“ The UK’s queen of Hammered Dulcimer. Kerensa’s playing is like a crystal bridge between fiddle and guitar that takes her tunes and us (the listeners) to a new and enchanting place”. ~ Rambles
“You can expect fresh ideas and great playing from this talented, young musician – Her spontaneous style makes her an enthralling player to watch and an absolute delight to listen to”. ~ Maclaine Colston
“During her performance you could have heard a pin drop – The moment it was over the Marine Hall, Fleetwood erupted with applause matched only by the top bands”. ~ Fylde Folk Festival
Kerensa fell in love with the Hammered Dulcimer during her early teens. She had been playing whistles and singing for a while and it wasn’t long before she was playing Hammered Dulcimer at local clubs and sessions, inspired by the predominantly Irish and English music that surrounded her at that time.
Following expert tuition from the UK’s finest (the late) Jim Couza and Maclaine Colston, she soon developed her own unique style which has been captivating audiences for over 20 years.
In 1999, Kerensa returned home to Cornwall which is when she began to rediscover her roots – Cornwall’s rich Cornish Celtic music scene, culture and landscapes providing inspiration or her more recent work.
Kerensa’s early collaborations included:
~ Roger Watson (Melodeon / Dance Caller) with TAP’s (Traditional Arts Projects).
An exiting project which involved bringing together musicians and dancers from different cultural backgrounds: This involved improvising around English Traditional music and song for performance and for ceilidhs. Venues ranged from village halls to Arts Centres and The South Bank in London.
~ Tim van Eyken (Melodeon / Singer)
Melodeon / Hammered Dulcimer duo. Kerensa and Tim performed at various venues and recorded a track for Mrs Casey’s first Evolving Tradition album which was released in 1995.
~ The Acoustic Youth Organisation / Band
With (amongst others) Tim van Eyken (Melodeon / Vocals) Mark Weaver (Guitar / Vocals) Dave Bown (Drums / Percussion) Laura Caughlan (Flute) Emily Weir (Fiddle / Vocals) Tiny and Fiona Taylor (Dance)
Formed in the early 1990’s, Acoustic Youth were a group of musicians / singers / dancers who ran youth workshops and showcase concerts at festivals across the country. The Acoustic Youth Band also performed in their own right and did numerous radio / TV appearances.
With (the late) Chris (Cadwur) James (Fiddle) and Alan Jones (Guitar / Vocals). Ahanan performed at festivals and venues in Cornwall and further a field. Ahanan also recorded a soundtrack for the first Cornish / English bilingual film “Hwerow Hweg” (“bittersweet”) in 2002.
~ Steve Hunt (Singer / Guitarist)
Steve and Kerensa played as a duo for some time performing at festivals, clubs and events in Cornwall and at The Cork Dulcimer Festival in Ireland.
~ Leski With Richard Trethewey. Cornish Fiddle / Hammered Dulcimer duo – sometimes joined by guitarist Steve Hunt.
Leski recorded their debut album, Leski in 2008 and have performed at clubs and festivals including Whitby, Chippenham Folk Festival, The Isles of Scilly Folk Festival, Lowendar Peran Interceltic Festival (Cornwall) and Yn Chruinnaght Interceltic Festival (The Isle of Man).
Left to right – Steve Hunt, Richard Trethewy, Kerensa
From 2013 Kerensa was forced to take an extended break from peforming. However this didn’t stop her from writing new tunes and developing her playing style.
2016 marked the start of things to come, when she recorded some dulcimer and performed with Jim Causley and renowned Cornish musicians as part of the Jim Clemo 100 project – celebrating the great Cornish poet of the Clays, Jack Clemo. It was then that she reconnected with Richard Trethewey and reformed the duo ‘Leski’ with whom she is excited to be working with again.
Looking forward, Kerensa is being called on frequently to play at weddings and other special events as well as plenty of festivals and folk clubs in 2017/2018 as a solo musician, with ‘Leski’ and other exciting collaberations. She has also reignited her love for sharing the dulcimer and will be running a variety of workshops and teaching throughout Cornwall and beyond. For further updates and news, keep an eye on the News page!
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