Based in South West England, Griselda Sanderson is a musician and producer who plays traditional fiddle, violin, Norwegian hardanger fiddle, viola, piano and nyckelharpa – a Swedish bowed, keyed fiddle with sympathetic strings. One of six musical children of violin-maker Derick Sanderson she grew up in Clackmannanshire, Central Scotland, attending the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama as a youth as well as playing in the National Youth String Orchestra of Scotland. She went on to study at Dartington College of Arts in Devon, attaining a 1st class BA Hons degree in Music Performance and Composition and a PhD in Musicology on the subject of traditional Scottish and Irish folk music and its integration onto the internet. She has written several published articles on cross-cultural music collaborations.
Griselda has a large repertoire of traditional Scottish, Irish and Swedish material and a special interest in Mediaeval, North and West African music. These interests have led to collaborations with notable musicians from the UK (hurdy-gurdy player Steve Tyler), Portugal (Nuno Silva, Ricardo de Noronha) The Gambia (Juldeh Camara), Senegal (Amadou Diagne) and Morocco (Simo Lagnawi & Soufian Saihi).
Having studied both classical and traditional music she has performed in a wide range of contexts from string quartets and orchestras to acting parts as a musician in theatre (the Royal Shakespeare Company’s The Winters Tale dir. Lucy Bailey with music by Jon Boden; Shakespeare’s Globe, London in As You Like It dir. Blanche McIntyre; The Devil’s Purse, Angelheart Theatre) and film (Mike Figgis’ Miss Julie starring Peter Mullan & Saffron Burrows in 1999). Griselda’s interest in site-specific composition has led to work in some unusual venues such as Kents Cavern in Torquay as part of the BBC’s Live Music Now series and with Oceanallover’s On Tenterhooks by Exeter Canal in 2016.
2017- May: ‘Veer’ was released, an album of original music composed in collaboration with Portuguese experimental wind player (ethnic flutes including the Slovakian fujara) and percussionist Ricardo de Noronha.
2015 – Griselda recorded, produced and released four albums on her Waulk Records label: Westcountry mandolin player James Dumbelton’s ‘Houmet Paradis’, young Irish/Breton trad. duo Freya Rae & Louis Bingham’s ‘Curlicue’ and the third album from Moroccan Gnawa master Simo Lagnawi entitled ‘The Gnawa Caravan: Salt’. She also performed on three tracks on this album as well as guesting on one of Freya & Louis’ tracks.
2015 also saw the release of Griselda Sanderson’s second solo nyckelharpa album Radial. Described as “exceptionally expressive” by World Music Central it went straight into the European and Transglobal World Music ‘best of 2015’ charts.
2014 – Produced ‘The Gnawa Berber’, Simo Lagnawi’s second album.
2013 – Griselda produced and released new albums on her Waulk Records label by fellow World Music Network winners; Senegalese singer Amadou Diagne’s second album ‘Yakar‘ and Simo Lagnawi’s debut ‘Gnawa London’. On ‘Yakar’ Griselda also played violin and nyckelharpa.
2009- Griselda produced a solo album Harpaphonics featuring the nyckelharpa and fiddle, which was released to great critical acclaim. Guest musicians on the album included Max Moya Wright (Ojos de Brujo/Man Ex Maquina), James Dumbelton (Jackie Oates Band), Samuel Yeboah, Louis Bingham, Josh Stopford (Yes Sir Boss) & bassist Riaan Vosloo. Harpaphonics was listed at number five in the Top Ten Best World Music Releases of 2009 in the Sunday Times.
Griselda first began producing with her band Waulk Elektrik, with whom she set up the label Waulk Records. The label now specialises in projects related to the traditional music of the British Isles and Northern Europe and West and North Africa.
Griselda has taught traditional fiddle and nyckelharpa for many years. A keen advocate of the benefits of community music Griselda has promoted and encouraged the continuation of traditional music in her locality by running sessions, teaching traditional music at a Saturday morning music school for children and running a weekly fiddle group. Currently she also runs Tunelink alongside her son Louis Bingham, a group for all ages learning by ear, connecting the music with traditional dance.
She taught music performance to undergraduates at Dartington College of Arts for ten years and is now an associate lecturer in music at Plymouth University. In 2009 she co-wrote a Popular Music degree course for University College, Falmouth, which has now been implemented.