Filming in Florence

When we were first thinking about how we wanted to bring Brumel’s Lamentations to audiences in performance, we knew that it would be hard to do the work justice in a stand-and-deliver concert – it feels far too contextually rich for that approach. We also wanted to express some of the wonder we feel when we … Read more

Read more...

Brumel’s Lamentations: an analytical guide

As we get closer to the release date of From Darkness Into Light, we want to share an essay written by Laurie to accompany the liner notes to the CD. There are only so many words a CD booklet can contain, but we felt there might be some listeners who wanted to know more, or who … Read more

Read more...

Triora week of women’s polyphony

Fourteen intrepid singers from the USA, Canada, UK, and mainland Europe made their way up the mountain on the first Sunday of July to join Deborah and Laurie in the medieval mountain town of Triora, high in the Argentine mountains above the Italian Riviera. Despite delays caused by thunderstorms and a stray suitcase, we managed … Read more

Read more...

Proudly announcing our new CD and tour of Brumel’s complete Lamentations – UPDATE

It’s been whirlwind getting this recording together, from finding the music to booking the recording dates and trying to find time to do that thing – rehearse! – but we did it, and we could not be happier about the result. The disc pairs Brumel’s Lamentations for Good Friday, discovered by Laurie in their forty-five-minute-complete … Read more

Read more...

We made a stand! Coming soon to a workshop near you…

Our new choirbook stand is a thing of beauty and ingenuity. Put together from components purchased from eBay, an antiques market, Ikea, and the local hardware store, it is now ready to hold music in choirbook format, large enough for the whole ensemble to read from in performance. It has been an ambition for us for … Read more

Read more...

Booking now open for Musica Secreta’s 2019 summer school

We would like to invite you to join us this summer in the extraordinary medieval town of Triora, high up in the Ligurian mountains, for a week of convent polyphony.  From 7-14 July, we will be singing, eating, and laughing together, and we’d love to have you there, too.  More information on this page, where … Read more

Read more...

Women and Music in Sixteenth-Century Ferrara a finalist in PROSE awards 2019

Laurie’s book, Women and Music in Sixteenth-Century Ferrara is named in the 2019 finalists’ list for the Association of American Publishers Awards for Professional and Scholarly Excellence (PROSE awards) for books of extraordinary merit that make a significant contribution to a field of study.  We are delighted that women’s music – particularly women’s polyphony – is finally getting recognition!

Read more...

Autumn news round-up!

Before the Christmas season gets underway, we thought we’d round up our autumn news and give you a few reminders about what’s coming up in 2019. September’s big news was the long-awaited release of Women and Music in Sixteenth-Century Ferrara. The book tells the story of Ferrarese music in a new way, by putting women … Read more

Read more...

Anthony (Tony) Newcomb: an appreciation

We are so sad this evening to hear the news of Tony Newcomb’s passing. His book, The Madrigal at Ferrara, 1579-1597, was our go-to reference for many years and the inspiration for the projects that led to recordings, concerts, and research of our own. His meticulous readings of documents, his insightful analysis that only could come … Read more

Read more...

Celebrating the creativity of Florence’s convents

Musica Secreta has, over the past few decades, done concerts in England, Ireland, Germany, France, Croatia, in cathedrals, decommissioned churches, hotel restaurants, and once memorably in a tent in a field. But we have never performed in Italy before, so Wednesday night was a wonderful first for us. Thanks to an enterprising invitation from Linda … Read more

Read more...

Who’s the daddy?

As usual, it’s all very busy here at Musica Secreta central, what with performances and workshops being planned, oh and books being published… Well, one book in particular, Women and Music in Sixteenth-Century Ferrara, which is finally out and available from Cambridge University Press, or Hive (other online retailers are available). While I was putting together all the final materials … Read more

Read more...

Musica secreta – read all about it!

It feels like a lifetime since I began to write this book but it’s only been, what, nineteen years? Oh, and only four hundred years since the last duchess of Ferrara died in 1618. And finally, finally it is done and coming out in print – on 27 September 2018. More or less everything we have done with Musica Secreta and Celestial Sirens in the last two decades has been part of the research process that has informed this tome – from the Dangerous Graces project and CD to Lucrezia Borgia’s Daughter, and all concerts, events, and shenanigans in between.  

Read more

Read more...

Back from clausura

Give us a hug, then, and welcome back!

Well, that didn’t quite go to plan. I notice that it has been almost exactly a year since the last update on the Musica Secreta blog, for which I apologise.

Read more

Read more...