alta capella

magic pipes


Ian Harrison (GB): Northumbrian half long pipe, Great Highland Pipe, Gaita, Cornemuse du Centre, Pipe & Tabor, Fiddle, Voice

Gesine Bänfer (D): Great Highland Pipe, Gaita, Cornemuse du Centre, Grand Bourbounnaise, Whistle

Ian Harrison, from Newcastle upon Tyne, learnt the Northumbrian Half Long pipes in sessions and ceilidh bands.  Through this experience and on field trips to the Continent of Europe  he developed a personal and pan-European piping style.  After studying Early Music in The Hague and in Basel he and Gesine Bänfer formed the mediaeval wind ensemble Les haulz et les bas. The ensemble has won several international prizes for its reconstructions of mediaeval wind music, and Ian and Gesine were prizewinners in the duo bagpipe competition of the International festival of St. Chartier.
By studying original manuscripts, researching in archives, collecting and interpreting iconografic material and listening to master players of surviving music tratitions they have reconstructed the music of the professional wind players of the middle ages and renaissance.
Folk music, particularly bagpipe music, has inherited the musical language of the middle ages.  The traditional English dance tune Galopede is similar to the 12th--century Nota.  The Ballo inglese  from an Italian source of 1589 sounds great next to the traditional Dorset four-hand reel. Gesine and Ian play pipes from all over Europe, show pictures and spin yarns about this legendary instrument, and present music from 800 years of bagpipe history. 




early new music
ars supernova

new early music
Council of Constance
Ad modum tubae
Johannes Ciconia - 1412
Early Folk Music

The Noyse

Winds & Dance
Alta Danza
A great Renaissance Ball

Multimedia Productions
...and he called for his pipers three
Plus Ultra
The Notebook of Zorzi Trombetta

Les haulz et les bas & belladonna
Missa Sevillana

Children's Programmes