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Nigel Shaw

Nigel Shaw is a long-established composer and musician whose journey with music began nearly twenty-five years ago. He is also a wood carver and traditional flute-maker, making many of the instruments with which he performs and records.

The inspiration for most of his music stems from the spirit of the land, with its cycles of power, mystery and gentle beauty. In the creation of his albums Nigel uses many ancient instruments including handmade wooden and clay flutes, traditional whistles and recorders, smallpipes, dulcimer, psaltery, Eastern European overtone flutes (including the fujara and the koncovka), many types of drum (including djembe, cahon and darabuka) and percussion.

He combines these with sound recordings gathered from nature and contemporary musical instruments such as piano, harmonium and synthesisers, in a powerful fusion of ancient and new to create his unique landscapes of sound and soul-filled melodies as well as the dynamic tribal rhythms of his dance music.

For many years he has been handcrafting flutes using woods indigenous to Britain, such as yew, holly, thorn, ash and oak. He carves large wooden masks and totems inspired by the wild landscape. His most ambitious project to date has been the building of a large ceremonial Neolithic/Bronze Age style roundhouse, constructed from granite, oak trees and rye grass thatch.

This sacred house, and a series of flutes carved from thirteen trees native to this land, sit at the heart of his recent album DARTMOOR ROUNDHOUSE, a cycle of flute songs recorded at night around the hearth fire.

He has produced a renowned and diverse collection of recordings from the best-selling improvised meditation album, THE RIVER, to the classical voice and exquisite lament of REQUIEM: WELL OF SOULS. His work also encompasses wilder strands of dance music with the bands RIVEN and GLOBAL, including the exotic dub/reggae improvisations of his most recent band DUBBLEHEAD.

In recent years Nigel has initiated and produced some unique and exciting sacred world music projects, such as the triad of Japanese/Tarascan/English flute players BAMBOO CEDAR OAK, the extraordinary album ANCESTORS based around forgotten songs of tribal people from the Siberian Arctic, and the most recent work EXILE which draws on many world and ancient folk music influences to create a cross-cultural experience of the deep bond between the human spirit and the land that is called home.

Nigel Shaw

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