The Hurdy-Gurdy Player
Jan Steen (1626-1679)
Short documentary from Belgian TV channel Ring TV, broadcast on 7 March 2010, showing the making of a hurdy-gurdy by the luthier Jacques De Vuyst. In Dutch.
Two nice new hurdy-gurdies have appeared for sale on Philippe Mousnier’s site. A beautifully decorated alto (see photo above) for Euro 4300 and a simpler student instrument for Euro 1700. I doubt they’ll be available for long!
The line-up for this year’s festival of traditional music and folk dance at Chateau d’Ars has been released:
Samedi 14 Juillet
Dimanche 15 Juillet
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.
Canadian musician Loreena McKennitt performs Marco Polo, featuring Nigel Eaton on hurdy-gurdy.
Interesting performance by Pep Massana and Carles Viarnes of an organistrum and octaved violin. Piece is a free improvisation about Los Set Gotxs of Libre Vermell, at Sant Pau Vell, Montserrat.
The organistrum is polyphonic and fully chromatic and based on Leonardo Da Vinci’s sketch, built by Ramon Elias in Altet, a small village neat Tarrega. More details on the instrument itself in this YouTube clip.
The Mummers Dance
Canadian singer Loreena McKennitt performs “The Mummers Dance” live, featuring Nigel Eaton on hurdy-gurdy.
Loreena McKennitt performs Caravanserai from the DVD “Nights from the Alhambra” (2007) and the album “An Ancient Muse” (2006). Featuring Nigel Eaton on hurdy-gurdy.
Stamford Arts Centre, 27-28 April 2012.
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 Saturday ticket 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.
More information here.
Renowned Canadian singer Loreena McKennitt performs Santiago, featuring Nigel Eaton on hurdy-gurdy.
The Quarter Brawles
Luthier Neil Brook plays the Quarter Brawles, popular in England as early as 1565, and demonstrates his “St Thomas Altar” hurdy-gurdy.
A 2/2 time Breton Andro style schottische written & played by Nigel Eaton in G on a Chris Eaton double keyboard Hurdy-Gurdy.