It was the making of this album (Maggie's fourth and the first for WildGoose records in England) that lead to the formation of Sandragon. Malcolm Bennett took over from Will on woodwinds, and Will Hughes from Anthar on percussion. On this album, you have all six of them.
The album demonstrates the band's trademark blend of traditional songs and hi-energy dance tunes from the medieval and Renaissance eras. The dragon is the symbol which is found in both the English traditional tales of "St George & the Dragon", and the mythological dragon legends of medieval times.
Maggie Sand & Sandragon perform a unique blend of English traditional songs and hi-energy dance tunes from the mediaeval and Renaissance eras, played on crumhorns, recorders, hurdy-gurdy, harmonium, bouzouki, mandola guitar and percussion.
MAGGIE SAND: voice, backing voices, harmonium, bouzouki.
Maggie studied classical piano from the age of five and grew up singing along with her mother, a professional opera singer, who introduced Maggie to a wide range of singers ranging from Maria Callas to Maddie Prior. Maggie then studied music in Canada, France and at Morley College in London. Now based in London, she has, during the past few years, released three solo albums in Germany with her other music project "Alquimia" ( the last two in collaboration with Mark Powell) and has also collaborated with many other German musicians such as Roedelius (Kluster) on other albums for the BSCMusic label.
In 2007 Maggie and Mark (voice and guitar) performed traditional songs from her latest album "Forever" around the folk club circuits in England, Switzerland and Germany, appearing in their own right and also as support to artists such as Martin Carthy, Jez Lowe and Johnny Collins. The duo then underwent a transformation when they were joined by Will Summers on crumhorns, recorders and flute, and Anthar Kharana on percussion. Maggie then added the harmonium, Mark added the hurdy-gurdy and bouzouki, and the four of them began to work as the Alquimia Band.
MARK POWELL: guitar, mandola, hurdy-gurdy, bouzouki.
Mark has worked with some of the folk world's leading figures such as the Steve Ashley Band and Mick Ryan's touring folk theatre group, Fieldwork. He has also worked as studio engineer and/or producer with luminaries such as The Albion Band, Belshazzar's Feast, Blowzabella, Fairport Convention, Hoover the Dog, Bert Jansch, Danny Thompson and many others.
MALCOLM BENNETT: flute, recorders, & crumhorn.
Malcolm has played with bands that include Gryphon, The Home Service and the Michael Nyman Band. He also directed the music for Sir Peter Hall's production of the "Oresteia" at the National Theatre.
ANTHAR KHARANA: percussion
Apart from his work with Maggie, Anthar is a founder member of his own band, Khantara. He is also the instigator of a project to research, publish and perform the traditional music of his homeland, Columbia.
WILL SUMMERS: recorders and crumhorns
Will is an established teacher and authority on early music, specialising in recorder and crumhorn.
WILL HUGHES: tarabouka
Will started his music career as a drummer, then, after four years at the Academy of Contemporary Music, he went on to do a BA honours degree in contemporary music performance.