Episode 5

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Published on:

12th Jun 2020

Episode Five – The Shepherd’s Calendar - June - John Clare

Welcome to the fifth episode of The Thunder Mutters, featuring 'June' from John Clare's 'The Shepherd's Calendar’, performed by Adam Horovitz, and interspersed with tunes from Clare’s tune manuscripts performed by Becky Dellow.

We’ll be coming back next month with July but the next episode will feature your own contributions, so please come back then and take a listen. Please consider putting some money towards the costs of producing the podcast by buying us a virtual coffee at www.ko-fi.com/thethundermutters

All the tunes in this episode have been taken from John Clare's tune manuscript books, and Becky's arrangements used the transcriptions provided by Marion Ross in George Deacon's book John Clare and the Folk Tradition (Sinclair Browne Ltd., 1983).

The tunes, whose histories are discussed in the show, are listed here for your convenience, in order of appearance: Jackson’s Morning Brush, Beef Stake Hornpipe, Come to the Bower, Off She Goes, Young Parker, Tink a tink, Regents Fete, The Ploughman.

As ‘June’ is shorter than many of the other poems from ‘The Shepherd’s Calendar’, we have included three further poems by Clare at the outset of the episode. In order of appearance, these are: ‘The Heat of Noon’, ‘Summer Happiness’ and Wild Bees’.

The Thunder Mutters’ theme tune is ‘The Gardengate’ from John Clare’s tune manuscript book.

References:

Clare, John, Selected Poems (London: Penguin Classics, 1990)

Deacon, George, John Clare and the Folk Tradition (London: Frances Boutle Publishers, 2002)

Kuntz, Andrew, and Valerio Pelliccioni, Traditional Tune Archive (2017) <http://tunearch.org> [Accessed 12 May 2020]

http://www.folktunefinder.com/tunes/26014

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Page:The_Folk-Lore_Journal_Volume_4_1886.djvu/268

https://www.regencyhistory.net/2012/06/prince-regents-fete.html

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About the Podcast

The Thunder Mutters
Poetry and traditional folk fiddle music from the British Isles presented by poet Adam Horovitz and fiddle player Becky Dellow. Featuring poets such as John Clare, Thomas Hardy, Blake and other Romantic poets with fiddle tunes from 18th and 19th...
The Thunder Mutters is a podcast in love with music, and with the music of words. Presented fortnightly by poet Adam Horovitz and fiddle player Becky Dellow, it takes its name from the poem by John Clare.

We will be exploring the connections between music and poetry, concentrating for the first year of the podcast on Clare’s 'The Shepherd’s Calendar' and on the tunes Clare gathered. Every month, we will bring you the appropriate section of the Calendar interspersed with relevant tunes that Clare himself collected and likely played. We will be discussing the provenance of the tunes and leavening the academic with a healthy dose of poetry and music in performance.

In the weeks in between, we will present shorter shows exploring the works of the Romantic poets and others from the 18th and 19th centuries, again always interweaving tunes that the poets themselves might have heard or played amongst the poems and conversation.

Having said that we will be presenting poets and tunes from the 18th and 19th centuries, it is very much our intention to also invite living poets and musicians to respond to the work of the poems and tunes we present. We believe that music and poetry are perhaps the best ways of holding an on-going conversation with our ancestors and our descendants, and are keen to find ways of furthering that conversation through The Thunder Mutters.

We hope that you enjoy this podcast. If you do, we hope you might be inspired to subscribe and contribute to our Patreon in some small way, to help mitigate the costs of producing the show, (https://patreon.com/thethundermutters) and that you will consider following us on Facebook (fb.me/thethundermutters) and/or Twitter (https://twitter.com/ThunderMutters) If you enjoy the shows, we’d love to hear from you.

Becky Dellow is an experienced and versatile fiddle player who fuses fiddle traditions from around the British Isles. “The tradition of fiddle playing in my family goes back at least five generations,” says Becky, “to my great great grandfather Thomas Hampton, a fiddle player from Hereford. It was his hand-written tune manuscript book that inspired my PhD research under the supervision of trad singer and academic, Dr Fay Hield.”

Since completing her PhD, Dr. Dellow has continued to carry out tune research, contributing to academic journals and conferences, and uses the research to develop her performance as a folk musician.

Adam Horovitz is a poet, editor and performer. His first collection of poetry, Turning, was published in 2011 and his most recent book, The Soil Never Sleeps, explores the farmlands of Britain 200 years on from Clare, who was a strong influence on the book. He has collaborated numerous times with musicians, and has presented two shows with Becky. The first was for the Laurie Lee centenary.

“I asked Becky because Laurie was a fiddle player as well as a poet,” he says, “not knowing at the time that her grandfather, Charles Hampton played in a band with Laurie in the late 1920s. It was perfect synchronicity, and that surprise has led to The Thunder Mutters.”
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About your host

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Rebecca Dellow

Becky Dellow is an experienced and versatile fiddle player who fuses fiddle traditions from around the British Isles. The tradition of fiddle playing in her family goes back at least five generations, to her great great grandfather Thomas Hampton, a fiddle player from Hereford. It was his hand-written tune manuscript book which inspired Becky’s PhD research under the supervision of trad singer and academic, Dr Fay Hield.

Becky has developed a potent playing style which has allowed her to explore these different traditions, and which has given her research a much deeper context. Since becoming Dr Dellow, Becky has continued to carry out tune research, contributing to academic journals and conferences, and uses the research to develop her performance as a folk musician.

She has played in numerous duos and bands ranging across many traditional genres. She has also collaborated regularly with poet Adam Horovitz, exploring the connections between poetry and music. Their latest collaboration is on The Thunder Mutters, a podcast exploring the poems and tunes of John Clare and more.