Ricardo de Noronha & Griselda Sanderson
A new take on the folk traditions of Europe using naturally-tuned wind instruments & ethnic bowed strings
Since meeting on stage in November 2015 Ricardo de Noronha and Griselda Sanderson have been inventing their own music together. The twelve tracks on ‘Veer’ are inspired by Ricardo’s percussion playing and the naturally-tuned wind instruments he creates. Griselda began incorporating his ideas with her own explorations using ethnic bowed strings. Living in close proximity to forests, moors and rugged coastlines, ‘found’ sounds from natural objects such as logs and pebbles infiltrated the music. Both musicians have long been immersed in traditional European folk music, from Ricardo’s Portuguese heritage to Griselda’s upbringing in Scotland, with its links to Scandinavia. These combined influences can be heard on ‘Veer’, as they branch off in a new musical direction on their first collaborative album.
“I was impressed by Ricardo’s spontaneity – he’s a very free, natural musician. Once I’d captured his improvisations on flute or percussion I’d listen and think about what I could add - it was very inspiring and I really liked the feeling of freedom. The sound to me is fresh, a blend of all our influences and musical experiences. I’m playing the Swedish nyckelharpa, the Norwegian Hardanger fiddle and riti – a one-stringed fiddle from West Africa. Then I also played violin, double bass and piano. We had a lot of fun coming up with ideas, like the log xylophone used on ‘Fernworthy Circle’ (which we found in a forest), the thianou, a straw harp from Burkina Faso, mouth drums made from pebbles. The Dan-Mois Ricardo uses are a kind of mouth harp from Vietnam made from bullets left behind by the Americans.”
“The wind instruments I play are the fujaras, which I build myself, inspired by traditional shepherd’s flutes from Slovakia. The process of building the instrument, then recording it, was exciting. The fujara’s an traditional instrument with a certain repoitoir but I have a more open approach. In ‘Folia’ it was a fortunate event because I was playing two harmonic flutes at the same time. I was surprised that from my improvisations Griselda made something beautiful – we just went with the flow! The flute on ‘Srivatsa’ was experiment with unusual tuning. With percussion, my influences are from all over, but I do like the tombak finger-style - a Persian goblet-shaped instrument. But my influences are more than Middle Eastern, combining many styles from Europe, Scandinavia and Arabic music - whatever suits the melody.”
Griselda Sanderson & Ricardo de Noronha
'Folia' from the album Veer