One month today!!

Medieval illumination featuring a rabbit ringing church bells

It’s wet, it’s windy, and spring feels a long way away today, so we thought we’d brighten your day with another preview from Lucrezia Borgia’s Daughter, which will be available one month today. This motet is probably the most radical on the disc.  It’s a setting of the Mass Gradual for Easter Sunday.  Imagine you are … Read more

Read more...

Six weeks to go!! And here’s another preview….

It’s all getting very exciting here: the CDs have arrived in the warehouse, and we will have our hands on them very soon.  So to celebrate, and to intrigue you all, here is another preview from the disc.  This wonderful motet is for the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  In the second part, the … Read more

Read more...

Happy New Year, and happy news!

Happy New Year to all our friends!! We are now barely ten weeks away from the release of Lucrezia Borgia’s Daughter, and we have more exciting news to share. Today, Laurie spent several hours at Broadcasting House with the delightful Donald Macleod, plying him with five-hundred-year-old gossip about nuns and noblewomen, and generally chewing the … Read more

Read more...

Our forthcoming recording wins the 2016 Noah Greenberg Award from the American Musicological Society

News just in – yesterday the American Musicological Society announced its 2016 awards, and we can finally let you know that Lucrezia Borgia’s Daughter has been awarded the Noah Greenberg Award for musicology/performance collaboration. Laurie was in Vancouver to accept the award at the Society’s Annual Meeting. We are so thrilled!

Read more...

Announcing our new recording

Lucrezia Borgia's Daughter

We are delighted to announce that our forthcoming CD, Lucrezia Borgia’s Daughter, will be released on Obsidian Records early in 2017.  We are particularly pleased to be working with Obsidian, a label that has established itself as a leader in bringing together the highest standards of scholarship, musicianship, and production to their releases.  We hope that … Read more

Read more...

Our research contributes to award-winning book

Oh, we are so full of good news this week!  Shortly before the recording sessions, Laurie learned that a book she co-edited with the wonderful Bonnie Blackburn, Eroticism in Early Modern Music, has been chosen as Best Collaborative Project in the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women‘s 2016 awards. Both Laurie’s introduction, ‘Encoding the musical … Read more

Read more...

Chordageddon…

Just one little snippet we can share now… Our friends over at Les Canards Chantants set a challenge this summer as to which ensemble could come up with the naughtiest chord.  Theirs was pretty saucy, we must admit, but we think this one from Suor Anonima’s setting of ‘Haec dies’ is unbeatable:

Read more...

Recording accomplished!

Musica Secreta has just spent a week at Ripon College, Cuddesdon, recording motets from RISM 1543/2, Musica quinque vocum motteta materna lingua vocata – thanks to development funding from Arts Council England, a generous grant from the Ambache Charitable Trustand our amazing Crowdfunder supporters.  Our fabulous Celestial Sirens joined us for a day, so not only were we able to make the most wonderful music with a group of committed and talented women, we were also able to catch up with old friends.  And we made new friends with the Cuddesdon Sisters, whose beautiful and inspiring chapel was the venue for our recording, and whose lovely new home was our lodging for the week.  We couldn’t have been made more welcome, and we couldn’t have chosen a better acoustic in which to record this special music.

Read more

Read more...

Musica Secreta and Triora Musica join forces

In mid-July, Laurie and Deborah ran their first week-long course of female-voice polyphony, with optional morning yoga on the terrace, at Deborah’s house in Triora – part of Deborah’s summer workshop series Triora Musica.  The building, Casa Convento, is an ex-convent (very appropriate); participants (and tutors) stayed in well-appointed cells with views out over the … Read more

Read more...

Ambache Charitable Trust support for Lucrezia Borgia’s Daughter

We are delighted to announce that the Ambache Charitable Trust has awarded us £3000 towards our recording of RISM 1543/2, Musica quinque vocum motteta materna lingua vocata. The Trust is dedicated to supporting the dissemination of works by female composers.  The grant means that our recording expenses are now almost fully funded. A great big thank you to the … Read more

Read more...

Lucrezia Borgia’s Daughter

We are so proud of everything that has happened this weekend.  The concert at the Brighton Early Music Festival was intense and uplifting, and we have been overwhelmed by the immediate generosity of our friends, raising over £1000 in the first forty-eight hours of our crowdfunding campaign. Keep an eye on the updates on the … Read more

Read more...

Crowdfunding our new CD

Musica Secreta has joined the crowdfunding generation with an appeal for our new CD of the materna lingua motets. We have until December 19 to raise £4000 – or hopefully a lot more – towards the project. Very exciting, and very scary at the same time. So, get your pledging hats on, and join our … Read more

Read more...

Almost there!

So, today, in order to help me deal with the excitement of tomorrow, I’m keeping busy finalising our crowdfunding page for a new CD of the materna lingua motets, and making a video to publicise the campaign. And counting habits. More soon!

Read more...

Removing the veil

In some sixteenth-century convents – especially after the Council of Trent – the punishment for playing and singing polyphony was the ‘removal of the veil’. This entailed a loss of privileges, and a loss of voice in convent affairs, sometimes for as long as two years. You’d have thought that we had all been very … Read more

Read more...

And the winner is…

Yesterday the winners of the Engage Competition (run by the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement) were announced at an awards ceremony at the Natural History Museum.  Laurie won the Individually-led Project category with Celestial Sirens!  We are so very proud of, and grateful to, every one of the Sirens, past and present. The award is … Read more

Read more...