The Alehouse Sessions – curated and devised by Bjarte Eike – is an ever changing and evolving insight into the music of the English 17th Century tavern. It gives audiences a window into this tumultuous period through Purcell overtures, English sea shanties, and Scandinavian folk songs thrown in for good measure.
These sessions have already been hailed as ‘irresistible’ [The Times], ‘superb’ [The Scotsman] and ‘fabulously unrestrained’ [The Guardian], and they have diverted away from the traditional concert model by ‘creating the effect of a late night jamming session’ [BBC Music Magazine].
This diversion from the traditional concert model is what is at the heart of the Sessions. Through the medium of these well-loved tunes, a story of the period is interwoven into the music making; creating a unique environment between audience and performer. Bjarte Eike goes into detail about what makes this special:
“The signature of this project is the interaction on stage between the players and the audience. If it has to be put in a historical context, the project draws its inspiration from the Shakespearian theatre where there was a direct communication between stage and hall- going in-between the story that was being told and occurring events happening in the hall. This is in stark contrast to the 19th century drama with dark halls looking at the “gods” on stage. It is the latter which the classical mainstream industry has adapted fully.”
Using their own arrangement of the tunes, these ‘Alehouse Boys’ combine this unique format with humour, an unrivalled virtuosity and flare for improvisation.
Bjarte Eike (NO): violin, vocals, artistic director
Fredrik Bock (SE): guitar, charango, vocals
Per Buhre (SE): viola, vocals
Tom Guthrie (UK): lead vocals, violin
Johannes Lundberg (SE): double bass, vocals
Helge Andreas Norbakken (NO): percussion, vocals
Steven Player (UK): dance, guitar, vocals
Hans Knut Sveen (NO): harmonium, harpsichord, vocals
Milos Valent (SK): violin, viola, vocals