I am a full time, self employed folk musician and singer living in Derby, teaching and performing. I play the fiddle, viola, tenor guitar, sing and dance with Pecsaetan Morris in Sheffield.
I play with the concert and dance trio Cupola with Doug Eunson and Oli Matthews, playing fiddle / viola, melodeons, hurdy gurdy, sax / clarinet and percussion and singing in three part harmony. We have our first album out – IVY which is for sale at cothrecords.co.uk, and are in the process of recording our second to be out in May 2015.
Cupola trio is also working with Keith Kendrick, Sylvia Needham, Pete Bullock, John Titford and Roger Warren in a re-making of the 1977 Tale of Ale.
Doug Eunson and I also play together as a duo and have performed as part of Cross o’th Hands and the Ram Company. We also have duo and band CDs available from cothrecords.co.uk.
The Cupola trio also form up into a quartet with Lucy Ward – winner of the Horizon Award in the BBC Folk Awards 2012. Look out for Cupola:Ward as an exciting new line-up bursting with new vitality on stage, performing at festivals in 2013. DanceCupola
Cupola also combine forces with Andy Cooper on Bass and Ian Wilson on Mandola to form DanceCupola, an energetic new dance band playing for ceilidhs at festivals and making a great name for themselves: “What a joy! Solid rhythms from the back line of bass and mandola underpin the distinct and exciting music from 3 supreme melody musicians. The combination gives you DanceCupola. They are just fabulous to dance to and the subtlety of the arrangements and harmonies make for a truly splendid listening experience as well. Calling with them is sublime and I never want the nights with them to end.” Martyn Harvey – caller. Solo
One of my recent projects is a solo album recorded across the last year or so, entitled As I Was Walking and ready for sale at the start of August 2012 from cothrecords.co.uk. This has been an opportunity to explore the fiddle, viola, cello, tenor guitar and vocal harmony investigating what various combinations I could put together, layering track upon track. It has been an incredible journey, learning new things about my playing along the way, and I do hope you enjoy it too…… Mills and Chimneys Project
Since 2010, I have had the pleasure of working with several talented local folk artists in this unique Derbyshire heritage fuelled project, writing songs and researching material with Derbyshire history and character. It has been such a great honour and learning experience to work and perform with David Gibb, Elly Lucas, Julian Butt, Mike Smith and again Lucy Ward. Just recently we performed with members of Sinfonia Viva and Jack Ross at the Assembly Rooms in Derby with about 400 school children in a remarkable event entitled “Oh how that Valley did Change!” – such a joyous occasion – big smiles all round. Mills and Chimneys Project
This unincorporated association of folk artists is very active currently working with Derby LIVE to develop arts participation programmes for Derby Folk Festival and the annual St George’s Day Celebrations: check out our website for more details: FOLK3D Opus
I am so pleased to be involved in new work supported by Youth Music and Arts Council England, in Children’s Hosptials in Derby, Nottingham, Leicester and Sutton-in-Ashfield – playing music for and with children and their families, visitors and attending medical staff – humanising the hospitals and bringing a little more culture to the usual clinical environment. Check out our blogs to see what we’re up to: OPUS Music CIC
The Lunar Men
The Lunar Men is a collaborative and interactive performance piece centred around the extraordinary characters of the Lunar Society, a group of dynamic inventors, experimenters, and philosophers of the Eighteenth Century. Their story is interwoven with exquisite and comic folk tales, combining Maria’s rich and eloquent storytelling and Sarah’s responsive musicianship and singing. Joseph Wright’s paintings are brought vividly to life in the audience’s imagination. Alongside Maria’s skilful evocation of other worlds, Sarah brings the voice of the viola to enhance the linguistic landscape. Percussive sounds and tones create a soundscape, improvised to suit every moment. This is a celebration of friendship, collaboration, art, science, and wonder.
In March 2014, I joined Jo Freya (Blowzabella) and Melanie Biggs (All Blacked Up) in this new trio. We have had a busy year with many lovely gigs and have just recorded our first album Sideways with WildGoose: www.moiraitrio.co.uk