Musical duo embarks on concert tour

A Shropshire duo are embarking on a regional tour to celebrate the music a saint from the 12th century.

Faith and Tony
Faith and Tony

Violinist, Faith Brackenbury and jazz drummer, Tony Bianco who form Visio Improvisus, begin the tour, mainly of churches, on July 30.

It will feature the music of St Hildegard von Bingen, a German Benedictine abbess and writer and composer.

The tour of the Shropshire/Powys/Herefordshire borderlands will finish on September 17which also happens to be St.Hildegard von Bingen's Feast Day.

She was canonised 10 years ago, and also made a Doctor of the Church.

Faith from Church Stretton, said: "Our new double album 'Wayward Mystic~Improvisations on the music of St.Hildegard von Bingen' is accompanying the tour.

"We are so grateful, that we have the Arts Council England funding, especially in these hard and uncertain times. It means we can put fuel in the car and worry less about making ends meet."

She said she met Tony, who is from the Bronx, New York, two years ago.

"His life had somewhat miraculously landed him 15 miles from me in rural Shropshire - it’s a beautiful place, but not exactly a jazz hub.

"We released ‘Rising Up’, on Discus, in 2021. Our new double album is very different, and although it has three of our long free improvisations on it, it has five tracks based on the sacred music of St.Hildegard von Bingen."

Faith said she came across St Hildegard von Bingen in 2015/16 and was inspired by everything about her work and her life.

She said that they had chosen churches as venues because of their beauty, sense of peace and belonging.

"After the last two years of social isolation, restrictions and loneliness, we decided to try to encourage the communities around us, to re-engage with live music, just going out and being together socially again, which is vital to the overall health of all humans."

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