Musica Secreta at Stapleford Granary

This past Tuesday and Wednesday we have been rehearsing our new programme for 2022, Mother, Sister, Daughter, which ruminates on women’s relationships, their prayers and the stories they tell each other. We were so privileged to have a wonderful space at Stapleford Granary, as part of their Artist Residencies scheme.

Rehearsing in pandemic conditions meant that we were wrapped in blankets for the first day – as we kept the doors and windows open to maximise airflow. After some warming up with chant, matching our vowels and word stresses, and fine-tuning chords in meantone, the rest of this day was devoted to the fifteenth-century office of St Lucy from Verona 759, and the sixteenth-century office of St Clare from Brussels 27766.

On Wednesday afternoon we were joined by Joanna Marsh to workshop our new commission setting two texts, one by Norfolk poet Esther Morgan, the other written in the 17th century by Alessandro Francucci. Suffice to say we were all utterly blown away by Jo’s work – such a wonderful revelation of what our combination of voices and instruments can do.

Many thanks to the artistic director, Kate Romano, for making our stay possible!