From the Library: The Early Music Show

in Daily Programme

by Elrik Merlin on Monday, 8 June, 2009

Today, we’re featuring the music of Gryphon , the British “Mediæval Rock Band” who managed to get Crumhorns into the Top 30.

The band was formed in the early 1970s by Richard Harvey, Brian Gulland, Graeme Taylor and David Oberlé, all with exceptional musical ability and often classical training. Their first, eponymous album was completed in an attic four-track studio in South London and was an immediate hit: the record label, Transatlantic, sold out rapidly and it became quite hard to find.

The second, Midnight Mushrumps, featured music written for Peter Hall’s Old Vic production of The Tempest. The third, Red Queen to Gryphon Three, was a four-part original work and the band toured the US and UK with it, supporting Yes in 1974–75. The fourth, Raindance, was recorded around Midsummer 1975. The band fell out with Transatlantic a little after this time and moved to EMI’s Harvest label: their final album, and only one on that label, was Treason. They were essentially killed off a little over 30 years ago by the rise of punk music, where musical ability counted for little, and each member went on to pursue his own distinct musical career — with notable successes.

Last Saturday, at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, the band re-formed for a one-time-only acoustic set, where they will played material from the first two albums plus a few other numbers. It was an excellent performance. Line-up for the gig was Richard Harvey (recorders, crumhorns, keyboards, mandolin et al), Brian Gulland (bassoon, recorders, crumhorn, organ, vocals), Graeme Taylor (guitars), Dave Oberle (percussion and vocals) , Jon Davie (bass), and the band was joined by Graham Preskett (keyboards, violin, et al) who may be known to some in the industry as a noted production and film music composer and multi-instrumentalist.

Today, just in case you couldn’t make it to the concert, we’ll hear all Gryphon’s albums plus some live session recordings and tracks that didn’t make it on to the original discs.

In addition we’ll be playing music from other artists who have revived Early Music both Renaissance and Mediæval, including Wolgemut, Corvus Corax, Qntal, Mince Pye and many more. We hope you enjoy the programme.

The Early Music Show is presented approximately once a month by Elrik Merlin. We changed our schedules on June 1 and as a result you’ll be hearing Elrik’s programmes on Mondays and Saturdays from now on, and we hope to publish a regular schedule shortly, although we will still pre-empt normal programming from time to time for special events, anniversaries and other excuses for a good musical time.

From the Library is produced in conjunction with the Alexandrian Free Library Consortium, and is presented by Elrik Merlin. For more about the work of the Consortium, please click here. You can listen to today’s programme on our Main Stream as follows:

If you want to have the Radio Riel Main Stream playing on your parcel, please set the media music URL to:

If you want to listen off-world, click here. If that doesn’t work, try the link above.


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