About us

Faith Brackenbury and John Neilson started playing as a duo in 2013. We compose most of our stuff: please go to the Listen page to hear some of it. The pieces nearly always begin life as free improvisations, and are then gradually knocked into shape. In concerts we also include shorter tunes (some trad, some by other people) and the odd song.

FJ Gateway piano 1

Faith (fiddle, viola, piano) played classical violin as a child but was soon drawn into folk music, then jazz, which she went on to study at Brunel University and Birmingham Conservatoire. She plays in several combos and also composes – see Faith’s other projects. Her playing with John draws on the many strands of her musical background.

John (accordion, piano, occasional bouzouki and concertina) has co-founded various outfits over the years including Manticore, Francisco the Man, Bosco and most recently Half Six with Meri Lawes and Rosie MacDiarmid, who have all done their own thing with traditional music. Playing with Faith gives free rein to his liking for less conventional stuff.

‘From the moment that first track [of the demo EP] captured my ears, I realised that here was the start of something new that I’d been missing in instrumental music for so long… this music leads and enchants you, mesmerises and bewitches you so that you desire to have it near you, constantly. Joyous, enthralling, delicious music delivered in delicately detailed arrangements. I adore it’. Karen Tweed

‘I love contemporary classical music, folk traditions and improvising. You brought all this together: it was a wonderful surprise.’  Wilf Thust