Friday, January 18, 2008

Next up - Yarra Junction

Next up: Yarra Junction Fiddler's Convention, the gathering that is so low maintenance, there's no website. Matter of fact, if you don't know where it is, stay home. More room for the rest of us.

--just kidding--

Just ask.

Cygnet was a blast.

The HOT Stringband played their absolute very best for their 'Fowl Critters' portion of the program, and there were sing-a-longs, complete with 'Hillbilly Hymnals', and clever use of props to make the experience even more fun. The Sunday morning gig really challenged their flexibility, dealing with rain and a few missing players. Some folks could only make the Saturdays sessions. The band commandeered a gazebo, played without a sound system, punted on the parts that the missing folks had done in rehearsal, and attracted a good sized, well voiced, audience in spite of it all. The gazebo had a terraced layout, perfect for putting the rhythm players up and behind the melody makers.

Actually the Stringband started off the day at 9am, that's 9am, at a contra dance workshop called by David Wanless. We played acousically, and did a fine job accompanying the dancers. Always a good time.

The Heritage String Ensemble did 2 programs, one of traditional music, and the other, a program of original music written in the 1800's in Tasmania by Alexander Laing. Beautiful tunes, made even more special by narration from Peter MacFie, the historian who brought the tunes to Steve and Marjorie Gadd who organize the String Ensemble.

Then, late afternoon, I did my workshop on Appalachian-style jamming, teaching 4 unfamiliar tunes and explaining what I know about fiddle jamming. Of course a smattering of internet resources was included so that folks are aware of the Fiddler's Companion and how to convert ABC files into sheet music. We had about 8 people, keen to learn. Unfortunately, as it played out, Dev'lish Mary were singing at the same time. Well, not unfortunately for them, but unfortunate for folks who had to be giving a workshop, like me. I think they might have attracted folks who might otherwise have come to my workshop. Last year I had 20 people in my 9am workshop. Guess early morning is a better time. No worries. I'm just regretting that I didn't have a chance to catch up with the Dev'lish girls.

That's it for now. You can catch me pontificating some more over at the Fiddle Hangout. That has taken up a chunk of my writing time lately. Too much good stuff there.

Note the 'tune' site and tunelist links are to the right of the FiddleJammer main page.

Hope to see you all outside of Melbourne, VIC in February. :-)

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