About Us

Fear of the Forest is London's foremost hammered dulcimer-led pop band! 

Fronted by Kate Arnold on dulcimer, violin and vocals, we combine influences from English and French folk, Middle Eastern, early and classical musics to imagine a sound world where the guitar and keyboard were never invented, and irregular rhythms and medieval modes have won out over 4/4 beats and major scales. There is a strong improvisatory feel, with a driving energy brought by the percussion, and the hypnotic, mystical qualities of the hammered dulcimer. It has been described as 'punk baroque'!* Lyrically, Kate's songs draw upon folk and fairy tales, Middle Eastern mythology, social history, modern horrors, and the strange tales of her half-gypsy grandmother.

Kate has worked with BBC Folk Award-winning Lisa Knapp, Doudou Cissoko's Ancient Strings and Fabulous Things, Sergeant Buzfuz, Paul Hawkins and The Awkward Silences, and Greek band Daemonia Nymphe. She has an MMus in Ethnomusicology but this does not stop her from messing about with loop pedals, time machines and other gadgetry.

The other Foresters are:

Jon Clayton (Something Beginning With L, Chris T-T and the Hoodrats, Mystery Fax Machine Orchestra) - cello, bass, engineering

Nick Bieber - daf (Persian/Iranian frame drum), other percussion

Chris Cornetto - percussion, a thousand trumpets

The Mysterious Mark Stefanicki on hurdy gurdy

* We now prefer 'dulcimercore'...

'In the middle of the journey of our life I found myself in a dark wood where the straight way was lost'

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