The performance is the Book of Deer Suite composed by Richard Ingham. The band is Richard Ingham’s Ensemble -
Strangeness and Charm.
Is Scotland’s oldest book a 10th-century Latin Pocket Gospel Book from Old Deer, Aberdeenshire, with early 12th-century additions in Latin, and containing the oldest surviving examples of Scottish Gaelic. According to tradition St Columba and his nephew Drostan founded a monastery here in the 6th century, of which no trace remains. The Book of Deer is a most interesting relic of the monks. Like the Stone of Destiny it was probably looted during the Wars of Scottish Independence because Like the Stone of Destiny it had powerful religious significance to the people of the area. It was probably taken from Deer Abbey (a Comyn foundation 1218). It is a small manuscript of the Gospels, and notes, in the Gaelic script of the 12th century, refer to the charters of the ancient monastery, including a summary of land deeds granted by David I of Scotland. The manuscript is also adorned with Pictish designs and current thinking among academics is that the Book of Deer may have been written by a Pict. It had belonged to the monks of Deer. The Book of Deer is held in Cambridge University library, veiwings only by prior appointment.
The graveyard and Medieval church behind the Parish Church in Old Deer is regarded by some archaeologists as being one of the most likely sites for the Monastery of Deer (a small hillock on a bend of the river).Where the Book of Deer may have been Written.
Five piece band Strangeness & Charm plays a diverse mix of melodic music, incorporating jazz, fusion, funk, folk and ethnic material. The traditional line-up of sax, trumpet, keys, bass and drums belies a unique sound and repertoire. Central to this are tunes with strong melodies, at the same time allowing plenty of space and structure for improvised solos. Our repertoire includes music by composers such as Pat Metheny, Michael Brecker, Chick Corea, John Scofield and Mike Mainieri; we also include a large number of original compositions.
The band formed in 2013, and recorded its first EP, Strangeness & Charm in January 2014 at Watercolour Music in Ardgour. We have played several Jazz Festivals. During the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2014, we performed a specially commissioned piece, Music for the Book of Deer written by Richard Ingham, which attracted a Made in Scotland award from Creative Scotland. This 12 piece suite musically describes some of the texts in the 10th century portable gospel book (including the first examples of written Gaelic in Scotland), creating soundscapes by combining traditional Scottish and plainsong music styles with contemporary jazz, latin and funk. As you see, we don’t shy away from unusual combinations of musical genres, but we assure you we’re not trying to be too clever about it! Our aim is to please our audiences with accessible melodies and simply great music. Strangeness & Charm is Richard Ingham's new Fife-based jazz quintet featuring Maarten Verbraeken, Fraser Burke, Kenny Irons and Andy James
Richard Ingham is a composer, saxophonist and educator based in Scotland. He has written widely for orchestra, chamber ensembles, jazz ensembles and soloists. He has given saxophone recitals in Europe, USA, Canada, China, India, and Thailand, was the Director of the XVI World Saxophone Congress, held in Scotland in 2012, and is a member of the Comité International du Saxophone. Richard has given masterclasses in conservatoires throughout the UK and worldwide. He is President of the Clarinet and Saxophone Society of Great Britain, editor of the Cambridge Companion to the Saxophone (Cambridge University Press 1999), and Honorary Professor of Jazz Education (University of St Andrews).
A professional musician based in Dundee, Fraser Burke studied classical piano at the RSAMD in Glasgow and holds a Graduate Diploma in Jazz Performance from the University of St. Andrews. He has played with numerous bands around the UK and Europe performing folk, rock, classical, jazz and many other styles. As well as being a former British and Scottish Champion accordionist, Fraser recently won the S.O.U.N.D Composers' Festival held at Aberdeen University, Heriot-Watt University's Young Composers Competition and has performed his own works in the most prestigious national venues.
Andy James has had a fascination for drums for as long as he can remember and at the age of ten began playing in a marching band. As a young teenager he joined the Royal Engineers staff band, playing in the concert band, orchestra and small dance band and jazz groups. Andy currently works as a freelance musician covering rock, pop, jazz, shows, and cabarets. He has been pleased to work with such artists as Charlie Landsborough, Joe Pasquale, Jimmy Tarbuck to name a few.
Maarten Verbraeken studied chemical engineering in the Netherlands, before moving to St Andrews to carry out Ph.D. work in the field of solid state chemistry of energy materials. Luckily musical life gets in the way of the professional career on a regular basis. Maarten started playing the trumpet at the age of ten and had his first jazz improvisation lessons with Dutch trombonist Joan Reinders. More recently he received jazz tuition from Richard Michael and Richard Ingham, whereas he is currently being taught classically by Bede Williams. Whilst performing with one of Richard Ingham's St Andrews based ensembles he's had the pleasure playing alongside Colin Steele, John Kenny and Tom McNiven. He would further like to acknowledge master classes with Martin Shaw, Alec Frank-Gemmill and Peter Franks.