Lucy Deakin • cello
John Dipper • fiddle
Emma Reid • fiddle
Miranda Rutter • viola
Methera Quartet unites the depth and integrity of traditional English music with the rich texture of the string quartet.
Four fine young musicians with individual traditional styles meet in a unique classical constellation.
Methera's repertoire is inspired by the social and ceremonial dance music of England and beyond. Together the members of the quartet
weave old and contemporary tunes into the string quartet, exploring the power and diversity of sounds it has to offer. Each voice tells their version
of the story; on occasion the narrative is blurred by the comments or counter-tales it inspires. Steeped in the aural tradition of English music,
Methera plays mostly without manuscript, enabling the music to live and breathe in the moment. Audience, place and acoustic all play an active part
as the story unfolds.
Methera also performs specially commissioned pieces by composers steeped in traditional music. This unique opportunity enables them to investigate
the potential of their genre when married with the timbres offered by the versatile string quartet. There is a constant dialogue between composer
and performers, and the result: music appropriated for the chamber, delivered in a traditional style; music that respects tradition, but breaks
"A marvel of musicality: sublime, beautiful, intense and passionate"
- Karen Tweed
"Seriously stylish playing that’s putting the sparkle back into the tradition"
- Verity Sharp, Late Junction BBC Radio 3
"Methera is one of the most interesting and exciting ensembles that I have heard for some time. The prospect of hearing four of the most innovative and talented folk musicians of their generation together in one ensemble, playing their often quirky arrangements of traditional English and Scandinavian music is plenty to recommend them under any circumstances, but the fact that their instruments are the same as the classical string quartet - two violins, viola and 'cello - instantly brings uncanny resonances and strangely arresting associations into play. The sheer richness of the sound pallet that this combination allows - that extraordinary sense that the resulting sonority is somehow more than the sum of its constituent parts, that is so fundamental to the string quartet - really feasts the ear. All these players have superb technique to add to their sheer exuberance and delight in the music they create, so that the overall impression is of something that breaks boundaries and has enormous potential as well. Arrangements that I have already heard go to the heart of what string instruments can do together for melodies and yet without the least hint of anything forced or remotely tainted by any kind of pat 'cross-over' agenda - this is original, natural and ravishing music."
- Richard Wistreich, Newcastle University
"Methera's music is rich in melody, texture and harmony, intelligently conceived, brilliantly played and charmingly presented. Though rooted firmly in the English folk tradition, it also explores recent compositions which are either self-penned or written by the best of contemporary players - by concertina supremo Robert Harbron, for instance. I say 'explores' because, although their arrangements are complex, these musicians also improvise around them with a skill and sensitivity that shows extraordinary empathy. I was delighted to have been at their very first gig, in the wilds of Northumberland in February. I look forward to hearing much more of them in the future, anywhere."
- Sandra Kerr
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