Stephen Tyler began playing the hurdy gurdy in 1993, adding this instrument to the sound of the recently formed medieval music ensemble Misericordia, which he founded with Anne Marie Summers. He also plays Gothic Harp, Cittern and Citole. In 1996, they joined with melodeon player Julian Sutton to form The Wendigo, playing their own compositions inspired by the traditional dance music of central France. It was with two such pieces that Steve, with Anne Marie, won first place in the competition for duets at Saint Chartier festival in 1999, playing hurdy gurdy and bagpipes.
In 2001 he joined medieval music and dance theatre group Daughters of Elvin for their spectacular medieval circus show "Garden of Earthly Delights", commissioned by the National Trust, and continues to play with them. With these bands he has travelled and performed throughout Europe and recorded numerous CDs, most recently "Passion, Pestilence and Polyphony" comprising music and song from the fourteenth century, with Misericordia. In 2006 he was featured on Radio 3's Early Music Show on the hurdy gurdy, along with Nigel Eaton, and played at Anost Fete de la Vielle with Jon Swayne and Becky Price.
Chris Walshaw pipes & whistles
Steve Tyler hurdy gurdy
Richard Jones accordion & bouzouki
Photos: Bridget Reader & Quentin Fletcher