Dapper’s Delight is a duo formed to explore the dance music and songs of the period 1550 – 1750, particularly pieces found in both high and low cultural sources. Their current interest lies with the rich repertoire of 17th century English tune books and broadside ballads, which form a bridge between ‘art’ and ‘folk’ music—modern categorisations that would never have been applied at that time. Dapper’s Delight use small-scale, highly portable instrumentation, which they feel is very effective for this repertoire.
Susanna Borsch is one of the few instrumentalists able to interpret both contemporary and early music with complete ease. She studied at the Amsterdam Sweelinck Conservatorium with Walter van Hauwe, with her final solo examination in the year 2000 featuring many new works written especially for her combining the recorder with live electronics. She plays in many different ensembles: Mezzaluna, a recorder ensemble committed to exploring the depth of 16th century renaissance vocal polyphony; Hexnut, a band formed in 2004 comprising an unusual combination of flute, recorder, trumpet, voice and piano to perform composed pieces drawing on a wide range of musical influences; and Electra, an all-female modern music ensemble combining the latest music with visual and theatrical elements. Dapper’s Delight provides Susanna with the space to explore improvisation in, and a freer approach to, performing a repertoire full of beautiful melodies and invigorating dances.
A musical instrument maker by calling, Adrian Brown has conducted extensive research into the history of the recorder, measuring many original instruments and making reconstructions. He has also taken classes in 16th and 17th century performance practice with Peter van Heyghen, with whom he has had a collaborative relationship for many years, and has written several organological studies. He has played various free-reed instruments since his teenage years and has subsequently specialized on the anglo concertina. He took concertina lessons with John Watcham, the renowned English morris musician, and has given courses himself, both privately and under the umbrella of the German Concertina Meeting.
The name “Dapper’s Delight” is a reference to the Dutch humanist and armchair explorer Olfert Dapper (ca. 1635 – 1689) who, despite never having travelled outside Holland, published several geographical tomes, amongst which Description of Africa (1668) is still a key text for Africanists. A famous Amsterdam street market is named after him, and it was here that the duo first performed in 2009.