Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
CHRISTMAS PAST FROM ëTHE TELLINGí @ Kino Teatr, Hastings Sunday 26th November 2017, info: , THE TELLING MEDIEVAL ENSEMBLE Clare Norburn soprano; Ariane Prussner mezzo, percussion; Kaisa Pulkkinen harp & recorder; Patience Tomlinson actor picture by Robert Piwko /

The Telling at a concert in Hastings in 2017: from left, Clare Norburn (soprano), Ariane Prüssner (mezzo, percussion), Kaisa Pulkkinen (harp and recorder), and Patience Tomlinson (actor, not part of the present tour). Not shown: Kate Anderson (animations). (Photo: Robert Piwko.)

Hear the stories behind the carols, from The Telling

Does the origin of carols interest you? Acclaimed medieval group The Telling bring the stories behind the earliest carols from the Middle Ages and traditional carols from across Europe to St Clement’s Church on Sunday 15 December.

The Secret Life of Carols, as recounted by The Telling, explores a mix of uplifting and intimate medieval English carols and traditional carols from Finland, Germany, Austria, France and Catalonia, in an atmospheric setting with candlelit, accompanied by beautiful animated films.

The group has a growing reputation for intimate, staged concerts to bring old music off the page. “You don’t need to know anything about classical or medieval music to enjoy and come along – and even to join a singing session so you can join in some of the carols in the concert,” explains singer Clare Norburn.

“We perform some numbers while moving around the audience and use lighting and candlelight, and we’ll tell you some of the stories behind the carols too. Carols were quite revolutionary in their day. They were the music of the people, in the language of the people – at a time when the church service was in Latin. They were all about joining in.”

The Telling 350Clare recalls a memorable experience when The Telling were guests on BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Live with Richard Coles and Aasmah Mir, alongside Bake Off presenter Prue Leith. “We swapped mincemeat recipes with her in the greenroom! And there was something about the special quiet stillness in the hustle and build-up to Christmas that clearly spoke to people.

“We had an amazing response including this lovely email: ‘On Saturday I drove my daughter to her carols rehearsal, got in the car to drive home, and turned on the radio. Saturday Live, a programme I never listen to, and I was set to turn it off when you started to sing Lullay, my child, and I was captivated by it. Spellbound, really.’”

In addition to Clare Norburn (voice), the group comprises Ariane Prüssner (voice, percussion), Kaisa Pulkkinen (harp) and and Kate Anderson (animations).

The Telling’s visit to Hastings is part of a 10-date tour this month funded by Arts Council England. They also have an online Advent Carol Calendar, releasing each day a new film of a verse of different carols, with secret carol facts. You can see this by following them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (@thetellingmusic) and YouTube.

Their CD, Secret Life of Carols, has just been released on First Hand Records and can be bought at the concerts or on their website.


The Telling: The Secret Life of Carols Sunday 15 December, 7.30pm, St Clement’s Church, High Street, Hastings TN34 3ES. Tickets: £16 ( concessions £12), plus booking fee, available online or on the door.


Posted 10:56 Sunday, Dec 8, 2019 In: Music & Sound

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