Freyamusic Consultancy and Workshops

Online Instrumental Ensemble 20: Tunes from Blowzabella album 'Vanilla'

Four-week course beginning on Thursday 16th September 2021
Minimum donation £40   

Often described as 'iconic', the Blowzabella album 'Vanilla' has some amazing tunes on it. In this course, we will look at four tunes over the four weeks.

This is not about reproducing Blowzabella arrangements, but rather about exploring these fantastic tunes with the group who attend. The course is open to all instruments and abilities. Tunes may not be in the keys originally played, but instead transposed to suit the instruments of those who sign up for the course. 

Learning online

Before each session, I will send you:

  • a PDF of the tune - with some suggested chords, if none have been noted before
  • MP3 recordings of the tune, played by myself in the appropriate key - including a recording of a small arrangement and of the tune played slowly

During the sessions, you will then learn the tunes with me. As well as learning the tunes, we will also work to create an ensemble recording during the course - scroll down to find out more about how my online ensemble courses work.

Course dates
Sessions will take place once a week for four weeks - however, please note that there is a two-week gap between the first and second session and a weekly gap thereafter. Dates are therefore as follows:

  • Thursday 16th September
  • Thursday 30th September
  • Thursday 7th October
  • Thursday 14th October

All sessions will take place from 7–8pm BST. 

How to book

    For more details, and to book the course, email: courses@jofreya.com

     


    Harvest Hootenanny! with Jo Freya and Kirsty Martin

    Saturday 9th October 2021, 1–5pm
    Brighton Unitarian Church, New Road, BN1 1UF

    Tickets £35 / £28 concession + booking fee

    Join me as I team up with choral director and composer Kirsty Martin of Hullabaloo Quire and we put the Hoot into Hootenanny! This is a brand-new, bespoke song and tune workshop with an Autumnal vibe, featuring global folk songs and tunes that celebrate the turning of the seasons. The repertoire will be eclectic and multi-generic; expect trad tunes as well as some brand new material hot off the (cider) press!

    Who is it for?

    This workshop is for singers and instrumentalists of all abilities, from the creatively curious to the seasoned sessioners! There are 20 places for singers and 20 places for instrumentalists. You may want to swap between singing and playing, and we hope that will be possible - but we’d like you to sign up as EITHER a singer OR an instrumentalist, so we can keep on top of the numbers. To assure COVID safety, places will be limited and balanced for singers/players.

    Where is it taking place?

    We have the run of the beautiful Unitarian Church in Brighton for the afternoon. This means we have two spaces in which to workshop (and a kitchen…there WILL be snacks and breaks!).

    What to expect

    We’ll start with a Come All Ye ensemble session - a short vocal workshop, gradually adding some simple instrumental chords. We’ll then separate out into groups - the singers will be with Kirsty and the instrumentalists will be with Jo - and then we'll come together to perform for each other! We may well swap leaders, chop and change, mix it up - let’s see what the group is like! The music will be taught by ear as default but, where possible, scores/tabs will be provided too. Come with open ears!

    How to book

      For more details, and to book the course, click here.

       


      Winter Songs and Carols: Part 1

      Four-week course beginning on Monday 1st November 2021
      Minimum donation £40 

      There are many wonderful songs around over the winter season, and I have had the pleasure of singing them in theatres, churches and cathedrals for the last 20 years. These are not your standard carols, but rather songs of the people. They are either folk songs, collected in the usual way and then sung or added to an archive, or they are carols that have been set to various tunes with stunning four-part harmony arrangements. This is what we will be looking at in this four-week course.

      Last year, we looked at carols including the majestic 'Diadem' and the tender 'Dunstan Lullaby'. This year, we will be doing a similar range of contrasting songs, all in four-part harmony, from the tradition or based on it. All you need to bring to the party is your voice!

      Learning online

      Before learning each song, you will receive a PDF of the notation. However, you don't need to read music to take part. You will also receive MP3s of each of the parts, and during the sessions themselves I will guide you through learning each song.

      This course will be taught online, so you can join in from wherever you are in the world. The nature of these online workshops is that you can learn all the parts and, if you like, sing them all!

      During the course, you will have the chance to submit MP3 recordings of yourself singing whichever parts you choose. My job, after teaching you the parts, is then to gather these recordings together and then put them into a mix. Scroll down to find out more about how this works!

      Course dates
      Sessions will take place once a week for four weeks. Dates are as follows:

      • Monday 1st November
      • Monday 8th November
      • Monday 15th November
      • Monday 22nd November

      All sessions will take place from 7–8pm BST.

      How to book

        For more details, and to book the course, email: courses@jofreya.com

         


        Online Instrumental Ensemble 21: Tunes from Blowzabella album 'Octomento' 

        Four-week course beginning on Thursday 4th November 2021 
        Minimum donation £40  
          

        After a break from playing together for a while, Blowzabella got back together to celebrate an anniversary, after which 'Octomento' was born! The album features tunes that have gone on to become part of the tradition, including 'To the Edges', 'Robins', 'Origin of the world' and 'De Montford', to name just a few.

        During this course, we will look at some great melodies and styles of tunes. We will cover four tunes, but I haven't picked which ones yet, so if you've got any favourites that you'd like to cover, let me know! All instruments and abilities are welcome.

        Learning online

        Before each session, I will send you: 

        • a PDF of the tune - with some suggested chords, if none have been noted before 
        • MP3 recordings of the tune, played by myself in the appropriate key - including a recording of a small arrangement and of the tune played slowly 

        During the sessions, you will then learn the tunes with me. You will also have the chance to work together to come up with a unique ensemble mix. I will do a basic arrangement and, where chords have been noted in advance, I will suggest chord progressions. However, that's just to get us started, and the rest is up to you!

        Once we've come up with an arrangement, you will be able to spend the time between sessions recording your parts, before submitting them to me to compile a mix - scroll down to find out more about how my online ensemble courses work.

        Course dates 
        Sessions will take place once a week for four weeks. Dates are as follows: 

        • Thursday 4th November 
        • Thursday 11th November 
        • Thursday 18th November 
        • Thursday 25th November 

        All sessions will take place from 7–8pm BST.

        How to book 

        For more details, and to book the course, email: courses@jofreya.com

         


        Winter Songs and Carols: Part 2

        Four-week course beginning on Tuesday 30th November 2021
        Minimum donation £40 

        This Winter Songs and Carols course follows on from Part 1, but you don't need to have done Part 1 to participate! The two courses will look at different songs, so you could choose to do either course or both, depending on how much singing you want to do.

        During the four-week course, we will look at a range of seasonal folk songs and carols with stunning four-part harmony arrangements. Expect some big hitters and tender moments, but above all, expect to get into the festive spirit! These courses are always very popular, so make sure you get booked up so you don't miss out. 

        Learning online

        This course will be taught online, so you can join in from wherever you are in the world.

        Before learning each song, you will receive a PDF of the notation, but you don't need to read music to take part. You will also receive MP3s of each of the parts, and during the sessions themselves I will guide you through each song. You can learn all the parts and, if you like, sing them all!

        You will have the chance to submit MP3 recordings of yourself singing whichever parts you choose. My job is then to gather these recordings together and then put them into a mix. Scroll down to find out more about how this works!

        Course dates
        Sessions will take place once a week for four weeks. Dates are as follows:

        • Tuesday 30th November
        • Tuesday 7th December
        • Tuesday 14th December
        • Tuesday 21st December

        All sessions will take place from 7–8pm BST.

        How to book

          For more details, and to book the course, email: courses@jofreya.com

           


          How my online ensemble courses work

            My online courses allow you to work together to create an ensemble recording with your fellow participants. You could be in an ensemble with people from the UK, mainland Europe, the USA and more - not something we can manage physically very often!

            For instrumental courses, we will decide as a group about the arrangement we want to create, and for vocal courses you will have the chance to choose the part that suits you best (or perhaps choose more than one!). After the first session, you will have the opportunity to create an MP3 recording of your chosen part and submit it to me. I will then create a recording with all of you in it, and you will get an MP3 copy of any recording we make.  

            In week 2, we will learn a new tune or song, but also go back and play through the first one, this time hearing the whole group recorded in the mix. This will allow us to hear what we sound like together, even when we're based many miles apart! 

            Here's an example of a track created from an online instrumental ensemble last year: 

            https://soundcloud.com/music-39-2/polka-piquee-ens6mix2

            Here's an example from a singing course last year:

            https://soundcloud.com/music-39-2/dunstan-lullaby-sung-by-my-on-line-carol-course

             


            What past participants have to say

            "I have loved the course; it was a really nice opportunity to make music with others during a time that has otherwise been pretty isolated."

            "The tone of the workshops was really nicely set and worked well as a place to get to know the music, with a nice balance between playing and chatting and understanding more of the music and style. Interestingly the fact that we were muted when playing, whilst it took away some of the sense of ensemble, meant that it was possible to be more playful with things - trying out harmonies (many of which didn't work!) without feeling embarrassed or putting other people off. As a person who reads notes off the page, it was good to dip my toe in another way of doing things. And the tunes were great with a good level of challenge." 


             

            Consultancy and specialist workshops

            Freyamusic Consultancy and Workshops offers the following:

            • Mentoring of musicians and singers
            • Helping bands with arrangement
            • Bespoke music residential courses
            • Record production
            • Advice for bands and individuals involved in folk music
            • Music creation and composing for others
            • Guest programming
            • Guest radio presentation

            To find out more, contact: courses@jofreya.com