Cançonièr is a Bay Area-based early music group devoted to medieval repertoire from the 12th to the 15th centuries, and some traditional music from related regions (Scandinavia, the Balkans, and the Middle East).
Created in the summer of 2008 by multi-instrumentalist Tim Rayborn and recorder virtuoso Annette Bauer, the group also features the talents of Bay Area favorite Shira Kammen on bowed strings, and the beautiful voice of Phoebe Jevtovic.
In a short time, the group has gained the attention of the early music community, and received acclaim for its musicianship, unusual and exciting concert programs, and its two CDs. The group’s second recording, The Black Dragon – Music from the Time of Vlad Dracula, has been praised as “mesmerizing” (Fanfare), and “exquisite” (Early Music America).
Featuring voices and instruments, Cançonièr brings to life the vibrant musical cultures of medieval Europe, through a combination of scholarly research, improvisational techniques, and impeccable musicianship.
The group has performed in various venues around the country, including the MusicSources series, the Indianapolis Early Music Festival, the Kalamazoo Medieval Congress, and the Tuscon Early Music series. Future 2012-13 concerts include performances in the SFEMS series, the San Diego and Houston early music series, and Early Music Hawaii.
The group is the medieval Ensemble-in-Residence at Music Sources, Center for Historically Informed Performances, Inc. Its annual concert series features distinguished local and international artists.
Annette Bauer, a native of Germany, has a dual background in early music and classical Indian music. She studied medieval and Renaissance music at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel, Switzerland, specializing on recorder techniques with Conrad Steinmann (diploma in 2001). She holds an MA in music from UC Santa Cruz (2004), and has been a student at the Ali Akbar College of Music in California since 1998, where she studies North Indian classical music on sarode, a stringed instrument.
Together with Tim Rayborn, Annette co-directs medieval ensemble Cançonièr, and regularly performs with Baroque ensemble Les grâces, Farallon Recorder Quartet, and The Lost Mode, a cross-over project combining medieval and living modal music traditions. She has appeared at early music festivals and concert series, as well as a guest musician with leading early music ensembles throughout the US. Annette’s musical passions include original notation sources in early music, improvisation in modal music traditions, and playing music in beautiful acoustics. She is currently also studying the duduk, an Armenian double reed instrument.
With a voice reviewed as “arresting, haunting, expressive, clear-toned, and sweet,” soprano Phoebe Jevtovic Alexander performs chamber music, early opera, and experimental music in the United States and abroad. She has appeared as a soloist with the Waverly Consort, American Bach Soloists, Musica Angelica, Magnificat, and North Holland Opera. Roles performed include Despina in Mozart’s Così fan tutte, Amphitrite in Locke’s Tempest, Cupid in Purcell’s Timon of Athens, and the title role in Rossi’s Orfeo.
Among Phoebe’s varied collaborations are the baroque ensemble La Monica; art song with celebrated pianist Robert Thies; and early music and dance with Italy’s visionary Art Monastery Project. She has also toured the US and Indonesia with Gamelan X (Balinese-inspired hybrid world music ensemble); and sung Balkan folk music with Kitka and VOCO. Phoebe has recorded for Dorian, Nonesuch, and Sony Records. Phoebe completed her Master of Arts degree in Early Music Performance at the University of Southern California, and has edited a book of 17th century solo songs by Tarquinio Merula that is due to be published by A&R Editions.
Shira Kammen Shira Kammen has spent well over half her life exploring the worlds of early, traditional, and many other styles of music. A member for many years of Ensembles Alcatraz, Project Ars Nova, and Medieval Strings, she has also worked with Sequentia, Hesperion XX, the Boston Camerata, The Folger and Newberry Consorts, The King’s Noyse, Piffaro, Tapestry, the Balkan group Kitka, and is the founder of Class V Music, an ensemble dedicated to performance on river rafting trips.
She has performed and taught in the US, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Israel, Morocco, Latvia, Russia, and Japan, and on the Colorado and Rogue Rivers. Shira happily collaborated with singer/storyteller John Fleagle for fifteen years, and performs now with several groups: the medieval ensembles, Fortune’s Wheel and Cançonier; a contemporary music group, Ephemeros; an eclectic ethnic band, Panacea; as well as collaborations with performers such as storyteller Patrick Ball, medieval music expert Margriet Tindemans, and in many theater productions. Some of her original music can be heard in a documentary film about the fans of J.R.R. Tolkien. She has played on a number of movie and television soundtracks, when weird medieval instruments are needed.
Tim Rayborn, an acclaimed multi-instrumentalist, plays dozens of musical instruments from medieval Europe, the Middle East, and the Balkans, including: lutes, plucked strings, flutes, and percussion. He has recorded to date on more than 30 CDs for a number of labels, including Gaudeamus, Wild Boar, EMP, and Magnatune.
Tim lived in the UK for seven years, taking his Ph.D. in medieval studies at the University of Leeds, and working as a musician. He has toured the U.S. and Europe extensively (from Ireland to Turkey), performing with the medieval groups Tintagel and Ensemble Florata (including concerts at both the York and Beverley Early Music Festivals, Alden Biesen Castle in Belgium, Bunyloa in Majorca, and the Spitalfields Festival in London). He has given a number of performances for BBC in the UK and Channel Islands, toured in Canada and Australia, and worked with folk musicians in Marrakech and Istanbul. He has taught at the SFEMS Medieval/Renaissance summer workshop, and Pinewoods Early Music Week in MA, and has appeared with many early music performers, including Ensemble Alcatraz, Anne Azema, Susan Rode Morris, Peter Maund, Kit Higginson, Tom Zajac, Sinfonye, and members of the Harp Consort. In addition to his solo work, he currently co-directs Cançonièr with Annette Bauer, performs with Patrick Ball, and collaborates regularly with Shira Kammen.