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The Legend of Tristan and Iseuld

A touch of ancient troubadors is coming to the Rogue Valley. St. Clair Productions presents Patrick Ball and the Medieval Beasts (Shira Kammen and Tim Rayborn) in the performance piece "The Flame of Love: The Legend of Tristan and Iseuld" at 8 p.m. Friday, March 30, at the Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 87 Fourth St., Ashland.

The group will present "The Flame of Love" much as a medieval storyteller would have done. There will be no props and no scenery — only words and music and the listener's imagination. Music will be played on instruments that would have been used in those days by storytellers and those who accompanied them. Ball will perform on Celtic harp and using spoken word; Kammen on vielle, medieval harp and vocals; and Rayborn on lute, psaltery, medieval harp and vocals.

Ball first thought of putting together a performance of "The Flame of Love" 20 years ago. The story's themes of love, passion, magic, honor and death captivated the harpist and he was finally able to adapt the long tale into a version that could be told in one night.

Ball has appeared in Ashland several times, performing original and traditional Celtic music on his wire-strung harp. This is his fifth performance for St. Clair Productions. He has recorded nine instrumental and three spoken word albums, which have sold more than one-half million copies collectively and earned national awards in both the music and spoken word categories.

Multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Kammen has spent well over half her life exploring the worlds of early and traditional music. A member for many years of the early music Ensembles Alcatraz and Project Ars Nova and the Medieval Strings, Kammen also has worked with Sequentia, Hesperion XX, the Boston Camerata, the Balkan group Kitka and the Oregon, California and San Francisco Shakespeare Festivals.

Multi-instrumentalist and singer Rayborn has been involved in the field of early music for 15 years. He has devoted much of his musical activities over the past 13 years to the research and performance of medieval European music and traditional music from North Africa, the Balkans, the Middle East and India. He plays more than 40 musical instruments. He is an instrumentalist with the Jewish women's vocal group, Ya Elah, under the direction of Bon Singer. He collaborates with multi-instrumentalist Mark Deutsch and directs his own medieval ensemble, Caladrius. Rayborn also is the musical director of Shuvani, a music and dance group featuring gypsy dances from India, the Middle East, North Africa and Spain.

Kammen and Rayborn will present a Music in a Circle Singing Workshop from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 31, also at the Unitarian Fellowship. Participants will explore rounds, canons, catches and other forms using musical imitation from the 12th to 17th centuries. The cost for the workshop is $25.

Tickets for the concert are $20 in advance, $22 at the door, and $10 for youth ages 12-17. Children under 12 will be admitted free with a paying adult. Tickets are available at the Music Coop, Ashland; online at www.stclairevents.com; or by calling 535-3562.

Celtic harp player Patrick Ball will perfom in Ashland. - St. Clair Productions