Windborne – song on the times

WINDBORNE is an American close harmony group well worth a listen, and the next chance is at Dorchester Corn Exchange on Wednesday 12th February,

If you Google the vocal quartet Windborne, you will find a little clip of them singing their Song of the Lower Classes in New York, in a snowstorm, outside Trump Tower. It tells you a lot about their gorgeous harmonies and their political sympathies – and you can enjoy much more of both as they play a series of dates in our area, starting at Butleigh near Glastonbury on Friday 7th February.

The tour continues on Friday 14th February at Milborne St Andrew village hall, with Artsreach. The quartet will also be leading vocal workshops during the day.

Hailing from New England, Windborne specialise in close harmony singing, shifting effortlessly between dramatically different styles of traditional music. Their musical knowledge spans many continents and cultures, but they remain deeply rooted in American folk singing traditions.

The show is called Song on the Times, based on a project to collect music from working class movements for peoples’ rights in the US and UK over the past 400 years, and sing them for the struggles of today. All four singers are graduates of Northern Harmony, a New England vocal ensemble which has proved popular on previous West Country tours.

Lynn Mahoney Rowan, Will Thomas Rowan, Lauren Breunig and Jeremy Carter-Gordon have collected and studied polyphonic vocal music for more than 15 years. Learning from traditional singing masters from cultures around the world, the singers are as comfortable with an improvised Corsican couplet song as an English ballad.

The Windborne performers entertain the audience with stories about the songs, and explain the characteristics and stylistic elements of the traditions in which they sing.

The vocal workshops include songs from Windborne’s American roots, songs from the album Song on the Times, and folk songs from other cultures collected on their travels.