07 July 2012

Committing Violence with Violins

Dear readers,

It sure is nice to see that you enjoy Chet's posts. He was so moody there for a while that he didn't want to write and then, as he puts it, "it got dull." Thank you, P of KY for forgiving his impertinence. Cats have no respect for us humans. (sigh)

Lausanne, there are, indeed, THREE violins in the house, if you count the funny little fiddle stick There is also now a lovely new black walnut dulcimer by Warren May which Mr. Fuzzy purchased after spending a pleasant morning with him in his Berea, KY workshop / storefront. I love to hear him fooling around with it as he has so much more rhythm than I do. I am considering acquiring other instruments as "functional decorations" for the guest house.

The recital video was shot by a friend using my camera. It is just as it came from the device... blissfully short. The song is Wildwood Flower and I let Chet post it as evidence that I did not lie to my friends or husband, who was at a mediocre reenactment that weekend. (Serves him right.) 

The Floyd Music School (at Mitchell Music Co. ) is joined by Bernie Covey's students to give their spring recital at the local Bluegrass and BBQ Festival held just outside Floyd on Chantilly Farm. (Therefore justifying my Facebook post about "playing my first festival," tee hee!) We take lessons with Mike Mitchell who is a very patient and knowledgeable teacher. He asked me to consider the idea of performing my first piece along with "all the little kids who are also just a few months in" to prove that adults can learn too.

What I didn't know until that day was that no other adult student had the hutzpah to look less than perfect in public. Nope, not one. Not even the guy who spent the hour leading up to the recitals asking the kiddos "Are ya nervous yet? Huh? Huh? They'll ALL be looking at YOU."


The experience was a good one. I got over myself and stopped caring that 'people would notice me.' Everybody clapped. I was complemented on my bravery.

And now I'm thinking that I need to bully talk other adult students into doing an annual Adult Recital. Perhaps with the kids sipping grape juice from wine glasses and making it into some sort of fundraiser. People will often make fools of themselves for charity, after all....

1 comment:

Lausanne said...

Thanks so much for filling me in April. Fiddles in the house and now a lap dulcimer! Instruments for the new guest house?! Could I suggest a five string open back banjo? How about a guitar? Aw heck, throw in a hammer dulcimer just for fun!
I am delighted to hear of your bravery and of your willingness to spearhead the cause of closet-bound adult beginning fiddlers.....SOME body's got to do it! Out of the closet, onto the stage.or at least into the parlor where the magic happens.
It is remarkably comforting to play fiddle 'en masse' with other aspiring fiddlers. I used to have a group fiddle class followed by a jam session when I was still relatively new to the instrument and living in the Boston area for a while. Allan Block would drive down from N.H. once a week and teach tunes by ear to the 10-20 fiddlers who would show up. Then, after an hour of that we'd play all the tunes we had learned in previous sessions, or were learning from other sources. Anyone was welcome to join in at anytime, regardless of how well they knew how to play. It was a wonderfully supportive group of friends that emerged who share a common language. Even now when we cross paths we still share a similar passion for the same music. What a great way to reinforce the sheer pleasure of playing old time music with others! Some fiddlers would put down their fiddles and pick up banjo, guitar or mandolin, and often we would sing (on the fiddle tunes that had words). We were grateful for Allan's willingness to share his vast repertoire (and we all chipped in for the class) and the jams were the greatest!
Earlier on, back in '81, after attending a fantastic music and dance camp in the Catskills (Ashokan), I returned to northern VT determined to share this music with others. I put a notice in the local arts weekly "Potluck and Kitchen Junket at the Silo House every Monday at 6pm". I met so many great friends who shared my interest in traditional fiddle music of all kinds. A core band emerged from those friendships "The Bog Carrots" that still has reunions around the country every few years.
I'm so glad you and Chetworth are leaning toward traditional music in your new-found Southern home.You certainly chose the right place for it.
Music is simply the universal mother tongue!