Methera Chamber Folk Group to play at Tidcombe Church: “Putting the sparkle back into tradition”

Written by Sue Round.

Methera  - (l to r) John Dipper, Emma Reid, Lucy Deakin and Miranda Rutter  -  pic James FaganMethera - (l to r) John Dipper, Emma Reid, Lucy Deakin and Miranda Rutter - pic James Fagan

String quartet Methera, who start a countrywide tour this week - and will be playing at St Michael's Church, Tidcombe on Saturday 14 October -  have their roots in traditional music with a wide range of other influences.

John Dipper, who lives in Heytesbury near Warminster plays fiddle in the group.  He also makes concertinas for C&R Dipper and Sons. John explained how Methera have earned their reputation as a chamber/folk group.

He told, “ The sound of a string quartet offers amazing possibilities.  No one has done this before in traditional music.  Everyone assumes a string quartet will sit in a horseshoe looking studious.  We play in the round and sit in a square all facing inwards.  The audience are seated all around us.  Every few numbers we move round so the audience gets different perspectives of the interplay between the instruments.  It’s a beautiful, intimate atmosphere.”

Lucy Deakin (cello), John Dipper and Emma Reid (fiddles) and Miranda Rutter (viola) who are Methera have been together for ten years.  They met at The English Acoustic Collective Summer School in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire.

They play traditional tunes and also compose their own.  John said, “We are lucky to have inherited an amazing resource of traditional tunes from this country.  Emma, who is half Swedish, has also introduced us to Swedish folk music.  If a tune speaks to us we’ll do it.”

“We write our own tunes in the same structure as traditional ones, a simple structure, five little segments, a question and answer.”

The latest CD which will be showcased on the tour is called Vortex.  The title track was composed by John Dipper who was inspired by a vortex of snow whilst spending New Year’s Eve in the Ashokan Valley.

Methera have produced three CD’s, performed on national tours, BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction as well as numerous festivals such as the Chippenham Folk Festival and Sidmouth International Festival.

Verity Sharp, from BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction describes them has having, “Seriously stylish playing that's putting the sparkle back into the tradition."

They are performing at St. Michael’s Church, Tidcombe, nr. Marlborough SN8 3SL at 6 pm on Saturday October 14.  Tickets cost £12.50 and includes glass of wine after concert.

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