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The Dowland Project
Night Sessions

John Potter tenor
John Surman saxophones, bass clarinet, percussion
Stephen Stubbs lute, chitarrone, baroque guitar, vihuela
Maya Homburger violin
Miloš Valent violin, viola
Barry Guy double bass
First descent
Menino Jesus à Lappa
Recercar (Joan Ambrosio Dalza)
Can vei la lauzeta mover
First triage (Bernart de Ventadorn)
Man in the moon
Corpus Christi
Whistling in the dark
Swart mekerd smethes
Fumeux fume (Solage)
Hortus ignotus
Mystery play
I sing of a maiden
Theoleptus 22
Second descent
Second triage
Prelude (Pierre Attaignant)

Recorded September 2001 & January 2006
ECM New Series 2018
Lyrics of Night Sessions

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From its inception, John Potter’s Dowland Project has drawn upon different musical traditions including those of ‘early music’ and improvisation. These “Night Sessions” emphasize the Project’s improvisational flexibility and resourcefulness, as the musicians create new music in the moment, sometimes with medieval poetry as inspirational reference and guide. There are also a number of ‘daytime’ pieces worked up, Potter notes, from small amounts of notation: ‘Menino Jesus á Lappa’ is based on Portuguese pilgrim song fragments and ‘Theoleptus 22’ built around a Byzantine chant. Lute fantasias are taken from Dalza’s Intabolatura de Lauto (Venice, 1508) and Attaignant’s Tres breve et familiere introduction…a jouer toutes chansons (Paris, 1529). The oldest compositions are Can vei la lauzeta mover – a love song by the 12th century troubadour Bernart de Ventadorn, and Fumeux fume by the 14thcentury avant-gardist Solage. Two incarnations of the Dowland Project are heard here, the original band with Potter, Stephen Stubbs and John Surman joined by Barry Guy and Maya Homburger, and the revised line-up with Milos Valent on violin and viola.