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Ed Heslam (guitar)Ed Heslam is a composer and classical guitarist who worked for many years as Head of Music in several West Country schools, first in Devon then later in Bristol. During this time he wrote and produced many musicals and composed music for contemporary dance projects. Has was a member of an early music consort and a folk dance band. He made a number of arrangements of traditional folk melodies. After retiring from teaching Ed moved back to Cumberland, the county of his birth, where he started researching old local music manuscripts. He found a great deal of interesting, unpublished material in the tunebooks of 18th and 19th century fiddle players and a wealth of old songs long forgotten in the county (except by a few aficionados). Initially, he created arrangements for solo guitar, then guitar/harp duets after teaming up with Jean Altshuler. These first arrangements of old Cumbrian music were an attempt to recreate something akin to the original performance style of the music. Latterly, he has taken the view that the old melodies can be developed into new music and set into a new context. He has arranged many of the songs of Susanna Blamire (1747–1794) and Robert Anderson (1770 – 1833) and created new compositions inspired by the Cumbrian landscape and the stories of its people.

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