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Cut & Paste: Early Music Lovers Prefer Their Oldies Very Old

Jeffrey Noonan and Maryse Carlin help keep the spirit of early music alive in and around St. Louis. [11/30/19]
Jeremy D. Goodwin | St. Louis Public Radio
Jeffrey Noonan and Maryse Carlin help keep the spirit of early music alive in and around St. Louis.

When some music lovers cue up the oldies, they go way back — sometimes 1,000 years or so. 

Definitions vary as to what exactly counts as early music, but the wide-ranging category goes back at least to the beginning of European music notation, around the 10th century. Early music ensembles may perform music from the medieval era, the Renaissance, the Baroque period, and even some written as late as the 19th century.

In this episode of Cut & Paste, we talk with two experts who help keep early music alive in and around St. Louis. 

“It’s a different way of hearing. You have to sort of unlearn what you learned and rethink how you’re listening to instruments and how you’re listening to pieces of music,” said Jeffrey Noonan, founder of Early Music Missouri, now in its first season presenting concerts and lectures. The group’s next concert, "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight," will be performed on Dec. 8 at the First Congregational Church of St. Louis. 

Noonan and Maryse Carlin, harpsichordist and leader of the Kingsbury Ensemble, discuss the special approaches they use with their favorite material and the joy they get from the music. The Kingsbury Ensemble has been performing early music throughout the Midwest for 21 years. The group continues its 2019-20 season with concerts in February, March and April. 

“I really love it. Playing music is an extraordinary experience, and it’s a great resource, personally. It carries you through life, in my case,” Carlin said. 

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Look for new Cut & Paste podcastsevery month on our website or your favorite podcast app. You can find all previous podcasts here.

The podcast is sponsored by JEMA Architects, Planners and Designers.

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Jeremy is the arts & culture reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.