Canadian music duo Katelyn Clark and Julie Ryning have been creating ethereal, medieval sounds for the past eight years. They are known as musica fantasia. On Sept. 23 and 24 they perform in Haines Junction Whitehorse.
Clark and Ryning started collaborating in 2008 when Clark, a chamber musician, and Ryning, a soprano, met while studying at McGill University in Montreal.
“I feel chamber music is less explored compared to other types of music, therefore I feel it is very groundbreaking and challenging; but at the same times creative and wonderful,” Ryning says.
Clark plays two instruments from the medieval period. The organetto, is a miniature version of an organ, and the clavicymbalum, is an early form of a harpsichord.
Clark and Ryning have toured across Europe and North America.
Clark and Ryning draw on medieval composers Guillaume de Machaut and Hildegard of Bingen to interpret music that would have been played in the medieval courts.
During the medieval period instruments and words were carefully selected to make each song a beautiful melody. In many cases, these songs were performed for royalty or visiting dignitaries.
The duo’s performances include improvisations.
“The nice thing about improvising, is that our performance becomes extra exciting because you don’t know exactly how it will turn out,” Clark says.
The audiences definitely approve. After shows, audience members comment on how they felt they have been transported through time.
Clark and Ryning, as musica fantasia, released their first album, Under der Linden, last month.
They are stopping in Yukon as part of the album tour. The first show is during the day on Friday, September 23 at St. Elias Community School in Haines Junction. The second show in Haines Junction is at 8 p.m. at the St. Elias Convention Centre. On Saturday, Sept. 24 they will perform in Whitehorse at 8 p.m. at the Yukon Arts Centre.