Belinda Sykes & JOGLARESA

HOME || biography || musicians || gigs || MP3 demos || programmes
reviews || photos || videos || CDS/SHOPPING || email Joglaresa / join mailing-list

Tears of the Magdalen

The Telegraph
“irresistibly catchy tunes”   
“passionately declamatory trouvère song” 
“Joglaresa's imaginative use of improvisation creates an exciting air of authenticity”
“compulsive rhythmic energy”  
“luxuriantly ornamental solos”
“the words are projected with extreme clarity”  
Elizabeth Roche    

The Independent on Sunday
Joglaresa sing and play straight from the breast-bone”
“blessed with four intertwining voices and the hypnotic improvised accompaniments of hurdy-gurdy, fidel and harp, the jewel in their crown is Belinda Sykes - her naive yet sophisticated voice recalls the distant, throaty bark of Voix Bulgaires, the melismatic confidence of a muezzin, and the melancholy low of a cabaret chanteuse”  
Anna Picard

Classic FM Magazine
“Belinda Sykes and Joglaresa are worlds apart from the blandness of Anonymous 4 and the inanity of the Medieval Baebes. They deliver gritty, high-energy performances of music often packaged as pure and contemplative, despite all its associations with the all-too-human medieval image of Mary Magdalen, the repentant prostitute. Scholarship and committed music-making unite, underpinned by Sykes’s knowledge of folk music from Europe and beyond.”
Andrew Stewart Recommended ***** [5 stars out of 5 stars]

The Sunday Times
“excellently performed and recorded”   
“the delicately sensual sound of harps”
Stephen Pettitt




Medieval Easter songs through the eyes of the women - Joglaresa has done some of the most thorough research on this repertoire.

The Virgin Mary, who resonates down through the ages as the perfect mother, and Mary Magdalen - so maligned over the years, but who has inspired novels such as The Da Vinci Code. She earned her prostitute's reputation by coming from the town Magdala which only in later history became renowned for it's brothels!

The name Mary Magdalen conjures up the image of a beautiful woman with long golden hair, clad in scarlet, holding an alabaster jar containing ointment, and weeping. The favourite female saint after the Virgin Mary in the Middle Ages, Mary Magdalen's persona appears as a penitent prostitute, a disciple of Christ, and a mourner at his Crucfixion, the woman to whom Christ appeared on Easter Sunday, the witness of the resurrection.

Joglaresa present works that reflect the diverse attitudes of both female and male medieval writers towards these charismatic and compelling women.

Ave, clari | Ave, plena Magdalena | O Maria, prius via | Novum


Ruth Fraser