1. THE LOST CODEX OF AVALON: PRE-ORDERS NOW AVAILABLE!

A one-of-a-kind medieval and fantasy collaboration between composer and performer David Yardley and some of Australia’s finest musicians from the Sydney Chamber Choir, the Song Company and Pastance.  Inspired by his lifelong immersion in authentic medieval sound, Yardley’s compositions conjure lost music of the mythic isle of Avalon, from Arthurian legend. The album journeys through long-forgotten medieval texts whose original music has not survived, as well as musical settings of fantasy poetry and contemporary Australian works. Many pieces were premiered in London and New York between 2015 and 2019 – examples of live performances are online here and here.

Pre-order here at the early-bird price of $14.95 (USD). A dollar from each pre-order will go to the Australian Red Cross for its pandemic and bushfire responses. You will receive the music from the album on CD and on USB memory stick as well as album booklet.

2. “Listeners… will be transported to a musical realm that offers consolation and a place for restoration through the pure beauty of his compositions” – Canberra Times, 11 April 2020. 

A lot of us are moving music online at the moment of course – thrilled to say that our online concert in the Drill Hall Gallery made the papers! A lovely and generous article about my philosophy on music writing, upcoming album and our online concert, written by wonderful Jennifer Gall in the Canberra Times: https://www.canberratimes.com.au/…/medieval-sound-in-a-mod…/

Anyone who pre-orders the album (at https://davidyardleymusic.com/store1/) will gain access to the full online concert. To listen to one of my compositions from the concert, I’ve uploaded it here: https://youtu.be/W4UgYDXD8hc

3. COMPETITION OUTCOME – PUBLISHED FANTASY AUTHORS

In the midst of this challenging time for artists (and for everyone), I’m delighted to announce the outcome of the inaugural Published Fantasy Authors Competition.

Congratulations to Anne Casey as the winner of the competition, for her poem “Whisperings”!

Anne’s poem “Whisperings” has previously been awarded First Prize in the Henry Lawson Verse & Short Story Competition 2018 – Traditional Verse (Australia). It was first published in the Henry Lawson Verse & Short Story Competition 2018 Anthology, and subsequently in her poetry collection out of emptied cups (Salmon Poetry 2019).

(Web: anne-casey.com, Twitter: @1annecasey, Instagram: instagram.com/1annecasey/)

The judges also recognised Runner-Up and Highly Commended entries as follows:

Runner-Up:

JC Anderson, “Ballade: The Phoenix”

Highly Commended:

Penelope Cottier, “Music of Fairy Tales”

Magdalena Ball, “Technological Singularity”

Karla Dearsley, “Discord’s Child: The Song of Passing”

As part of the winning prize, I am so excited to be working with Anne to set music to her poem. “Whisperings”, set to music, will appear as part of my upcoming album, “The Lost Codex of Avalon”, featuring some of Australia’s finest musicians recording my medieval- and fantasy-inspired compositions.

Discount pre-orders of the album are now available at: davidyardleymusic.com/store1/ – with a dollar from each pre-order going to the Australian Red Cross, including to support its pandemic and bushfire responses. For a taste of the musical style of the album, head to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4UgYDXD8hc

On behalf of all the judges, I’d like to offer sincere thanks to the authors from across the world who submitted their works for this competition – the number and quality of the entries was absolutely wonderful to see.

Heartfelt thanks to the other members of the judging panel, who so generously gave their time and expertise – Fiona and Monique.

A final note – due to all the interest in this inaugural competition, we are hoping to run more in future. So please join the mailing list at davidyardleymusic.com to receive updates, including news of further fantasy author competitions!

EVENTS

1. Exclusive Album Preview Concert – ongoing – bonus available with album pre-orders

David Yardley (countertenor, medieval harp) and professional musicians from the Canberra-based Luminescence Chamber Singers, created an online exclusive preview concert of works from David’s new album of compositions, The Lost Codex of Avalon. Receive your exclusive link to view the online concert with any pre-order of The Lost Codex of Avalon.

The performance was recorded in the Drill Hall Gallery in the Australian National University

2. Ongoing – Christopher Preston Thompson – Online concert with Midtown Concerts and Gotham Early Music Scene

I was delighted that wonderful New York City-based performer Christopher Preston Thompson included my latest composition in a beautiful online concert on April 23, 2020. It’s a forgotten medieval plague song, revived for our times with my new music for voice and harp. The concert itself was a brilliant program of medieval troubadour, trouvere and Latin songs, and you can access it here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=852349345278362

I want to say a few more words about this online concert of Christopher’s, because it really brought some peace and joy in these dark times, in the unique way that medieval music can.

Christopher’s performances in this concert brought out the fantastic contrasts and colours of the medieval repertory, by turns contemplative, melancholy, joyful, spiritual. All the things this music is meant to be. This is no mean feat – a singer, with an instrument, singing in old languages – to draw forth the dramatic colours of the music for a wide variety of modern audiences to delight in. And beyond this, I have to praise Christopher’s approach to this concert so much. There’s this charming, engaging sweetness that augments all of his obvious knowledge. It just moves the whole performance away from any pretentiousness and into a space of simpler joy, despite his obvious mastery of the genre and the material. This concert is a gift for people living through strange and uncertain times. Really, really well done, and thank you.

My own performance of the piece is also up online, at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rth9-6p0mSs. And I’m delighted to say that this one is now a must for inclusion on my upcoming album, The Lost Codex of Avalon. In this year of our own modern plague, this piece of surviving medieval plague history is too poignant to leave out.

Join the mailing list to receive notice of new events!

Some of the great musicians I currently work with or have worked with in the past – visit their websites and see what they’re about:

Southwark Cathedral, London

Incredible historic cathedral in the UK with a stellar choir

Besalu Medieval Music Course, with Mauricio Molina

World-wide medieval musicians descend every year on Besalu for these exceptional music courses

St Thomas 5th Avenue, New York City

One of the most famous Episcopalian churches in New York, with one of the best choirs in the world

Church of the Transfiguration, New York City

Beautiful, historic church and a hub of early musicians in the city

UN Chamber Music Society

Ensemble of musicians committed to high-quality classical performance and the values of the United Nations

The Pocket Score Company

Canberra-based professional quartet

The Choir of Jesus College, Cambridge

Superb choir at the University of Cambridge, UK

The Sydney Chamber Choir

One of Sydney’s foremost choirs

The Renaissance Players

World-renowned medieval ensemble based in Sydney, Australia

Luminescence Chamber Singers

Ensemble of young professional singers in Canberra, Australia

Emma Griffiths

Soprano in Canberra, Australia

Gaita

Edinburgh-based medieval music duo

Tobias Cole

One of Australia’s foremost countertenors

Winsome Evans

The inspiration for a generation of medieval musicians in Australia and beyond

David Drury

Leading organist and conductor/director

Daniel Hyde

Formerly director of the Choir of Jesus College Cambridge

Edward Wickham

Director of the Clerks’ Group, I had the privilege to sing in the Cambridge Medieval Music Group, led by Edward

Ian Blake

Canberra-based musician/recording artist/all-round great musician!

Harold Gretton

Outstanding guitarist, we’ve performed English lute songs together