Filkin’s Ensemble is a new fifteen-piece collective of musicians based in Birmingham, including not only folk musicians, but also a noticeable wind section with clarinet and brass. Their first release, recorded in a 16th century listed building in Gloucester, is a five tracks EP including some fascinating renditions of old classics.
The names might be largely familiar, but the arrangements will surely be a pleasant surprise: the evergreen John Barleycorn, the opening Wind and Rain, a version of the well-known tale of the two sisters, are, just like all the other tracks, presented with complex settings infused with elements from classical, jazz and chamber music.
These avant-garde and multi-faceted architectures, such as the epic Old Spot or the meditative Hiraeth, are a powerful display of incredible composition skills and harmonic design. Soaring fiddle tunes interweave with orchestral lines and delicate singing to forge warm sounding atmospheres full of details to be discovered with repeated listens. Live at The Folk is a great debut for the Filkin’s Ensemble; we all wish for a full-length album in the near future.Michele Mele
Released digitally on 1 June 2023. Recorded, mixed and mastered by Sam Baldwin at The Folk, Gloucester
1. Wind and Rain
2. Old Spot
4. John Barleycorn
5. Arthur McBride