Pudding and Pies – Hexachordia’s Early Music Concert at the Guildhall

28 Apr 2021

“The Court Room was perfect for our music
and perfect for us.”

Formed a decade ago, Hexachordia is an early music trio that offers an accessible and engaging approach to medieval, renaissance and restoration music. Whether it is through their concert programmes, educational presentations or heritage work, Sarah, Jane and Tony provide an experience of historical music within its context. In September 2019, the trio presented an evening of song, poetry and verse at the Guildhall, connecting the past with the present through music and narrative.

Although Hexachordia play across the country, Bury St. Edmunds is dear to their hearts as it is where Sarah and Jane grew up. In tune with the music that they play, the Guildhall was the perfect setting as pre-baroque concerts would have been held in intimate, acoustic rooms like the Court Room. There, Hexachordia played one of their favourite programmes Puddings and Pies, a celebration of the nation’s passion for food and drink over the centuries. By interspersing music with relevant readings, from recipes to rules on etiquette, the group used a light-hearted yet informative approach to engage their audience of both adults and children. Based around a particular theme or historical period, their other programmes include Greensleeves and Yellow Lace and Music of the Angels and all bring fresh and fun perspectives to the early music genre.

As well as their wide repertoire of historical rounds, catches and bawdy songs, the trio performs with the instrumental and vocal versatility that is characteristic of medieval and Tudor music-making. Playing a range of instruments, including virginals, lutes, viols, recorders and voice, they perform as multipurpose musicians, as was expected back then.

“The Guildhall team are enthusiastic, approachable
and easy to work with.”

For Hexachordia, this musical flexibility is challenging yet rewarding as they not only play with historical authenticity but are also able to develop a multitude of programmes perfect for any season or event!

“We try to bring early music to life and to as many audiences as possible.”

Since the pandemic and the postponement of concerts, Hexachordia have showcased their musical talents online with their docu-concerts. Preserving their trademark blend of instrumental music, song and narrative, the group have continued to create music whilst exploring the history that surrounds it. We hope they can return to the Guildhall soon.

Click here to find out more about Hexachordia.

Quotes from interview with Sarah Doig. Interview by Rosie Grant.