top left image
top right image
bottom left image
bottom right image
The Society of Strange and Ancient Instruments has forged a reputation for being one of our finest exponents of early music. They enchant and amaze in equal measure.' The Musician

'Anyone who has experienced an SSAI performance can testify as to the impressive visual and aural spectacle that they produce, and their vibrant, carefree virtuosity was as enthralling as ever.' Early Music Today

'There can be no more satisfying and diverting performers of early music than the Society of Strange and Ancient Instruments.' The Arts Diary
Stacks Image 227
The Society of Strange and Ancient Instruments was founded in 2010 to explore a repertoire that ranges from folk songs and earthy dances to high art music from the 18th century and before, as well as newly composed pieces. The Society's performers are all leaders in the fields of historical performance and traditional music with years of performing and recording experience. They play on a plethora of unusual and extraordinary instruments. Since its inception, the group has performed many concerts, released two CDs and given multiple radio broadcasts including a live concert performance of their programme, ‘The Ministry of Angels’, broadcast on 'The Early Music Show' on BBC Radio 3.

Sound House, our current programme, is touring through 2016 and beyond. What the Society of Strange and Ancient Instruments have concocted in ‘Sound House’ is a wondrous journey through a realm of unimaginable sonic possibilities; travel with them, and I guarantee that you will never think of sound in the same way again. Early Music Today

    Subscribe to our mailing list

    * indicates required

TOURING 2015 - 2018

Inspired by Francis Bacon's investigations into the magical properties of sound, The Society of Strange and Ancient Instruments presents musical masterpieces of the 17th century linked to each other by newly composed music. Combining modern sound technology with ancient instruments, the players explore extraordinary aural effects and illusions that so intrigued our 17th century forbears. READ MORE
We think of the publicity stunt as peculiar to our age but the antics of Will Kemp, a shameless self-publicist and one of the leading actors in Shakespeare’s company, prove otherwise. In 1600 he danced his way from London to Norwich in nine days, entertaining an adoring public en route. The Society of Strange and Ancient instruments, with dancer, Steven Player, celebrate Will Kemp’s account of the journey, ‘Nine Daies Wonder’, with raucous dance tunes and more refined music of the Elizabethan age.

They breathe new life into this celebrated event, which remains awe-inspiring 400 years on, and still has the power to delight, baffle and amuse.

Nine Daies Wonder TRAILER
Player’s dancing was sublime as he switched from serene galliard or graceful pavane to kickabout jig. The Times 4 stars

‘The incredible joy in the room was palpable.’ Nick Wells, Director of The Bury Festival

The best sort of early music concert: a strong thematic concept with a splendid mix of less and more well-known music on an interesting array of instruments – and there was something for everyone.
Early Music Review

The musical backing for his journey was provided by four musicians, masters in their field of ancient music, with beautiful vocals from Jeremy Avis and harmonious sounds from the ancient instruments.
Bury Free Press



More reviews...

Stacks Image 1073


In Norway, the festival of Lussinatten celebrates the longest night of the year. Legend has it that on this night, Lussi, a feared enchantress, punishes anyone who dares to work and, from Lussinatten until Christmas, spirits, gnomes and trolls roam the Earth. The Society of Strange and Ancient Instruments celebrates The Longest Night with devilish tunes, ancient Norwegian and English folk songs and other musical treats. READ MORE
Stacks Image 964
The Ministry of Angels
In this programme we explore music associated with angels, the maverick and fallen as well as the divine and perfect. Playing some of the instruments that appear in descriptions and depictions of angels through the ages, as well as other strange and ethereal sounding instruments, we present traditional tunes, dances, songs and carols in a celebration of these heavenly creatures.
Stacks Image 967
La Société des Instruments Anciens
A recreation of a concert given by our predecessors, La Société des Instruments Anciens, who gave a series of historical performances in the Salon Pleyel in Paris in the years around 1900. We play the instruments used in the original programme - hurdy gurdy, viola d'amore, viola da gamba and harpsichord - in a programme of old favourites and fascinating oddities from the 18th century.
Stacks Image 278
Stacks Image 1108
Stacks Image 274
Stacks Image 276