Monday, January 31, 2011

Wheel fiddles (hurdy-gurdy / vielle a roue) at the Fiddle Project

 Our group class was visited by composer/musician/hurdy-gurdy designer Steve Jobe last Tuesday -- we got a taste of the sound of the hurdy-gurdy and the ways in which it's similar to our fiddles. 
 Steve showed us "the shrieker" -- the newest mini-hurdy-gurdy which will be debuted en mass in the next performance of his opera, The Legend of the Fairy Melusine.  Everyone (who was brave enough) got a chance to try it.
And we finished with our favorite Drone Game from here -- perfectly for playing with an instrument that has its own drone strings!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


  • Last Tuesday (our 2nd week of Fiddle Group Class for all our students!), we learned the word "hurdy-gurdy"  -- everyone is super excited for Steve Jobe's visit later today to the class.  More on that after it happens!

  • Michelle, Alan Bradbury and I performed the other night at Common Fence Music's 12th annual Gathering of Fiddlers & Fishermen.  We also got to play a tune with the host/organizer/master-mind behind the event, Tom Perrotti. Thanks for the invitation to take part and to share a little about RI Fiddle Project with the wonderful, friendly audience.

  • And we didn't stop there!  On Sunday afternoon, Michelle, Alan, Mark Wholley and I played and sang a great set of some of our favorite tunes (including Cajun, French Canadian, Old time) at a loft concert to benefit the project.  We also talked a little and snacked a little and hope to do it all again before too long. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fiddler-in-Residence dances part 1

You can dance to tunes played by Rachel tonight at
St Stephen's Church at the Brown University Contra Dance, 7:30-10:30.
114 Brown St, Providence, $8.  It is on (despite some snow earlier today)!
More music:
February 12th, Stamford Contra Dance, CT
March 5th, Contra dance, East Hanover, NJ
March 26th, Bourbon Boys, Stone Church Coffeehouse, Bristol, RI
April 3rd, Mostly Waltz RI, JCC, Providence
April 8th, Contra dance, Albany, NY
April 16th, evening Contra dance at NEFFA with "Pizzazz"
April 28th, Contra dance, Scout house, Concorde, NH

Monday, January 10, 2011

Starting back up

We start classes and lessons tomorrow, but already it's been a busy start to the year:  on Monday, Jan 3rd, three RI Fiddle Project students joined Rachel and Cathy Clasper-Torch to play at the post-inauguration celebration for Mayor Grebien at the Pawtucket Armory.  Certainly the biggest room and biggest audience yet, and it was a real honor to be a part of such an exciting Pawtucket moment. 
(I've been looking all week for photos of the evening, so if anyone can point me in the right direction, let me know!)

The next night, I led a workshop in Willimantic, CT with the Quiet Corner Fiddlers (see photo).  A really welcoming group to chat with and play with - we spent time with Taggert's Reel #3, Bill Monroe's Scotland & jig accompanying. 

Monday, January 3, 2011


Fun-A-Day has begun in cities all around the country, including Providence (see link above).  Rachel is participating by writing a "Tune-a-Day".  So far so good: 3 days, 3 tunes and really looking forward to seeing what comes out of a whole month of tune-writing.  It puts me in a great state of mind -- always on the look-out for a good tune inspiration.