Festive celebrations in words and music. Refreshments: Christmas cake, chocolate log, mince pies and more.
Tuesday 12th December 2017
Following the recent William Barnes Society Annual General Meeting, held on Tuesday 10th October, John Blackmore presented 'Music and Song' to the audience.
John Blackmore's settings of William Barnes' poems originally formed a part of his undergraduate dissertation "West country Sound and Song". Inspired by Vaughan Williams' settings, John sought to return William Barnes' poems to popular consciousness through music, specifically for a twenty-first century audience.
While Vaughan Williams' piano and vocal arrangements have a distinct classical flavour, John uses guitar and voice to create a warm, folk-song feel, which certainly match Barnes' 'Hwomely Rhymes' In fact, made for each other.
During his performance, John drew attention to the musicality of Barnes verse and the beautiful but complex rhythms and structure that make Barnes work distinctly Dorsetian. Despite many of Barnes' poems sharing the five stanza structure, each of eight lines, John highlighted with sensitivity how the context and focus of Barnes' poems varied greatly, and demonstrated how he took this in to account with his settings.
John's song "Blackmwore Maidens" "Blackmore by the Stour" sounded softened and gentle while "The Geate a-vallen to" setting was so meaningful, and sent emotional shivers down your spine. Both these poems were similar in style and structure and so very beautiful.
John also previewed a new Barnes setting: "The Stagecoach". He had visited his Irish roots to 'get a lilt' going. Here John recreated the driving rhythm of the wheels: went swiftly roun' rottle roun' trundle roun' truckle roun’. You could truly visualise the stagecoach on its journey through all seasons "while the whip did smack and the whip did crack on the ho'ses' back"
It certainly was a toe-tapping composition with all feet tapping along enthusiastically.
Keeping with similar momentum John finished his performance with "Gone to London" which he had written for his brother who had left the countryside for the bright lights of London.
All too soon the 'Music and Song' came to an end. It had been a real privilege and pleasure to have shared the experience of listening to such a talented young musician as John Blackmore whom I'm sure would have thrilled William Barnes.
Latest news from the society
On Sunday 8h October 2017 10:30am, at St Peter’s Church, Dorchester, the Morning Service to commemorate the anniversary of the death of William Barnes took place. It was followed by a wreath laying at the statute.
On 19th September 2017, a group of William Barnes Society members gave an evening of poetry, music and song at Crossways Library for the Local History Group and guests.
Once again Members of the William Barnes Society were invited on August 27th to The Stock Gaylard Oak Fair. for the special event celebrating woodcraft, timber, conservation and the countryside.
William Barnes Society Poetry Readings and Cream Tea at Pine Lodge Farm Tea Rooms, Bockhampton, Dorchester.
The society annual Summer lunch took place on Saturday 24th June at Cerne Abbas Village Hall, Dorset.
As part of Sherborne Literary Festival, a celebration of William Barnes by members of the William Barnes Society at Raleigh Hall, Sherborne, Dorset.
A service in honour of the Dorset dialect poet William Barnes was held at St Peter’s Church at Winterborne Came near Dorchester.
Praise O’Do’set: An exhibition of handpainted woodblock prints illustrating the poetry of William Barnes by Jennifer Martindale
The Christmas Service of Lessons and Carols with Poems by William Barnes. To celebrate the enduring nature of William Barnes and his works. Hosted by Minette and Alec Walters and presented by William Barnes Society. Service conducted by Rev Richard Betts
The newly refurbished Ancient Dorset Gallery tells the fascinating story of the past of the ancient peoples living in the county from the Lower Palaeolithic Age 3 million years ago to 1066AD.
The society visits the Blackmore Vale, the country of William Barnes' Childhood
For the last two years Marion Tait, Honorary Curator of the William Barnes Collection and secretary of the William Barnes Society, has been committed to raising the profile of the Dorset Dialect poet and organising fund-raising for the refurbishment of the William Barnes Gallery at Dorset County Museum
On Sunday 21st February, from 2.00pm to 5.00pm, the Dorset County Museum opens its doors for the second year running to a traditional Victorian Fayre to celebrate the birthday of William Barnes, Dorset dialect poet. This FREE event will offer something for all the family.
Staff and volunteers at Dorset County Museum are thrilled with the success of a fundraising fair held in Dorchester on 30th August.
Dorset County Museum will be running a fundraising event on 30th August 2014. The event will take place between 10.00 am and 3.00 pm at St Peter’s Church hall, High West Street, Dorchester. Stalls will include home-made produce and preserves, books and bric-a-brac, a raffle and tombola and children’s clothes and toys. Refreshments will be available and there will be plenty of activities for children.
This portrait, and accompanying collection of manuscripts, books and cuttings relating to William Barnes, are being offered to the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society from a private family collection for £3,000.
Around the World with William Barnes - Bermuda