May Monday 21st Anniversary Tour : 1st – 13th November 2019 

May Monday
Photograph by Marion Gobel

Karen Tweed and Timo Alakotila aka May Monday are touring the UK playing England, Scotland, Ireland, and the Welsh border in November and celebrating 21 years of friendship.

Karen Tweed (piano accordion) and Timo Alakotila (piano) met in Denmark in 1998, released their seminal CD May Monday in 2001 which gained international acclaim and was voted CD of the year by BBC Late Junction‘s presenter Fiona Talkington. Two albums followed – Midnight May Monday and now Midsummer May Monday and this tour celebrates 21 years of their superb music and great friendship. Timo, based in Helsinki and Karen, based in Orkney are inspirational creatives, composers and teachers – their collaboration combines Karen’s wacky, mercurial and vivacious wizardry with Timo’s quiet genius. Both teach on music courses at Sibelius Academy in Finland, Newcastle University and The World Academy of Music and Dance at Limerick University while Timo’s music was featured in this year’s BBC Proms at The Royal Albet Hall, London.

Mostly they perform music that goes beyond words and genre.

Artist’s website:


Tour dates:

Friday 1st November
Orkney Arts Society, King Street Halls, Kirkwall KW15 1JF
Concert: 7.30pm £12 non-members/£10 members £2 schoolchildren
Info: 07415 456307

Saturday 2nd November
Hatton Castle, Newtyle, Angus PH12 8UN
Please park in the village.
2-5pm Mixed Instrument Workshop (£20)
Concert: 8pm (£10 donation)

Sunday 3rd November
Acoustic House Concert
Concert: 8pm
Limited tickets available.

Monday 4th November (lunchtime)
Elgar’s Birthplace Museum, The Firs, Crown East Lane, Lower Broadheath, Worcestershire WR2 6RH
Concert: 1pm   £8 – on the door.
Info: 07415 456307

Monday 4th November (evening)
Christchurch, Newmarket Road, Nailsworth, Gloucestershire GL6 ODQ
Concert: 7.30pm
£10 advance/£12 – on the door £3 schoolchildren
Info: 07415 456307

Wednesday 6th November
Folk Degree Course teaching

Thursday 7th November
The Sage, Gateshead, St. Mary’s Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR

Friday 8th November
Teaching at The Fosbrooks Folk Education Trust

Barefield Community Centre, Co. Clare.
2pm Instrumental Workshops (Int/Adv) €10
Concert: 3pm €15 full/€10 students
Workshop & concert rate and family rate available.
Advance booking required.
Info: +353 87 2229813

Monday 11th November
World Academy of Music and Dance, Limerick University, Ireland
Traditional Music Degree /MA teaching

Tuesday 12th November
World Academy of Music and Dance, Limerick University, Ireland
Concert: 1pm Free admission

Wednesday 13th November
Rhydycroesau Village Hall, Oswestry SY10 7JE
Concert: 8pm (BYO drink) £13 adults/£8 children
With Special Guests Brackenbury & Neilson
Info: Rowanthorn Shop, Oswestry 01691 791403 / 01948 710218

Tuulikki Bartosik – debut album

Tuulikki Bartosik

After a warm response and across-the-board critical acclaim for her collaboration with Chatterbox, Tuulikki Bartosik strikes out on her own with her solo debut Storied Sounds. A showcasing artist at Tallinn Music Week, Bartosik enlists the help of Timo Alakotila (piano), Villu Talsi (mandolin) and Dylan Fowler (guitar).

“We transfer our traditions to each other, take our world with us wherever we go, and we take something with us from every place we visit, every person we meet.” – Tuulikki

Storied Sounds is a beautifully-composed love letter to the Estonian landscapes of Tuulikki’s childhood, to more recent adventures, and to family and friends. There is a glimmering vividness in these tracks. Pulsating cities, screeching seagulls, fishes flapping in nets, the smell of the forest in autumn and spring… all of these things, and more, are depicted powerfully in their reflective tunescapes. Ambient field recordings made in Estonia infuse several pieces, enhancing their already strong sense of place. Storied Sounds evokes an elemental point where nature, memory and music converge.

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Artist’s website:

Tuulikki Bartosik’s showreel:

Karen Tweed – Essentially Invisible to the Eye

ESSENTIALLY INVISIBLE TO THE EYE is Karen Tweed’s latest recording and, in being entirely solo, is a departure from her extensive collaborative work which has dominated her career since the early 1990s.

Born in London in 1963 to an Irish mother and English father, Karen took up the accordion at the age of eleven. Since turning professional in the late 1980s, she has appeared on over thirty albums from her early days with The Kathryn Tickell Band to being a founding member of the pioneering all female Poozies, through the Anglo-Swedish ensemble SWAP, American collaboration Undertoe with Stuart Kenney, Marko Packard and Rodney Miller, to The Two Duos Quartet with Andy Cutting, Chris Wood and Ian Carr. Karen’s duo work with Ian Carr, Andy Cutting and also Roger Wilson and John Dipper has left many an audience mesmerised at her breathtaking musicianship, while her trios with Hannah James and Becky Price in Hell Said The Duchess and with Carolyn Robson and Kevin Dempsey are more examples of her diversity and creativity.

Her larger scale projects include Circa Compania, a 14-piece all-singing, all-dancing tour-de-force and The No 1 Ladies Accordion Orchestra where she has brought together accordionists from all over the UK. More recently she has been Musical Director of ‘Land of Liberty’ a community play directed by Philip Parr of Parrabola and her duo work includes singers Jackie Oates, Kevin Dempsey and Johnny Coppin. Karen’s teaming up with highly respected Finnish pianist and composer Timo Alakotila to form May Monday led to phenomenal praise and accolades for their artistic grace, beauty and breaking down of musical barriers.

Her playing has been described as mercurial, soulful, effervescent and sensitive, while as a teacher, she’s proved to be an inspirational and encouraging role model, whether teaching university students performance and arrangement skills or leading accordion workshops and master classes.

ESSENTIALLY INVISIBLE TO THE EYE, produced by Bruce Molsky, brings all of these influences and ideas from her career so far together and illustrates just how dynamic, sensual, joyful and inspirational she can be. Karen often cites those she has worked with as major influences and inspiration and this fine recording shows how she continues to incorporate and further develop those ideas. Following conversations with Bruce, Colum Sands and Lorraine Carpenter, Karen began to think about a solo project and their thoughts that her music could be seen as songs or stories without words rather than a collection of tunes, sparked off the seed for this CD.

Bruce Molsky was the perfect choice as producer, because of his diverse and superb skills as a musician and his understanding of storytelling through traditional song. The CD has five tracks, all solo accordion but performed as a suite of Karen’s much loved collections of tunes, a blend of original and traditional and intended to be played as one, taking the listener on a lyrical journey, sometimes autobiographical, sometimes whimsical but illustrating how much the accordion has become Karen’s voice and pen and muse.

ESSENTIALLY INVISIBLE TO THE EYE is possibly Karen’s most emotive work to date and will be toured in its entirety in 2012.

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