Just a few places left on this first event in Laurel Swift’s 2016-2017 varied teaching programme – a multi-instrumental weekend retreat with the emphasis on developing ensemble skills alongside individual playing and musicianship. Expect dynamic, inspirational teaching in great company, fuelled by wonderful food and drink in glorious country settings.
Oh, and you’ll need to pack walking boots with your instruments!
Just a few places left on this amazingly good workshop with fiddler/composer/dancer Laurel Swift. Fabulous teaching, playing and walking (and food!) in an unspoilt Lincolnshire village – the kind of weekend where you play your socks off and go home feeling as though you’ve had a week’s holiday.
Don’t forget your walking shoes as well as your instrument/s!
The melody from a Dutch/Flemish traditional children’s song about a little boy who creates havoc pretending to be a knight.
Sometimes found in English morris dancing, the tune is played here live by wondrously funky dance band Blowzabella, first up in a set in Am, then transposing to Bm to morph into second tune Go Mauve (at 1:45).
(Image: Manet, Boy with a Sword*)
Andy Cutting (diatonic button accordion), Jo Freya (vocals, saxophone, clarinet), Paul James (bagpipes, saxophones), Gregory Jolivet (hurdy-gurdy), Dave Shepherd (violin), Barn Stradling (bass guitar), Jon Swayne (bagpipes, saxophones)
(From Blowzabella’s 2010 live album Dance.)
See Blowzabella: websiteFacebook for 2016 upcoming gigs, band news and recordings
*Metropolitan Museum, New York. Image courtesy of Simon Abrahams and EPPH
Preview of work from their Creative Artist Residency – based on manuscripts from the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library – that explores ‘the unique relationship between music and morris dance, specifically the gravity defying ‘slows’ that allow dancers to showcase their expertise.’
A beautiful light-and-shade waltz composed by English fiddler, bass-player and violist Laurel Swift, also widely known as a dancer, choreographer, composer, and inspirational teacher of all things musical. Laurel is playing here with duo partner, fiddler, melodeon-player and dancer Ben Moss (you may remember the tune from a May 2015 Fiddletails post which focused on the second tune in the set, Whitefrairs’ Hornpipe.)
Ben Moss & Laurel Swift play Walthamstow Folk Club, London, Sunday 25 October. Details and tickets here. (Highly recommended – they played and sang up a storm at their Green Note gig back in January 2015!)
More information on their website, and on Facebook, and Twitter (@FolkieBen, @Laurel_Swift). Oxford Folk Weekend has an interesting biography of the duo linked to a future gig in April 2016.
Current EP available from Ben & Laurel’s website, where you can listen to the great (free!) track No Money.
Paul Martin (Dunholmpiper) (vielle/mediaeval fiddle)
Lively version – with a belting rhythm section! Paul says he plays mostly in GDGD or GCGD (but nb this is a 5-stringed fiddle…) [Correction: Paul’s instrument is a 4-stringed medieval fidel – see his comment below.]
See also Fiddletails 8 Julyfor details of Laurel’s forthcoming fiddle and multi-instrumental retreats.
* Reproduced under Creative Commons license from The Traditional Tune Archive, which has fascinating notes on the history of the tune and the characters associated with it, including a lovely story about Charles Benfield and his fiddle.
Every couple of weeks or so I feature a tune that's caught my fancy – audio/video clips of brilliant musicians playing great, perhaps uncommon tunes to learn by ear. Most are from the English and American Old-time traditions; some hail from other musical worlds ‒ Scandi, perhaps, or French. But whatever you play ‒ fiddles or frets, free-reeds or fipples ‒ I hope you enjoy catching these wonderful tunes!