Tag Archives: Andrew Cronshaw

Cordas World Music Festival, a Mid-Atlantic Wonderland for World Artists

Remigio Pereira – Photo by Carlos Gouveia

The Cordas (strings) festival took place September 11-15, 2019 in the municipality of Madalena, in Pico Island, Azores (Portugal). Pico Island, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, welcomes string musical instruments and artists from around the world. Venues include a garden, a cave, a volcanic crater, natural pools, dragon-tree sanctuary, center square stage, the museum auditorium that gives you the sensation of being inside a turned-around ship, and the new contemporary auditorium in the town of Madalena.

Artists that performed this year include kora player Braima Galissá (Guinea Bissau), Ricardo Melo (Portugal), Ana Medeiros (Portugal), Andrew Cronshaw (UK), Açores Canta (Portugal), Marcos Fernandez (Spain), guitarist Remígio Pereira (Canada), Victor Castro (Portugal), Pieter Adriaans (Netherlands), Afonso Villasanti (Brazil) and Michel William (Mozambique).

CORDAS World Music Festival from MiratecArts on Vimeo.

Cordas World Music Festival is the winner of various international awards including Top 10 Best New Festival (Iberian Festival Awards 2017) and Global Top 10 Fest (Transglobal World Music Chart Festival Awards 2018).

Some artists that have appeared in past editions include Tcheka (Cape Verde), Lu Yanan (China), Canary Islands timple players Germán López and Beselch Rodriguez (Spain), Iran Zamir (Israel), kantele instrumentalist Maija Kauhanen (Finland), and Portugal´s only-female Portuguese guitar player Marta Pereira da Costa, among many others.

Artist proposals are welcome, including solo, duos, trios and bands that are 100% string instruments and one-person bands that include a unique string instrument. MiratecArts, the founders of Cordas Festival also welcome proposals from artists of other disciplines that wish to present a project within the theme of string-instruments. For example mural paintings, installations and exhibitions.

More at MiratecArts


Artist Profiles: Andrew Cronshaw

Andrew Cronshaw

Andrew Cronshaw was born April 18, 1949 in Lancashire, United Kingdom. He is known for both his music and his writing. His writing appears frequently in British publication FRoots and other magazines. And he is also the author of the chapters devoted to Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, The Faroes, Iceland, the Baltic States and Portugal in the most recent version of the Rough Guide to World Music.

Musically, Andrew’s voyage began as a child with a piano and a tin whistle. His primary instrument is now the zither, which lives at the heart of a collection of instruments that have come into his life through his travels, research and enormous musical curiosity. These include: a fujara, which Andrew describes as “a five-foot long Slovakian shepherd’s flute that yields shivering breathy harmonics;” aba-wu from China’s Yunan province, which is his “seductive-toned” brass-reed instrument, and many other string and percussion instruments.

In the early 1990s, Andrew chose to tour most often as a solo performer. With his instruments and a small PA, he played more than 100 performances in ancient English village churches. Solo, in his case, meant he would book the concert, meet the audience at the door, perform, pack up and move on.

Although a U.K. native, over the past twelve years more and more of his time has been spent in Finland. He is fascinated by and increasingly involved in new Finnish music rooted in its folk traditions. Andrew says he is drawn also by the sense of community, especially in Kaustinen, a music center and home to one of the world’s finest music festivals. It was at the Kaustinen Festival he initiated Hauenleuka: a large performance project that involved the floating of a giant seven-meter, five-string kantele down the river Perho accompanied by four hundred local musicians and dancers.

His album On The Shoulders Of The Great Bear, is based on a dozen traditional tunes from Finland, one from Siberia, and three from the Scottish Gaelic-speaking tradition.

Andrew founded an ensemble called SANS, a collaboration with Finnish musicians.

Andrew’s approach to music includes the belief that instruments “find a particular tune they like.”


A Is For Andrew, Z Is For Zither ‎(XTRA, 1974)
Times And Traditions For Dulcimer ‎(Trailer, 1976)
Earthed In Cloud Valley (Trailer, 1977)
Wade In The Flood (Transatlantic Records, 1978)
The Great Dark Water (Waterfront Records, 1982)
Till The Beasts’ Returning ‎(Topic Records, 1988)
The Andrew Cronshaw CD ‎(Topic Records, 1989)
The Language Of Snakes (Special Delivery, 1993)
On The Shoulders Of The Great Bear ‎(Cloud Valley Music, 2000)
Ochre ‎(Cloud Valley Music, 2004)
The Unbroken Surface Of Snow ‎(Cloud Valley Music, 2011)
Live, with SANS (Cloud Valley CV2014, 2014)
Kulku, with SANS (Cloud Valley Music, 2018)


SANS’ Entrancing Chamber World Music

SANS – Live (Cloud Valley CV2014, 2014)

SANS is an ensemble that combines contemporary folk music, jazz and chamber music elements. The group is led by the multi-faceted British multi-instrumentalist and writer Andrew Cronshaw, along with acclaimed Finnish singer Sanna Kurki-Suonio (former Hedningarna), multi-instrumental reeds player Ian Blake, and Armenian duduk maestro Tigran Aleksanyan.

Picture a form of chamber world music that would feel perfectly at home at ECM. It’s meditative, mesmerizing music where Finnish traditions, vocals and instruments join ancient Armenian sounds and English folklore.

Andrew Cronshaw plays electric zither, fujara, marovantele, kantele; Sanna Kurki-Suonio on vocals; Tigran Aleksanyan on duduk; and Ian Blake on bass clarinet, soprano sax.

SANS Live is a beautiful, spellbinding album, masterfully crafted by four world class musicians.

Buy Live