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MP3 Tuppence - Small Change

British and American folk music played on multiple instruments spanning 400 years of history

15 MP3 Songs in this album (41:52) !
Related styles: FOLK: Traditional Folk, CLASSICAL: Early Music

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Tuppence: Simon and Sara Spalding

Simon Spalding was born and raised in San Francisco. For over 30 years, Simon has performed music in the American, European, and Asian traditions. Simon studied Ethnomusicology at UC Berkeley. He has performed sailor songs and traditional dance music throughout North America and Europe as a solo act and with a variety of folk and traditional music ensembles. His venues include festivals, museums, folk clubs, live theater, Renaissance fairs, films, recordings, and the decks of sailing vessels at sea. Simon’s primary instrument is the fiddle, but he performs with a stable of about 50 stringed instruments from around the world.

Sara Kirtland Spalding grew up in upstate New York and Austin, Texas. She studied voice at the Austin Chamber Music Center and at UT Austin, where she was a member of the Early Music Ensemble, Passing Measures, and other local early music groups. Sara has performed traditional music, art song, and oratorio in classical concert series, churches, educational programs, Renaissance fairs, and other special events for the last 10 years.

Tuppence: Small Change - Music of the Old World and the New

This is our first album, recorded in Muircroft Studios in Ythanbank, Scotland, in February 2000. The recording’s title, Small Change, has two meanings for us. These selections are a pocketful of songs and tunes minted in different places and times. The music also reflects the changes great and small in music as it travels through space and time.

We chose music for this album that reflects several types of change: change in the style and content of dance tunes as they traveled between Europe and North America; change in sailor songs from the 16th to the 20th century; change in ballads as they crossed the Atlantic; and change in love songs of different eras. We have endeavored to bring out continuity as well as contrast in the music on this recording.

The instruments on this recording also reflect change through time and place. The fiddle and the recorder are essentially unaltered from the 16th century to the present, while the ‘Irish cittern’ is a mid-20th century development. The two banjos on the album are both about 100 years old: one has the bright crisp tone of the American model, the other the deeper, mellower sound of the British zither-banjo. The Chinese erh-hu has hardly changed in 800 years. It is played here with the traditional soft bow. The bodhran has only recently spread around the world from a few localities in Ireland; however, it traces its lineage to shamans’ drums of untold antiquity.

This album also reflects the change from our two separate musical repertoires and identities into one, since we started performing together as Tuppence in 1998.

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