Harmonia Early Music

Ronn McFarlane And His Indigo Road

An ancient instrument serves as the muse for new music.

lute

Photo: AndreasPraefcke (wiki commons)

Fröhliche Runde am Tisch, Öl auf Leinwand, signed in bottom right "Fritz Wagner Mch", 66 x 82 cm

Lutenist Ronn McFarlane took the same path to the instrument as many other lutenists: he started off as a guitarist but was drawn to the lute because of its range and ability to express more varied emotions. The lute is associated with mythical figures such as Apollo and Orpheus, and many composers wrote music for the lute, the most famous one probably being English lutenist John Dowland. But the lute is not an instrument frozen in the Renaissance; many people still write music for the lute, McFarlane included. Indigo Road, released in 2007 on the Dorian label and nominated for a Grammy in 2009, is made up of music that he wrote for the lute, and songs that were typically inspired by his travels while performing. The variety of emotions evoked by this music proves that the lute remains just as versatile today as it was five hundred years ago.

For an extended interview between Angela Mariani and Ronn McFarlane, click here.

Music Heard On This Episode

Ronn McFarlane: Dowland's Goodnight
Ronn McFarlane, lt — Indigo Road (Dorian Recordings, 2007)
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album cover
Ronn McFarlane: Dowland's Goodnight
Ronn McFarlane, lt — Indigo Road (Dorian Recordings, 2007)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Ronn McFarlane: Overland
Ronn McFarlane, lt — Indigo Road (Dorian Recordings, 2007)
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album cover
Anna Pranger

Anna Pranger moved to Bloomington in 2009 to pursue a degree in music librarianship. Before this, she worked on a degree in music history at the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, Ohio. She serves as both an assistant producer for Harmonia and the Music Library Assistant for WFIU.

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