Exclusive Interview: Discover

Exclusive Interview: Mediaeval Baebes

todayFebruary 19, 2023 695 6 5

share close

Tara goes in depth with the amazing Catherine from Medeveal Baebes, a vocal ensemble with a really unique style that blends mediaeval music with a modern arrangement. We talked about the process of crafting their recent Christmas album, ancient texts that inspire her songwriting, getting ready to go on tour and more!


The unique, classical chart topping choir Mediaeval Baebes was conceptualised and formed in 1996 by musical director, composer and producer Katharine Blake. The group have released 8 studio albums, won an Ivor Novella Award for their performance on the BBC serialisation “The Virgin Queen” and received two Emmy nominations and a Royal Television Society award as the featured artist alongside composer Martin Phipps for the theme tune of ITV’s hit TV show “Victoria”.

Throughout their many incarnations, the Mediaeval Baebes’ haunting classical vocals have led them to tour the world, including UK, United States, Canada, Asia and Europe, in venues ranging from castles and caves to cathedrals & Glastonbury. They have toured with Jools Holland and played at the Royal Albert Hall, Carnglaze Caverns in Cornwall, Jersey Opera House, Tewkesbury Abbey, supported Michael Flatley in Hyde Park, and performed at the legendary Lilith Fayre.

They were also invited by enthusiast Iggy Pop to perform on his Radio 6 Christmas Day special.

Katharine Blake is known for her unique choral writing style, sourcing lyrics from mediaeval and romantic texts which she sets to original scores, as well as reinventing traditional and folk songs, often accompanied by the Mediaeval Baebes’ plethora of mediaeval and folk instruments. Whilst singing in an array of obscure and ancient languages, the Baebes offer a beguiling musical beauty and ethereal talent. The choice of mediaeval texts are mythological, philosophical and dark in topic, meditating upon the inevitability of death, the pointlessness of material possessions, the agony of unrequited love or the dangers of vinous hallucinations. The more familiar material, such as their classic anthology of Christmas Carols “Of Kings and Angels” offers a refreshing and exotic twist to well-known classics. Katharine Blake is also known as the lead singer and song writer of 90s avant-garde rock band Miranda Sex Garden, and has worked with Nick Cave, Michael Nyman and John Cale.

2019 saw the release of the group’s ground breaking and fantastical nursery rhyme album, which celebrates the contrast of child-like innocence with the surreal and dark content inherent in these ancient rhymes.

MydWynter is the 11th Studio album and was released in November 2022. This beautiful album is a loose sequel to the Of Kings and Angels Christmas themed album, and is a gentle reminder that not every winter mystery can be wholly illuminated. Some things just stay obscured. Many of the tracks on the glorious MydWynter Album will be performed live for the very first time in the Sacred Spaced MydWynter tour, which is taking place across the UK.


Check out our Discover Spotlight Podcast featuring interviews with other emerging artists. Plus listen to Channel R Discover, our 60min curated playlist featuring the best emerging artists Sundays at 10am PT/1pm ET on Channel R.

Written by: Channel R

Rate it