I enjoyed a great session in the Boda Bar this evening hosted by Alice Thorsell. Lots of great tunes (pretty international, though lots of Swedish and Scottish) and good to see other session friends there. I will be back! For a change, I took the fiddle – nice to give it some exercise, and I played a few Swedish tunes on it that previously I have only played on the nyckelharpa. G minor is very good for my fingering 🙂  No photos, sorry.

 

Blazin' Fiddles

We rarely get to Edinburgh festival or fringe events – but found out this year after returning from France that Blazin’ Fiddles are finishing off their 20th anniversary celebrations with a series of concerts, two in the Queen’s Hall – so we went along. It really was a fantastic concert, they were truly on form, and also had Karen Matheson singing a few sets. We were surprised to find only a couple of people there we knew – there are usually lots on well-kent Edinburgh fiddle people at these gigs!

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monitors

Last September the ceilidh band I play with (the Greenbank Buskers) were doing a gig in a hall which was filled with lots of noisy dancers (etc!). We have usually managed fine in the past but found that the fiddles were having difficulty hearing the accordions, and vice versa. We had amplification but only for the hall.

Having done other gigs where we had (gasp!) a sound tech and even (gasp again!) floor/stage monitor speakers, I knew there was a solution to our problem – but commercially at cost – and we are just a band that plays for charity. However, I remembered that I had an ancient guitar amp I made with a couple of really nice speakers in it …

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fiddle and harpa

The Greenbank Buskers played a wee gig today in St Mary’s Kirk, Haddington, as part of their summer concert series. We normally play for dancing at ceilidhs (for charity), but today had been asked to do a performance – so our bandleader Hazel had finally got me to play the nyckelharpa (I don’t really do reels on it yet). We formed a trio from the band – Fiona on fiddle, Tom on guitar and self on nyckelharpa, and gave them three Swedish tunes. It meant that I had both fiddle and nyckelharpa there; the nyckelharpa seemed to go down well with the audience. Continue reading

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We had our home Yule Session yesterday – we played about 40 tunes using various combinations of fiddle (4), guitar (2), cello, ukelele, lever clarsach (2), piano, whistle (2 at least), three-row nyckelharpa, erhu, kontrabas nyckelharpa, 80 bass accordion … I think that’s it. It was a tremendous amount of fun! Many thanks to everyone who attended, musicians and those who fed and watered them 😃 and took photos.

harp and harpa
The nyckelharpa resting beside the lever harp

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