The Tree of Oakthorn is a new project created by multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Tim Rayborn, for the purpose of researching, bringing to life, and performing music and poetry from the long-lost traditions of early medieval Europe, as well as giving some attention to the Classical and near eastern heritage. Rayborn, who has a Ph.D. in medieval studies from the University of Leeds, UK, has long had an interest in the recreation of this very early material, and has in recent years created several concert programs of Old English, Norse, and Classical pieces.
Much of this repertoire has been lost (nearly all the music, and large amounts of the poetry), and must be re-created through a combination of scholarly research, the study of oral and folk traditions, and imaginative reconstruction where appropriate.
The main focus of the project will be the poetic and musical arts of Northern Europe: Anglo-Saxon, Viking/Old Norse, Germanic, and Celtic, though it will also look further back in time to the surviving works of ancient Greece and Rome, as well as the ancient Near East.
The goal is to use the fruits of research to promote and produce new performances, recordings, symposiums, and conferences that will shed new light on these nearly-forgotten traditions. Through collaborations with other artists engaged in similar pursuits, the project (via this website) will be able to list their ongoing work, concerts, etc. The additional layers of extra scholarship, combined with the unusual nature of the work, and the theatrical and even ritualistic elements of the results will yield some highly interesting, rewarding, and original creations.