Cançonièr is a Bay Area-based early music group devoted to medieval repertoire from the 12th to the 15th centuries, and some traditional music from related regions (Scandinavia, the Balkans, and the Middle East).
Created in the summer of 2008 by multi-instrumentalist Tim Rayborn and recorder virtuoso Annette Bauer, the group appears both as a duo, and in an expanded form, featuring the talents of Bay Area favorite Shira Kammen on bowed strings, and the beautiful voice of Phoebe Jevtovic.
In a short time, the group has gained the attention of the early music community, and received acclaim for its musicianship, unusual and exciting concert programs, and its debut CD.
Featuring voices and instruments, including a range of historical recorders, medieval harp, lute, psaltery, hand percussion, symphonie, vielle, and others, Cançonièr brings to life the vibrant musical cultures of medieval Europe, through a combination of scholarly research, improvisational techniques, and impeccable musicianship.
The name "Cançonièr" is an Occitan word (medieval southern French), meaning "songbook." Its equivalent in northern France was the chansonnier. These books were medieval collections of songs, with both secular and sacred works being included. Thus, the group is a kind of modern "medieval songbook," bringing to life the medieval musical treasures of Europe in fresh ways that nevertheless respect their traditions and historical context. Cançonièr seeks to inform as well as entertain, and the group's concerts are spiced with fascinating historical anecdotes, and a healthy dash of humor!
The group is the medieval Ensemble-in-Residence at Music Sources, Center for Historically Informed Performances, Inc. Based in Berkeley, CA, this organization is a non-profit resource institution, a facility, and an educational center.
Music Sources is a home base for the community (local, regional, national, and international) of professionals and promising students devoted to the historically informed performance of music from the Middle Ages to the early nineteenth century (1100 to 1850). Its annual concert series features distinguished local and international artists.