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Personal

A personal life? As an academic? Surely you jest....

While my studies do keep me remarkably busy, life cannot consist of evolutionary biology and fishes alone, no matter how wonderfully bizarre the fishes may be. When I do have the opportunity to get away from the office, I enjoy a variety of hobbies, among them performing early music, French cooking and strategy boardgaming.

Among my hobbies my most serious passion is for early music, defined loosely as European music composed prior to 1650. I very much enjoy breathing new life into compositions that have gone unsounded for centuries and rediscovering the beautiful, if sometimes foreign, aesthetic of ancient musical styles. Examples of this kind of music include the cantigas of the 13th century Spanish court of Alfonso the Wise, the pastoral songs of the French troubadours and trouvères, the polyphonic "In Nomine" settings of Renaissance England or the rhythmically complex ballate of 15th century Italy.

I play a variety of historical instruments including Renaissance and Baroque recorders, hand drums, and a lap harp made by Dave Woodworth of Heartland Harps (http://www.heartlandharps.com) which I often use to accompany myself as a vocalist. My wife Rae (who is also a vocalist and harper) and I sometimes perform as the duo "Lion and Lily," with a repertoire including music from modern folk and Celtic traditions as well as from Renaissance Europe.

This page is designed and maintained by the fabulous Rae Sidlauskas, who has her own extremely-out-of-date-webpage here.