Musique Royale: Curly Music in Parrsboro


Musique Royale welcomes two musicians from Europe, Birgit Bornauw and Benjamin Macke to perform “Curly Music” part of the 37th Summer Festival with concerts taking place in historic venues in Blandford, Crousetown, Johnstown and Parrsboro. Birgit Bornauw and Benjamin Macke, both renowned musicians in their field, collaborate regularly and share their contagious love of this old music with great generosity and enthusiasm.

The repertoire, carefully chosen by Birgit and Benjamin, comes mainly from the Baroque period, but not exclusively, since it is a musical genre that has inspired composers to this day. The duo thus plays tunes from different eras which all have the particularity of “sounding baroque to their ears”. Baroque music has many points in common with the traditional music they know well: short melodies and simple structure, significant work on variations, ornamentations, style, and a close relationship to dance. 

The pair appropriate these melodies, and bring a personal and original look to their interpretation, allowing themselves all the freedoms that “real” baroque musicians would be forbidden to pursue! You will find in Curly Music melodies from different regions of Europe: France, Germany, Ireland, England, Scotland… and of course some tunes from Wallonia and Flanders!

Birgit Bornauw plays the Flemish bagpipe as well as the musette de cour, a small bagpipe very popular at Versailles in the time of Louis XV. It should also be noted that this very special bagpipe is the result of the passionate work of Walloon Rémy Dubois, an instrument maker based in Theux and an absolute reference in the field.

Because of this court musette, the duo has a foothold in baroque music, but everything else is only an anachronism in relation to this period. Indeed Benjamin Macke plays the diatonic accordion, an instrument invented in the 19th century, as well as the foot bass, an emblematic instrument of Belgian popular music. It is a bass accordion which is played with the feet to complement whatever instrument the musician is playing with their hands. It had an ephemeral existence in the first half of the 20th century, particularly in the region of Namur, before falling into disuse. Benjamin Macke has been working for several years on the revival of this instrument, in collaboration with Jean-Marie Paque, an accordion maker based in Nassogne, Belgium. 

Musique Royale invites you to hear rare instruments played by Birgit and Benjamin in a joyful and sensitive way that mixes virtuosity, complicity and good humor!

Curly Music Sample 1

Curly Music Sample 2

Curly Music Sample 3