Nigel Eaton

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Nigel Eaton is an English hurdy-gurdy player. He originally played the piano and cello but switched to the hurdy-gurdy in 1981 when his father, Christopher Eaton, began making them. He was a member of Whirling Pope Joan with Julie Murphy, Blowzabella, Ancient Beatbox, The Duellists and Firestarters of Leiden. He has released two solo albums, The Music of the Hurdy-Gurdy (1987) and Pandemonium (2002), and has been featured on recordings by other artists including Jimmy Page and Robert Plant (with whom he toured between end of 1994 and early 1996), Scott Walker, Shelleyan Orphan, Heidi Berry, Gary Kemp, Carl Davis (performing Davis' 1980 score to Abel Gance's 1927 silent film Napoleon), Blue Aeroplanes, Martin Simpson, Moya Brennan, Robert Plant, (Fate of Nations), Afro Celt Sound System's "Release" (a current Edexcel Music GCSE curriculum piece), and many works by Loreena McKennitt. Eaton's film work as a session musician has included Robin Hood, The Shipping News, Kingdom of Heaven, Aliens, Mansfield Park, and Tulip Fever.

As of 1999, in addition to his film work and background acting work, Eaton has been a maker of built-in furniture in South London.[citation needed]

Nigel's tune "The Halsway Carol" (lyrics by Iain Frisk) and "Halsway Schottische" have attracted many cover versions on YouTube.[citation needed]


  • Music of the Hurdy-Gurdy (1987)
  • Ancient Beatbox - Self titled (1989)
  • Spin (1994) — Whirling Pope Joan, with Julie Murphy
  • No Quarter: Jimmy Page and Robert Plant Unledded — Page and Plant (1994)
  • English Hurdy-Gurdy Music — The Duellists (1997)
  • Panic at the Cafe — with Andy Cutting (1993)
  • Les Saisons Amusantes — with the Palladian Ensemble (1997)
  • Volume Three: Further in Time — with the Afro Celt Sound System (2001)
  • Pandemonium (2002)
  • Blowzabella x several albums from 1986

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