Established 2010

For centuries, the lute was considered the “prince of instruments,” and lute players were celebrities in royal courts across Europe. Ayreheart, a progressive folk trio founded by lutenist Ronn McFarlane, seeks to restore the instrument to its former glory – but in a modern context. During the Renaissance and Baroque eras, lute players were songwriters and pop stars who weren’t afraid to improvise. The three members of Ayreheart – McFarlane on lute, Will Morris on fretless bass, violin and colascione, and Mattias Rucht on percussion – all have backgrounds in rock and jazz, which comes through in their energetic performances.

Original Music

McFarlane writes original music for Ayreheart that dispels previous conceptions of the lute’s limitations. McFarlane’s compositions draw influence from Celtic music, American folk, jazz, and bluegrass, making a case for the lute as a versatile instrument worth incorporating into modern popular music. With Ayreheart, McFarlane is reinventing the lute, giving the instrument its own renaissance, and bringing it to contemporary audiences with eclectic tastes.

Renaissance Music

Ayreheart also performs all-Renaissance music concerts, creating arrangements enlightened in historical music making while joyously relating to real living people.

Here is music that is born of what has come but leads us into where we can go: old forms born anew and ever fresh.

~ Robert Aubry Davis, creator, producer, and host of Millennium of Music