Tears and Laughter

Posted on Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tears and laughter seem to be a common mixture in British culture, from Shakespeare, right through to the films of Richard Curtis. The mixture is something I've noticed time and again in my own work (though American born, I am culturally entirely British) without ever consciously placing it there. When I came to making a selection of pieces to arrange by John Dowland for Metropolis Ensemble's concert this February, I became aware that Dowland needed to be added to that list of laughing and crying Brits - he is of course famous for his melancholy songs (of which I have included two beautiful examples in my arrangements) but when not in mournful mode his music is light and witty. Even the titles conjur comical images: 'My Lady Hundson's Puffe' and 'Mrs Winters' Jump'. What it is about us British that delights in this mixture of tragedy and laughter I am not sure, but it certainly goes back a long way.

My arrangements: Tears, Puffes, Jumps and Galliards

Details of the Metropolis Ensemble's concert here



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