Banquo plays (mostly) folk music and early music from (mostly) all over Europe, (mostly) from about the 12th century to present day.
We started out in the summer/fall of 1998, playing primarily Irish traditional music, and wanting to explore a fusion with early music. Since then, our vision has expanded dramatically to include basically, whatever we want. Part of the philosophy is that we refuse to be pigeonhole-able, which would tend to restrict us to a particular tradition or time period. And we\'re not willing to be so restricted. All this music is too interesting to leave behind just because it doesn\'t \"fit\" in some way.
The vast majority of our repertoire comes from various folk traditions, though we do also have some original pieces. Sometimes, we\'ve written a new tune for an existing song; sometimes we\'ll tinker with a folk tune until it becomes something else entirely.
We typically perform in historical costume, not necessarily striving for complete historical or regional accuracy, but rather for the \"vibe\" of taking people away from the present day and into a simpler time and place where they can enjoy the music on its own terms. We often incorporate theatrical elements into performances, including snippets of historical (and sometimes original) drama and literature. Historically accurate performance is not of primary concern (or even secondary, for that matter); we arrange and play the music the way we feel it speak to us, on whatever instruments we want to hear playing it.
Our current regular complement of instruments include Celtic harp, mandolin, mandola, cittern, Appalachian dulcimer, flute, penny- and low whistles, recorders, Scottish and Germanic small pipes, bodhran, dumbek and assorted percussion. We have lots of other instruments at our disposal, including Swedish and Irish pipes, accordion, banjo-mandolin, French bagpipes (cornemuse du centre & cornemuse du Berry) and others. New instruments are always being collected, in eternal pursuit of the \"perfect sound\" for a given piece. We\'re also actively interested in instrument making, and new and different projects are always ongoing.