Sunday, July 1, 2007

Fiddling outside

I went to an old-time fiddle session yesterday, under a tent canopy in a friend's backyard. There were 21 fiddlers (fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin, tin whistle, autoharp, recorder, and me on cello) from various parts of Cape Cod. One of the other fiddlers occasionally plays cello, though didn't bring her cello yesterday.

A fiddling friend and I agreed to go to the Irish/Celtic fiddle session at the other end of the Cape during the last week in July.

I like both Celtic and old-time (I may have a slight preference for Irish, particularly mournful minor key tunes, but I play with an old-time group), though I can certainly see the advantages of specializing in one or the other. We were given a list of close to 200 old-time tunes to play yesterday; O'Neill's book of Irish tunes contains 1,850 tunes. Hard to make an inroad! Still, we did play a few tunes I knew (Soldier's Joy, Old Joy Clark, Jessica's Waltz), a few I sort of knew (Frosty Morning, Midnight on the Water), and a few I sort of knew but can't play as fast as they do (Liberty, Eighth of January, Arkansas Traveler). I happily worked on accompaniment styles during the pieces I couldn't play.

I said to my friend who hosted the event, "You must have great neighbors, not to complain about the music." She said that the neighbors in back and one side told her they enjoyed it, and the neighbor on the other side was elderly and deaf.

Very encouraging. I'm going outside to practice.

No comments: