Courtyards and Fairgrounds is a collection of Mr. Reid’s compositions that evoke the sound of the Medieval and Renaissance eras.
The pieces were created using a mix of traditional and modern compositional methods. Some use authentic musical techniques and forms common from the twelfth to seventeenth century. You may hear echoes of Perotin, de Vitry, Machaut, Monteverdi and Palestrina. Others use more contemporary techniques while still evoking the sounds of the past. You may hear music that reminds you of Prokofiev, Arcana, Dead Can Dance - even Pink Floyd.
This eclecticism is one of the wonderful things about the album.
You never feel that the composer is repeating himself!
Every track has its own character and the track order was carefully composed to create the feeling of a complete story.
A gothic novel in music, if you will.
Many of the pieces were originally composed for plays of the Renaissance and Medieval eras, including Shakespeare's Othello and All's Well That Ends Well, Kyd's Spanish Tragedy and the anonymous Coventry Play.
Others were created as academic exercises in Medieval and Renaissance composition - and yes, he got A 's for all those pieces, thanks for asking!
They are presented here, re-orchestrated and rearranged for modern classical and near east instruments with an emphasis on winds, percussion and plucked instruments.
It's remarkable how fresh and contemporary some of the pieces using ancient styles sound on modern instruments!
Mr. Reid studied medieval composition with Andrew Hughes, Renaissance composition with Alexander Rapoport and contemporary composition with Walter Buczynski at the University of Toronto. He currently lives in Toronto where he is the musical director for The Second City comedy theatre.
Courtyards and Fairgrounds composed, performed and produced by Matthew Reid
"very peaceful if you're having a quiet moment" - Peter Massey GREEN MAN REVIEW
"When the turmoil of the current day gets to you, just toss on this CD and be transported to a time when life was a little calmer." Naomi De Bruyn LINEAR REFLECTIONS
Cover painting: "The Courtyard" by Morgan Ralston