New Christmas-CD out!!!

Lumps of Pudding is the title of our latest CD, recorded live at SWR in Freiburg, Germany, with comical and curious winter songs, folk carols and virtuoso bagpipe, whistle and fiddle tunes from throughout the British Isles.  Orders received by the 21. December will be sent gift-wrapped and zero postage to arrive by the 1st December.

Office of Musicians' Affairs

The Office of musicians' affairs represents Gesine Bänfer and Ian Harrison's music ensembles. "We know this charismatic musical duo as masterminds behind the ensembles Les haulz et les bas and the Early Folk Band". In 25 years of playing together they have initiated and directed a great many prestigious projects and played with international musicians all over the world - '"with untamed joy and a real appetite for experimenting with the musical material". (quotes by Lothar Jahn,

Please take the time to read the concise information about our music projects, to listen to the music examples and look at the short films. A link will take you to the corresponding web site.

Les haulz et les bas plays music of the alta capella, the 'loud' wind ensemble of the middle ages and Renaissance. The rediscovery and reconstruction of the music of the mediaeval civic and court wind bands has been one of the great musical detective stories of our times. The results of the ensemble's work has acheived international acclaim: they have won prizes at several international competitions and they are regularly present in Europe's most prestigious Early Music Festivals. They regularly give lectures and workshops and have been guests of the Universities of Oxford, London and Manchester, the Royal Conservatory, The Hague and the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis. The ensemble has produced a series of highly-acclaimed CDs. Les haulz et les bas guarantees its audience an extraordinary and unforgettable experience. The ensemble offers a huge range of programmes from the 'classic' trio formation up to big-scale productions for larger venues and outdoor events.


Tamburi Mundi Frame Drum Festival 2018

Questa fancuill' amor by Francesco Landini (c.1325-97), from the Squarcialupi Codex

The mediaeval wind ensemble Les haulz et les bas plays Giovanni Ambrosia Dalza's Piva (1508) live at Montalbane Festival, 2009: Ian Harrison & Gesine Bänfer - gaitas, Michael Metzler & Andrea Piccioni - tamburellos

The mediaeval wind ensemble Les haulz et les bas plays Guillaume du Fay's (c.1400-1476) chanson Se la face ay pale live at Montalbane Festival 2009. Ian Harrison - shawm, Gesine Bänfer - bombard, David Yacus & Christian Braun - buisines, Michael Metzler - tympani, Andrea Piccioni - tamburello

new CD release

Concilum zu Constanz 1414 - 1418

The latest co-production between ahalani records and the German radio station Deutschlandfunk Kultur is now available via our webshop.  Review copies can be obtained from the record company; please send an email to:




at Herne Early Music Festival, November 2018

The 13th-century Carmina Burana in cooperation with the ensemble Candens Lilium, directed by the brilliant medieval flute player Norbert Rodenkirchen.

Medieval Jazz – new directions for early music

The forgotten sound of the alta capella - the medieval and renaissance wind band - lies at the historical heart of this project. Shawms, bombards, slide trumpet and sackbut are combined with a jazz combo of saxophone, guitar, double bass, tuba and drum set, and members of the ensemble themselves double on saxophone, trombone, cornett and bagpipes. Old material is newly arranged, new pieces composed for old instruments and all is delivered by a star-studded cast with lashings of improvisatory panache. Les haulz et les bas offer proof that the saxophone is the ideal instrument for the 14th-century ars nova and that the medieval shawm has just the sound that jazz has been waiting for.

With this programme Les haulz et les bas won a CD production with the German national radio station Deutschlandradio Kultur - now released by www.ahalani-records.

ars supernova im Jazzhaus Freiburg

Ballads, Songs and DanceTunes from the North Countries

The musicians of The Early Folk Band are all outstanding specialists in early music. Originally from England, Sweden and Germany, they bring with them the traditional music of their home countries as well as a great experience with the study and performance of music from the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque. 'Folk Music' influences 'art music' and vice versa. The members of the group also won important competitions such as: Anders Wrath silver medal ('riksspelman'), Global Ruth (Germany's leading World Music Award), Grammy Award, Festival van Vlandern, Bruges, BRTN Radio Price (Belgium), Festival Rencontre Internationales de St. Chartier (France) "Best Blasters" and "Best Folk rock Band" of the German Popstiftung.

The Early Folk Band plays Packingtons Pound

The Early Folk Band plays Tail Toddle

Konzert im SWR-Studio Freiburg, Dezember 2018
Susanne Ansorg - Fiedel
Steven Player - Barockgitarre
Gesine Bänfer - English Guitar
Ian Harrison - Northumbrian Smallpipes

Riddles & Reels

Ian Harrison (GB/D) - Northumbrian smallpipes, flageolets, harp, fiddle, voice
Gesine Bänfer (D) - Northumbrian smallpipes, flagelolets, dulcimer, English guittar, voice
Lee Santana (USA/A) - Cittern, baroque guitar, lute, voice

The Early Folk Trio presents riddle songs and virtuoso folk tunes from the British Isles and Old Time music from North America.

  1. Wedding Dress - (traditional Appalachian Folk Song) - a puzzling song about a marriage proposal - The Early Folk Trio with very special guest Florian Döling on double bass.

  1. Buy Broom Buzzems (as sung by William Purvis 1752-1832) - Jacky Latin (trad. Northumbrian) - The Early Folk Trio

Early Folk Music

Gesine Bänfer from Freiburg, Germany and Ian Harrison from Newcastle upon Tyne are an unusual duo. With their interpretation of old ballads and their virtuoso smallpipe and whistle tunes these two multi-instrumentalists are firmly established in the alternative, world and folk music scenes. In their duo programmes they present traditional riddle songs, ballads of lies and deception, and virtuoso instrumental music from the British Isles.

The collaboration with Catalan singer Arianna Savall, her Norwegian husband Petter Udland Johansen and their ensemble Hirundo Maris leads to a firework of musical ideas and possibilities. This year we have run several new programs together. >>read on<<

Music needs no Passport

Diego Escolano - laud, bandurria
Gesine Bänfer - gaita, cajatom
Ian Harrison - gaita, cornett
Vanesa Muela - voice, pandereita, adufe
Jonas Gimeno - pandereita, percussion

Gaitas are the traditional bagpipes of Galicia, Spains northwesternmost province. The earliest depictions of these instruments are in the manuscripts of the Cantigas de Santa Maria of King Alfonso el Sabio from the 13th century. Gesine and Ian are not only specialists in mediaeval and traditional music but also play their own compositions. The brilliant Vanesa Muela is one of Castille's leading folk singers. Her interpretations of the old traditional songs of her region such as the boleras, jota and albade da Tierrente open a window on past ages. She accompanies herself expertly on a range of percussion instruments including the adufe, an ancient square catskin drum, and the pandereita, the traditional tambourine of Northern Spain.

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