely worth sharing!

Raghu Dixit Announces Live ITV Queens Diamond Jubilee Performance!

“Quite literally, the world is Raghu’s oyster” – Rolling Stone, India

“a debut solo album of swaggering confidence” – Songlines

“international stardom seems assured” – Evening Standard

2012 is shaping up to be another remarkable chapter in the Raghu Dixit story. Completely unknown in the UK when his first album was released here in 2010 – he’s now set to perform for – and meet, The Queen!

Raghu will perform crowd favourite Mysore Se Ayi on ‘All The Queens Horses: A Diamond Jubilee Special’ at Windsor Castle on 13 May with the concert being aired on ITV in early June, also starring Joss Stone, Il Divo and Susan Boyle.

In his own words: “I’m ecstatic to be performing with such a brilliant constellation of popular artists from various parts of the world representing our different cultures”.

Raghu Dixit also releases his new EP “Unplugged – Live In York”. Recorded last summer with his band The Raghu Dixit Project in a stunning medieval church in York. It’s an intimate, largely acoustic affair in which Raghu permeates his extraordinary vocal prowess with intricate guitar work.

The EP includes “No Man Will Ever Love You Like I Do”, the song that transformed his career when he performed it live on Later… With Jools Holland back in 2009 to an audience including fellow-guests Adele, Robert Plant and Arcade Fire, who all showed their appreciation. Following transmission Raghu topped the iTunes’ World Music chart in Britain and he’s now India’s highest-selling non-Bollywood domestic artist.

Raghu sings with pure unbridled elation, his music and vocals are powerfully uplifting and a real awakener to the senses. He’s arguably unrivalled in this sense and you need only check his Jools performance to experience this yourself –

As if all that wasn’t enough; Raghu will appear on the The Andrew Marr Show (BBC1) on April 15th

2012 Festival and Tour Dates Announced:

April 14th OneFest Marlborough
April 18th/19th Alchemy Festival, Southbank Centre, London
June 2nd Bushstock, London
June 9th Salisbury Festival
June 13th Birmingham Town Hall
June 22nd Solas Festival, Scotland
June 24th Brighton Dome
July 15th Larmer Tree Festival
July 27th Cambridge Folk Festival
July 28th WOMAD
July 29th Milton Keynes International Festival
August 18th Beautiful Days

For media enquiries please contact:
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+44 203 397 0947

Raghu Dixit: Unplugged (Live in York)

I’ve had the privilege, over the last few months, of working on a project with the brilliant (and charming) Indian musician Raghu Dixit.

He and his band came and spent a day at the National Centre for Early Music in York, and in the skillful hands of engineer Leaf Troup and producer Craig Vear we created a stunning live release:

Listen & download on iTunes:

Unplugged (Live in York) – Raghu Dixit

or on Amazon if you prefer:

Raghu Dixit: Unplugged (Live in York)

(also on 90 other online stores in 240 countries)

This new release is Raghu’s first new project of 2012.

It is an intimate, largely acoustic set in which Raghu demonstrates his powerful vocal style and guitar work on favourites that include “No Man Will Ever Love You Like I Do”, the song that transformed his career when he sang it live on Later With Jools, to an audience that included fellow-guests Adele, Robert Plant and Arcade Fire. This set also includes a new version of the witty and thoughtful “Gudugudiya Sedi Nodo”, written by one of the great Kannada poets, Saint Shishunala Sharif. There’s one previously unreleased song, the poignant English-language ballad “I Still Love You”, which was inspired by a romantic story from another Kannada poet, written over a hundred years ago.

The recording’s producer, Olivier Award nominee Graig Vear, used 3d recording and mastering techniques to immerse the listener in the setting of this intimate, special performance. The National Centre for Early Music provides the perfect backdrop for this sort of project.

In addition to the live tracks from York, the EP is interspersed with binaural recordings taken in India, atmosphere from the concert (including Raghu talking about the inspiration for some of the tracks) and Vear has also included a beautiful, atmospheric remix of “Soruthihudu Maneya Maligi”.

Throughout the project we’ve had tremendous support from Raghu’s UK & international teams including: Robert Horsfall at Sound Advice, Paul Knowles at the Jenral Music Group and Gaurav Vaz. My thanks go to all of them.

Raghu has a very busy season coming up and is back in the UK in April for a collaboration with Bellowhead, along with Gauri Sharma Tripathi. They are working together to create a concept concert, based on Girish Karnad’s Kannada Folk Tale, Hayavadana.

The concert will premiere at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on the 18th and 19th of April as part of Alchemy 2012.

Raghu is also going to be appearing on BBC One on The Andrew Marr Show on the 15th of April, live to over 2 million viewers, between 9 and 10 AM.

The ‘Live in York’ Project Credits include: 

Raghu Dixit – Vocals/Acoustic guitar
Gaurav Vaz – Bass
Vijay Joseph – Guitar
HN Bhaskar – Violin
Wilfred D’Moz – Drums/Percussion
Recorded live at: National Centre for Early Music, York, UK
Date: 17th July, 2011
Project produced by: Ben Pugh
Recorded and engineered by: Leaf Troup
Mastered by: Craig Vear
Sleeve Art: Mat Lazenby 
(p) 2011 Raghu Dixit / (c) 2011 Raghu Dixit

Get The Blessing | NCEM

This just hit my radar! (busy few weeks) but tickets are still available on the door if you fancy a great night of live music:

Winners of the BBC Jazz Award 2008 for their debut album ‘All Is Yes,’ this band is one of the UK’s most exciting live bands. Featuring bassist Jim Barr and drummer Clive Deamer from trip-hop legends PORTISHEAD, plus the twin horns and electronics of saxophonist Jake McMurchie and trumpeter Pete Judge, they have forged a unique signature sound that defies easy classification, yet never loses sight of thumping tunes, infectious beats or joyous collective spontaneity.

Their latest album OC:DC is released this year ahead of a European tour. Influences range from Ornette Coleman and Tortoise, to Blondie and Samuel Beckett. 

”this outfit will surely recharge the jazz world” BBC Music Magazine

Venue info on

To listen to the new album you can download at iTunes:

OC DC – Get the Blessing

Or for more information visit

SambaSunda Quintet – Sunday 19 February – NCEM

There is a great world music season coming up again at the NCEM in York. First up are SambaSunda Quintet on the 19th of Feb.

The NCEM website says:

These groundbreaking gamelan innovators have a flair for experimentation. In their latest incarnation, the Quintet reflect a tradition of Sundanese music whilst also creating something fresh, modern and original. The music is centred on the kacapi, a boat-shaped zither whose mellifluous tones have been heard in Sunda (West Java) for centuries. Using kacapi, violin, suling (flute) and the unique, tuned kendang (drums) to accompany singer (and dancer!) Rita Tila, SambaSunda use an ancient repertoire to articulate a distinctly urban accent suffused with a contemporary awareness of global sounds.

This concert is part of the Making Tracks series bringing the newest and most exciting music from around the globe to 12 major music venues in the UK.

“While unmistakably Sundanese, the band’s musicians add subtle elements… that extend the music into something new and different, and always [with] a few delightful and surprising twists along the way” – SONGLINES

“Clashing gongs, lilting drums, sparkling flutes and cantering vibes all somehow manage to create a sound which is unique, modern and imaginative (…) Every country and every traditional style of music needs musical pioneers… Fortunately for Indonesia, Sambasunda have taken up the challenge with style and gusto.”  – BBC radio 3

For more information visit

So if this sounds like your thing – click over to the NCEM and book your tickets.

While we’re (broadly speaking) in that part of the world i’d personally recommend eating at to get you in the mood. It is just a few minutes walk away from the venue and open from 12 until 9PM on a Sunday.

NCEM Composers Award 2012

Great opportunity for young composers at the NCEM in association with BBC Radio 3 and the Tallis Scholars.

From the NCEM website:

The 2012 NCEM Composers Award was launched on BBC Radio 3’s Early Music Show on Sunday 15 January.

This major national award is presented by the National Centre for Early Music in association with BBC Radio 3 and The Tallis Scholars. We are inviting young composers resident in the UK to write a new piece of between 3 and 4 minutes’ duration specifically with The Tallis Scholars in mind, taking as their starting point the In Nomine theme from John Taverner’s Missa Gloria Tibi Trinitas. There are two awards: one for composers of 18 years and under and one for composers aged 19 to 25.

A shortlist of entries will be workshopped with the composer Christopher Fox and the Ebor Singers at the National Centre for Early Music in York on Thursday 17 May 2012 in the presence of the young composers. At 7.30pm on the same day, the Ebor Singers will perform each of the pieces in front of a panel of judges at All Saints’ Church, North Street, York and the winners will be announced, one for each of the two age categories.

We are delighted to be working again with the internationally acclaimed vocal ensemble, The Tallis Scholars, who will premier the winning entries in Durham Cathedral on Saturday 2 June 2012. This concert will be recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s Early Music Show on Sunday 1 July 2012.

Applicants must register their interest in the award by 5pm on Friday 2 March by emailing . Completed scores must be delivered to the NCEM no later than 5pm on Friday 30 March. The award will be judged in York on Thursday 17 May 2012.

Further details on: