One for the diary - Halsway Manor hurdy-gurdy weekend, 8-10 Feb 2013
Advanced warning of the Halsway Manor Hurdy-Gurdy Weekend to be held at Halsway Manor, near Crowcombe in Somerset, from Friday 8th February to Sunday 10th February 2013. Teachers already booked include Gregory Jolivet, Steve Tyler and Claire Dugue. This runs in parallel with the John Swayne Bagpipe Workshop Weekend and features a Hurdy-Gurdy and Bagpipe Concert on the Saturday evening with Gregory Jolivet, Steve Tyler, Katy Marchant and Jon Swayne.
Nice blog here, capturing hundreds of traditional and contemporary English and French tunes, categorized by type and also by artist. Nice collection and worth a look. The author writes:
Over the past few years, I have collected many tunes, mostly English and French, from a number of wonderful players. This website is a constantly evolving 21st century manuscript in the spirit of the great tune books of the past. If you happen to know the composer of a specific tune, please let me know, so that they can be credited. In the event of anyone being unhappy about their own music being shared in this way, I will, of course, remove relevant items. I hope you enjoy playing them!
Altarwind Music, Oregon-based maker of hurdy-gurdies, has announced that it is now offering a third-row of keys on many of its instruments to allow the playing of harmonies. This is a feature that was pioneered by British maker Chris Eaton and which appears to have inspired Altarwind’s design.
Renowned Austrian hurdy-gurdy player Matthias Loibner is set to perform at the Bray Jazz Festival 2012 in Co Wicklow, Ireland. The performance takes place at 1830 on Sunday 6th May 2012 in the Bray Town Hall. More information and tickets here.
Graeme McCormack of Antiquated Strings has uploaded another of his fabulous hurdy-gurdy construction plans. Ideal for the home builder, or simply as a beautiful poster for your wall. He writes:
I have just finished Drawing up the Henri 111 Renaissance Hurdy Gurdy. I have modelled it on an existing instrument from Paris circa 1750. The main deviation from the original is that it can play a chromatic 2 octaves, has adjustable bridges and string lifting mechanisms. I have also changed the internal frame to use smaller wood stock. The original has solid end blocks that needed large wood stock to cut them from. There are 9 x A1 size sheets to this plan. I will add more written information as I make this gurdy.
Full size PDF versions of the plans in 9 parts available on his website here.
Website of “La Maison du Luthier, Jenzat”, a museum in Pajot’s house in Jenzat, Bournonnais devoted to the tradition of hurdy-gurdy making. In their own words:
The Maison du Luthier at Jenzat is devoted to ethnologic heritage, its purpose being to present a very specific tradition in musical instrument-making, shown in its original setting.
The Museum is housed in the former home of the instrument-maker J.-A. Pajot (1845-1920), in the neighbourhood where the hurdy-gurdy makers lived in Jenzat (“Aymard”, “Decante et Cailhe”, “Nigout”, “Pimpard Cousin”, “Pimpard Cousin fils”, “Pajot fils”, “Pajot jeune”, “Tixier”) Europe’s main centre for the making of hurdy-gurdies in the l9th and 20th centuries.
It includes a collection of hurdy-gurdies and other musical instruments ; a collection of tools used by instrument-makers ; the hurdy-gurdy workshop ; the brass instruments workshop (1934) ; a room for studying and viewing video films about making and playing the hurdy-gurdy ; an interactive terminal.
Hurdy-gurdies have been made in Jenzat since 1795.
Nice Belgian website by Ruprecht Niepold focused mainly on the hurdy-gurdy. Particularly nice photo-essay on the construction of a hurdy-gurdy here, a gallery of instruments from different makers here and a frequently maintained list of lost and stolen instruments to keep an eye out for here.
A day and two nights packed with dances, concerts, workshops, sessions with Blowzabella, Esquisse (Brittany) and guests.
Blowzabella produce an inimitable, driving drone-based sound played with a fabulous sense of melody, rhythmic expertise and sheer feeling. They have played everywhere from the main stage at Glastonbury Festival to the outer reaches of Brazil and West Africa. They compose their own music which is influenced by British and European traditional dance music. Many bands across Europe who experiment with the boundaries of folk music cite Blowzabella as a major influence. Andy Cutting- diatonic button accordion. Jo Freya - clarinet, saxophones. Paul James - bagpipes, saxophones. Gregory Jolivet - hurdy-gurdy. Dave Shepherd - violin. Barn Stradling - bass guitar. Jon Swayne - bagpipes, saxophones.
Esquisse is the best young band to emerge from Brittany in the last 5 years and this is their UK debut. Thrilling music and virtuoso playing - they are in a completely different league to most bands playing traditional dance music. Pierre Le Normand – drums. Thomas Badeau – clarinet. Gweltaz Hervé – soprano saxophone. François Badeau - diatonic accordion.
Friday 27 April
Doors open 7pm. 8pm-11pm. Blowzabella. Dance/concert.
Saturday 28 April
Workshops 10am-5pm – British and European folk dances, folk orchestra (playing and arranging folk dance tunes, all ages, all instruments, all abilities), master classes in diatonic accordion, hurdy-gurdy, folk violin, bagpipes. Dance Tune Competition.
Doors open 7pm. 7:30pm-9pm. Blowzabella. 9:30-11:30pm. Esquisse
For full programme and further information, including workshop music and places to stay, go to www.blowzabella.com
Queries? phone Paul James 0788 794 8853.
Friday and Saturdayticket for everything - Adults £52. 16 years old and under £12
Saturday workshops and Saturday night dance - Adults £38. 16 years old and under £10
Saturday workshops only (10am-5pm) – Adults £25. 16 years old and under £5.Friday night dance - Adults £15. 16 years old and under £5. Saturday night dance - Adults £16. 16 years old and under £5.
It appears that Nigel Eaton’s composition, Halsway Schottische (or Halsway Carol) has somewhat of a cult following. This page provides the sheet music for the tune, plus a link to some 40 different arrangements and recordings of it. What’s more, they’re looking for more! Record your version and send the link to this email!