Welcome to the website of those strange troubadours who call themselves Whistlebow. Patricia sings, Rupert plays the cello & the guitar and Will blows on a selection of suspicious medieval pipes! Who said Renaissance, medieval and folk music had to be dry?
Whistlebow consists of singer Patricia Hammond, flautist and crumhorn player Will Summers and cellist Rupert Gillett.
Described by the Sunday Times in 2012 as “A Leading Lady of the retro party scene”, Patricia Hammond is a singer who can go from Cathedral to cocktail bar, and change from Handel to hot jazz in the same night.
Her album of Belle Epoque French Salon songs was chosen by the editor of American Record Guide as one of his favourite classical vocal albums of 2007, and in 2011 Sir Michael Parkinson praised her CD of 1920s, 30s and 40s pop songs as “a music-box of vintage treasures, beautifully sung by a remarkable woman.”
Since then, she has been featured on BBC Four TV making a wax cylinder and an Edison Tone Test, in the Fox/Searchlight movie “Tolkien”, and in the Bundestag in Berlin for Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron for the centenary of the end of the First World War.
Patricia works frequently with multi-instrumentalist and researcher Matt Redman as a duo, and with his Edwardian band the Versatility Serenaders. Matt and Patricia’s CD of music from 1913 to 1919 called Songs of the Great War, has been featured on the BBC and radio stations around the world.
She continues to perform with orchestras and early music ensembles in Haydn, Rossini, Dowland and Bach, as well as giving premieres of works by living composers. Patricia has appeared as a soloist at the Bruges Concertgebeouw, Vancouver’s Orpheum Theatre, Geneva’s Victoria Hall, and London’s Queen Elizabeth and Royal Festival Halls under Ivan Fischer and Sir Simon Rattle with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. In opera, Patricia has sung at the Wexford Festival, Royal Opera House Covent Garden’s Linbury Theatre and the Herodus Atticus Theatre in Athens. With her Ragtime Parlour Band she has performed in the Buxton and Deal Festivals, Hugh’s Room in Toronto, and the 20th Century Theatre in London, to name just a few.
Patricia has been featured on BBC Radio 2, Radio 3, and Radio 4’s “Midweek” with Libby Purves.
is a highly active performer and session musician on the London scene and abroad. In 2018, he was a featured artist at the prestigious New Directions Cello Festival in Cologne, Germany. He currently performs with jazz-icon Jacqui Dankworth MBE, jazz violinist Chris Garrick & composer/pianist David Gordon in the chamber-jazz ensemble “Butterfly’s Wing”. He also plays in a unique 2 cello and violin jazz-fusion/crossover ensemble called “Arcopia” with renowned jazz cellist Gunther Tiedemann (String Thing) and London-based violinist Chris Haigh (Bob Geldof, Michael Ball). Rupert has performed with Alison Moyet, as well as being featured live on BBC 2 television, BBC Radio London, BBC3 and BBC 6 Music with various ensembles. He has played at large scale events such as the 2012 Paralympics & the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations, and has performed for clients such as Amazon, Boots, Dunhill, Asda, the American Embassy and Buckingham Palace.
On double bass, Rupert regularly performs in a number of ensembles such as Dai & the Ramblers (Ace Records), She’Koyokh, The London Klezmer Quartet, the Boneshaker Band, the London Niche Quartet and many more. He also recently performed on the score of the movie “Tolkien”, starring Nicholas Hoult.
Rupert has also performed to celebrity clients, including Prince Philip, Brad Pitt, Jeremy Corbyn, Angelina Jolie, Jude Law, Sir Antony Gormley, Charles Dance, Orlando Bloom, Nigel Planer (The Young Ones), Chris O’Dowd (The IT Crowd), Jeremy Clarkson (although he left quite quickly!) and Ray Davies.
William was born near the Thames in Richmond upon Thames, and went to school there when not attempting to draw all the chimneys of Hampton Court Palace, or avoiding the Tudor deer hordes in the local park. He inveigled himself into the choir of All Saints’ church, in Kingston, gaining a love of [particularly] early music, and later studied music at the Colchester Institute [Essex]. There, William gained a B. A. [Hons.] and experience moonlighting in the the local folk and early music scenes, via the extensive youth orchestra network then prevalent.
Williams’ tastes then swung strongly towards early music, resulting in him studying Recorder and Baroque Flute at Trinity College of Music [London], while the moonlighting and folk instincts migrated via Tudor consorts into Circulus – a Psychedelic Medieval Rock Band – with which William made three albums and several other collaborative songs.
Since then, William has been involved in the propagation of early music in South West London, Edinburgh, France and Suffolk through small chamber groups and smallish orchestras. As well as teaching his instruments in schools, adult education and at university, William has led workshops in Aztec music at the British Library and early music in schools and at festivals including the St George Festival in Vauxhall. He has provided music for films and television series including Maleficent, Poldark [series 1], Hunderby, and Bridgerton; has performed at numerous festivals and venues including Glastonbury, the Tower of London, the Golden Hinde [replica, in London], Green Man Festival [Wales], Port Eliot Festival [Cornwall] and The Idler Festival [London].
Regular ensembles now include the Baroque quartet Follia – which has performed with David Attenborough at Strawberry Hill House; Princes in the Tower – a Tudor power trio; The Lovekyn Consort [with Patricia] – performing Renaissance and Jacobean music; The London Abel Quartet [flute and strings] and Whistlebow. Intermittent gigging includes orchestral performances with Essex Baroque Orchestra, Consort of Twelve Baroque Orchestra [Chichester], Ensemble Pro Victoria and Linden Baroque Orchestra [London].
William now runs regular concerts of early music in historic venues including Marble Hill House, Garrick’s Temple to Shakespeare and the Lovekyn Chapel in South West London, and Walpole Old Chapel in Suffolk. Off-piste activities now include working with poets – reading work in Old English and of their own invention – and actors: most notably, providing and arranging early music with The Lovekyn Consort for the new play Oranges&Ink – set in Restoration England and concerning Aphra Behn and Nell Gwyn..
William’s current research interests include Tudor consorts, and music in eighteenth-century Hampton Court Palace and the Twickenham area, and recent study includes adult education, recording and mixing.