Monday, September 24, 2007

Happy Again

I finally took my cello in to have the soundpost re-positioned, and my cello and I are feeling fine again. The luthier is a cellist who lives at the other end of the Cape, so my husband and I journeyed out together to enjoy a few minutes on the endless white sands of Nausett Beach. Not too long, as the cello was in the car, but long enough to bask in the warm fall sun.

This evening I attended the Scottish fiddle workshop which, it turns out, was sponsored by the Scottish Fiddle Camp people. It was good to see some of the campers again, as well as local fiddlers. It was a great session, though I only played a few notes correctly. We learned two tunes and ornamentation for them. Douglas Lawrence spoke of putting joy and lightness in your playing and admonished against playing too fast and out of control. Ah, this too-fast-and-out-of-control comment made me smile. I have a hard time keeping up with the fiddlers most of the time and often have this feeling that the music is played too fast to sound good, and, even when it does sound good, too fast for the brain to take in, enjoy, and savor. His comment may not slow down any fiddlers, but it pleased me.

He did give us the sheet music so I can work on the tunes we learned tonight. Actually he gave me the sheet music early, recognizing that I was [still] having trouble with the learn-by-ear element (especially as the only cellist in a room full of fiddlers), so that I could play the chords. I enjoyed the session, not because I learned a new tune, but because I learned a little more about the style of Scottish fiddling, what gives the music its distinctive sound, and how one might ornament it and accompany it. Doug Lawrence is a very talented fiddler, and I enjoyed just listening.

Oh, and Doug told a cello story for me, about the time he shook hands with Rostropovich, when, on stage, after a performance, the cellist mistook him for the second violin section leader.

The monkeys were happy to see the cello again.


nicnik said...

Glad to hear you and cello are doing well after repair :) I love seeing the pictures of back home! All is well here, working to build a boat, classes start this week and fiddling on the side too!

Best wishes,


Cellogal said...

Glad your cello is well again : ) Sounds like you had a fun weekend! : )


yarnplayer said...

Looks like a wonderful beach! Nice that you have your cello back in good repair. That "too fast and out-of-control" guy needs to have a talk with my conductor :-)

Maricello said...

Nicole, glad to hear you are doing well--and keeping yourself very busy! Please post photos of the boat-building, as you go!

Cellogal, Thanks! It is good to have my cello playable again.

Yarnplayer, Thanks, and good luck with your orchestra pieces! At least with fiddling, you can drop back and improvise (with varying degrees of success)when the rest of the group takes off.