Two extremely talented northern musicians will perform in the grand setting of Scalesceugh Hall on Friday, August 30, presenting a unique programme ranging from medieval to pop.
The performance is made all the more unusual because of the combination of instruments: Susan Lambert will play the clarsach harp and Rachel Nicholas the viola and hammered dulcimer.
The duo explore multiple genres of classics, energetic folk tunes, chilled out jazz and more modern adaptations.
Susan and Rachel met in 2015 and love performing together, whether it’s at a festival, on a railway platform or a stately building like Scalesceugh Hall.
Susan grew up on the west coast of Cumbria and her musical life began when her Grandma taught her piano at the age of seven.
She was then inspired to take up the saxophone by possibly the most famous cartoon character saxophonist, Lisa Simpson!
From then she performed with many bands across many genres, from folk to rock’n’roll pub bands, Pink Floyd tributes to concert bands, and in orchestras as well as in solo piano competitions.
After studying music at Durham University, Susan fell in love with the harp through the Harps North West group and has performed the instrument in a host of places ranging from garden parties to castles.
The coldest stage so far has been on top of Hadrian’s Wall, where she was featured as part of BBC’s Wall of Sound.
She now works with Harps North West to promote harp education in Cumbria.
Susan also takes her harp into care homes around the north west to play and sing with the residents.
Rachel began playing piano and viola in orchestras and chamber groups, and studied composition at Birmingham Conservatoire, where she immersed herself in the world of contemporary music.
She has built a solid reputation as a composer-performer. Her approach to composition often dips into visual art and music theatre.
In 2012, she independently released Invisible Girl, an album of self- composed, arranged and performed songs.
Her music has been workshopped by The Schubert Ensemble of London, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, and played in concert by Decibel ensemble and Thumb.
She is currently working on two projects; an ensemble piece - Mersey Sound - for Wirral Festival of Firsts, and Lullabies, a collection of songs accompanied by piano and electronics.
With a love of all genres, Susan and Rachel enjoy mixing up their influences to create something quite unique.
See them at the Scalesceugh Hall & Villas Open Day on Friday August 30. The event runs from 11am-4pm. Book a place by calling June Ballantine on 07853 190765, email firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in your details here.