The vocal and instrumental quintet Ex Umbris presents Melancholy: Downe in the Dumpes in Elizabethan England as part of the 2009 Indianapolis Early Music Festival. George Walker talked with founding member Paul Shipper.
“The first thing to say is that while we like the pun in our title, the program is far from grim or cheerless,” said founding member Paul Shipper. ““Dumpes” aren’t spiritual states, they’re simple dance forms that musician improvised over and improvisation is one the things that brought the members of Ex Umbris together.”
Shipper, in addition to being an instrumentalist and singer is also a stage actor and director. “Ex Umbris is very concerned with how we present our music. You won’t find us sitting around behind a wall of music stands.
We memorize our music so that we can more directly address the audience. Most of us stand for much of the concert and we do use a few props to help with the presentation.”
“We try for a complete evening’s entertainment and in addition to the music, we’ll be reciting readings and vignettes that further explore the period.”
Melancholy: Downe in the Dumpes in Elizabethan England
Indianapolis Early Music Festival
Basile Opera Center at 40th and Pennsylvania
June 27, 2009