August 26 - 29, 2022

Curly Music

Saint Barnabas Anglican Church
Friday 26 August – 7:00 PM

$25 at the door / $20 advance / students $10 at the door.

St. Mary’s Church
Saturday 27 August – 7:00 PM

$25 at the door / $20 advance / students $10 at the door. Call (902) 527-1692 or email to reserve in advance

Sacred Heart Church
Sunday 28 August – 4:00 PM

$25 at the door / $20 advance / students $10 at the door. Call 902 535 3107 or email to reserve in advance

Ottawa House Museum
Monday 29 August – 7:00 PM

$25 at the door / $20 advance / students $10 at the door.


Birgit Bornauw
baroque bagpipes / Flemish bagpipes

Benjamin Macke
diatonic accordion / footbass


Musique Royale welcomes two musicians from Europe, Birgit Bornauw and Benjamin Macke to perform “Curly Music” part of our 37th Summer Festival with concerts taking place in historic venues in Blandford, Crousetown, Johnstown and Parrsboro. Birgit Bornauw and Benjamin Macke, both renowned musicians in their field, collaborate regularly and share their contagious love of old music with great generosity and enthusiasm.

The repertoire, carefully chosen by Birgit and Benjamin, comes mainly from the Baroque period, but not exclusively, since it is a musical genre that has inspired composers to this day. The duo thus plays tunes from different eras which all have the particularity of “sounding baroque to their ears”. Baroque music has many points in common with the traditional music they know well: short melodies and simple structure, significant work on variations, ornamentations, style, and a close relationship to dance.

The pair appropriate these melodies, and bring a personal and original look to their interpretation, allowing themselves all the freedoms that “real” baroque musicians would be forbidden to pursue! You will find in Curly Music melodies from different regions of Europe: France, Germany, Ireland, England, Scotland… and of course some tunes from Wallonia and Flanders!

Birgit Bornauw plays the Flemish bagpipe as well as the musette de cour, a small bagpipe very popular at Versailles in the time of Louis XV. It should also be noted that this very special bagpipe is the result of the passionate work of Walloon Rémy Dubois, an instrument maker based in Theux and an absolute reference in the field.

Because of this court musette, the duo has a foothold in baroque music, but everything else is only an anachronism in relation to this period. Indeed Benjamin Macke plays the diatonic accordion, an instrument invented in the 19th century, as well as the foot bass, an emblematic instrument of Belgian popular music. It is a bass accordion which is played with the feet to complement whatever instrument the musician is playing with their hands. It had an ephemeral existence in the first half of the 20th century, particularly in the region of Namur, before falling into disuse. Benjamin Macke has been working for several years on the revival of this instrument, in collaboration with Jean-Marie Paque, an accordion maker based in Nassogne, Belgium.

Come hear these rare instruments played by Birgit and Benjamin in a joyful and sensitive way that mixes virtuosity, complicity and good humor!

About the Artists

Birgit Bornauw (Belgium) – baroque bagpipes and Flemish bagpipes

Birgit Bornauw was born in 1981 in Belgium in Asse in Flemish Brabant. After practicing the classical violin at the Music Academy, Birgit discovered the bagpipe at 15 with traditional musicians from the area of Gooik. Then she became passionate about the different musical traditions of Europe by increasing the number of discoveries at world music festivals. At the same time, she trained with several musicians to perfect her technique before returning to the Lemmens Institut of Leuven to study baroque bagpipe. With her Master in hand and after an appearance in the 18th century orchestra of Frans Brüggen, she devoted herself to traditional music by taking part in various remarkable adventures such as the BBGE (Belgian Bagpipe Groove Experience), Transpiradansa and of course the Griff Trio with Rémi Decker and Raphaël De Cock with whom she played for over 10 years all over the world. We currently find her in several groups:

  • Duo Macke-Bornauw since 2008, with Benjamin Macke (diatonic accordion and footbass). They met each other around traditional music and folk ball but since 2014 they have offered a concert in baroque colors with It’s Baroque to my Ears and its logical sequence Curly Music.
  • The Amazing Airbags since 2018, children’s bagpipe orchestra conducted by her.
  • Bon matin ! with Hoëla Barbedette (Celtic harp and voice), Juliette Collache (Celtic harp and voice) and Marinette Bonnert (accordion). It’s a concert and ball group which takes up the repertoire of the musician’s four origin regions, Brittany, Poitou, Wallonia and Flanders.

Birgit is a passionate and dedicated teacher to her students. She currently teaches bagpipes, ensemble playing and the history of music at the Conservatories of Ghent and Ieper. She also gives workshops everywhere in Europe.


  • Duo Macke-Bornauw : It’s Baroque to my Ears (Bémol Productions – 2016) - Bon Matin : En Avant 4! (Bémol Productions – 2011)
  • Griff 6tet : The False Fly (Variole – 2011)
  • Griff trio : Astragu (Variole – 2010)
  • Transpiradansa : Granuba (Appel Records – 2009)
  • Transpiradansa (Appel Records – 2007)
  • Griff (Appell Records – 2004)

Benjamin Macke (France) – diatonic accordion and footbass

Benjamin Macke was born in 1983 in the North of France. He began his career as a musician with classical percussion and jazz drums before discovering at 18 the diatonic accordion which he learned as an autodidact and through meetings. He made it his profession in 2005 putting his accordion at the service of very varied projects:

  • Shillelagh since 2002, trio of folk ball stamped “dance music from Flanders and elsewhere” with Gabriel Lenoir (fiddle) and Aurélien Tanghe (guitar).
  • Duo Macke-Bornauw since 2008, with Birgit Bornauw (Flemish bagpipe and baroque bagpipe). They met each others around traditional music and folk ball but since 2014 they have offered a concert in baroque colors with It’s Baroque to my Ears and its logical sequence Curly Music.
  • Septembre since 2019, a theatrical and musical show dealing with mourning and disappearance in the world of sponge fishermen in Greece with the actresses Géraldine Bogaert and Claudia Bruno.
  • Le Ciné-concert de Poche since 2010, a solo movie-concert with a 16mm projectors, American comedies, cartoons from Eastern Europe, westerns, children’s stories …
  • La Maîtresse des Ombres since 2016, a meeting between the movie-concert and the tale with Sandrine Gniady based on Lotte Reiniger’s short movies.
  • Easy Street since 2018, a movie-concert that he composed for harmony orchestra, based on this Charlie Chaplin classic.
  • The Amazing Airbags since 2018, children’s bagpipe orchestra conducted by Birgit Bornauw.
    Les Contes à 1000 Gueules since 2007, in the world of coal mining, with Pascal Duclermortier (tale) and Gabriel Lenoir (fiddle).

Teaching is also an important part of his work. He taught accordion and ensemble playing at Cric-Crac Compagnie, the Muziekacademie of Gooik and Ghent. He also gives a lot of workshops all over Europe in accordion, ensemble, and even improvisation on silent films…

Benjamin Macke is also known for his work around the footbass, a funny accordion that is played with the feet and produces very low sounds. He works on the revival of this obsolete instrument in close collaboration with his factor Jean-Marie Paque. Curious and touching on everything, we could hear Benjamin Macke with eclectic artists: La Nopce Champêtre, baroque octet around Marieke Van Ransbeeck (baroque musette), Une Aventure de Tom Sawyer, radio fiction by Radio-France, around David Chevallier (guitar), Benjamin Macke 4tet with Christophe “Pher” Motury (flugelhorn), Jean-Christophe Cheneval (vibraphone) and Aurélien Tanghe (double bass), the movie-concert Odna with Anne Frèches (vocals) and Raphaël De Cock (music Siberian), the direction of l’Orchestre Insolite with disabled musicians, the co-direction of the Transboarder Orchestra with 20 French and Belgian musicians, Le Duo Bastringue, unusual meeting between folk ball and ball musette with Philippe Destanque (guitar) and Rachel Bazoge (vocals)…


  • Shillelagh : Hemels Douwe (Compagnie Macke-Bornauw - 2017)
  • Duo Macke-Bornauw : It’s Baroque to my Ears (Bémol Productions - 2016) - Shillelagh : le Vagabond (Bémol Productions - 2013)
  • Benjamin Macke : Un Instrument, un artiste : l’Accordéon diatonique (Bémol Productions - 2012) - Le Duo Bastringue & Rachel Bazoge : l’Arbre à danses (Bémol Productions - 2010) - Shillelagh : Germaine (Bémol Productions - 2009)
  • Le Duo Bastringue : Bruit qui danse (Bémol Productions - 2007)
  • Shillelagh : Danses sur l’eau (Bémol Productions - 2006)
  • Shillelagh : Musique à danser (Autoproduction - 2004)