Musicke in the Ayre specialise in music from the 16th and 17th centuries for one or more solo voices accompanied by lute and other period instruments. Since 2011, they have given over 115 concerts across the country and on the Continent. Each concert involves lutenist and luthier Din Ghani (the group’s founder and primary accompanist) working with one or more singers from an ever-growing team spread across Europe.
Din has pulled together three of his veteran singers to bring this programme to London. York-based Helen Atkinson is a soprano who specialises in early music, and often accompanies herself on the lute. Jeni Melia combines an active career in music therapy with teaching and performing; she has released several CDs of early song. Melissa Scott found an affinity with Musicke in the Ayre which springboarded her from a background of singing with major choirs to the more intimate repertoire of solo voice/lute, performing in places like Handel House and the Foundling Museum.
The instrument Din will be using to accompany the singer is an archlute he made himself: this is a copy of an instrument by Magnus Tiefenbrucker which is in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.