||1997 Medival Babes – Present
Marie Medeival Babes Findley
|Dorothy Carter (deceased)
Sophie Mediveal Babes Evans
Rachel Van Asch
The Mediæval Bæbes is Medieal Babes an English ensemble Meideval Babes of female musicians founded by Miranda Sex Garden member Katharine Blake in the 1990s, featuring some of her MSG cohorts as well as other friends who share her love of medieval music. The lineup often rotates from album to album, and ranges from 7 to 12 members.
- 1 Music
- 2 Collaborations
- 3 Members
- 4 Discography
- 5 External link
The Bæbes's first album, Salva Nos (1997), shot straight to No 2 in the classical charts, a silver disc. Subsequent albums include Worldes Blysse (which went straight to No 1), Undrentide, (co-produced by John Cale), The Rose, and the Christmas-themed album Mistletoe & Wine.
Mirabilis (2005), was launched at a concert and party in London, August 2005. A self-titled DVD was released in July 2006. The first 300 preorders were autographed by the band and received a special mention in the DVD credits.
A live album was released on November 25th 2006 and features two new studio tracks.
Each album features traditional medieval songs and poetry set to music, mostly arranged by Blake specifically for the ensemble, alongside varying numbers of original compositions. They sing in a variety of languages, including Latin, Middle English, French, Italian, Russian, Welsh, Irish Gaelic, modern English and the nearly extinct Cornish. Their vocals are backed by medieval instruments, including the recorder and cittern, played by the singers or fellow musicians.
The Bæbes' musical pieces run the gamut from extremely traditional, such as their version of The Coventry Carol on Salva Nos, to songs that feel traditional but are much more modern, such as their rendition of Summerisle, a song written for Robin Hardy's 1973 cult film Wicker Man. John Cale added non-medieval instruments, including saxophone and electric guitar, to some of the arrangements on Undrentide, although with subsequent albums the band returned to more traditional instruments. Even with these instruments, however, the band's current style is quite different from medieval authentic performance groups, as it displays significant modern influence.
The Bæbes provided the vocal track for and starred in the video of the Delerium track Aria; the vocals are an adapted version of the vocals from All Turns To Yesterday from Worldes Blysse. They are also featured on two tracks from Delerium's 2006 album, Nuages du Monde: Extollere and Sister Sojourn Ghost.
In 2005, the Bæbes contributed some music to the soundtrack of the BBC period drama The Virgin Queen, which portrays the life of Elizabeth I, including the title music, which is a poem written by Elizabeth set to music by Blake.
One of the group's founding musicians, Dorothy Carter, died of a stroke in 2003 at the age of 68. In addition to playing autoharp, hurdy gurdy, and dulcimer with the group, she performed the lead vocals on So Spricht Das Leben (Worldes Blysse) and L'Amour de Moi (The Rose).
Emily Ovenden is the daughter of artist Graham Ovenden.
Marie Findley is also a film reviewer and television script writer for programmes such as Smack the Pony and Ant & Dec. She was the lead (using the name Tulip Junkie) in the Ken Russell film The Fall of the Louse of Usher.
- Salva Nos (1997)
- Worldes Blysse (1998)
- The Best of the Mediæval Bæbes (1999, a compilation of tracks from the first two albums)
- Undrentide (2001)
- The Rose (2002)
- Mistletoe and Wine (2003, a collection of Christmas-related music from earlier albums with a few new songs)
- Mirabilis (2005)
- Mediæval Bæbes (DVD, 2006)
- Mediæval Bæbes (Live album, November 25th 2006, includes 2 new studio tracks; sold only on the official website and at concerts)
The Best of the Mediæval Bæbes is absent from the Bæbes' website, and a comment that Mistletoe and Wine is 'the only compilation endorsed by the Mediæval Bæbes' suggests that the group do not consider it to be one of their albums.
- Mediæval Bæbes official site
Category: Early music groups