Gurdypedia

Documenting the curious world of the hurdy-gurdy.

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!

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!

Chateau d’Ars Programme Out

The line-up for this year’s festival of traditional music and folk dance at Chateau d’Ars has been released:

Jeudi 12 Juillet
Groupe en déambulation La Bande Ménétrière (La Chavannée)
21h15 Concert d’ouverture avec Goran Bregovic et l’orchestre des mariages et enterrements
23h15 Fublène / Centre France (Bal)
0h45 Bâton de Quartier / Centre France (Bal)
Vendredi 13 Juillet
16h Bourdin Trad « Jhâze » / Poitou (Bal)
16h30 Xarnège / Folk basco-gascon (Concert)
18h30 Bal O Gadjo / Folk ethnico-tziganoriental (Bal)
20h La Fontaine Troublée / Chansons traditionnelles en belle compagnie (Concert)
21h15 Cillian & Niall Vallely / Irlande (Concert)
21h45 Krenijenn / Abstract trad (Bal)
23h Susana Seivane / Galice, Espagne (Concert)
23h30 BA’AL / Gascogne (Bal)
1h30 La Clèda / Auvergne, Limousin, Béarn (Bal)

Samedi 14 Juillet
16h30 Le Petit Bal Ratamouche / Musiques traditionnelles… ou presque (Bal pour enfants)
16h30 Abnoba / Italie (Concert)
18h30 Le Tour de la Gaspésie / Gaspésie (Concert bal)
20h Duplessy et les 3 violons du Monde / Chine, Inde, Mongolie (Concert)
21h15 Vent de Galarne / Chansons populaires Centre France, La Chavannée (Concert)
23h Nahas Project / France, Liban (Concert)
23h30 Moussaka suivi de Moussakintet / Musique bretonne, folk néo trad (Bal)
1h30 Mister Klof / Folk (Bal)

Dimanche 15 Juillet
Groupe en déambulation La Bande Ménétrière (La Chavannée)
16h Les Gâs du Berry et aultres lieux du Centre / Répertoire traditionnel du Centre revisité (Concert)
16h30 Le Petit Bal Ratamouche / Musiques traditionnelles… ou presque (Bal pour enfants)
17h30 Samuraï / Nouvelles Musiques Traditionnelles d’Europe (Concert)
19h Chris Wood and Andy Cutting / Musiques et Chansons Traditionnelles anglaises (Concert)
21h Naragonia Quartet / Belgique (Bal)

(Source: rencontresdeluthiers.org)

Museum of Hurdy-Gurdy Luthiers

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.

More here.

Marco Polo
Loreena McKennitt

Canadian musician Loreena McKennitt performs Marco Polo, featuring Nigel Eaton on hurdy-gurdy. 

Sons et couleurs

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.

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
Loreena McKennitt

Canadian singer Loreena McKennitt performs “The Mummers Dance” live, featuring Nigel Eaton on hurdy-gurdy. 

Caravanserai
Loreena McKennitt

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. 

Blowzabella Festival, 27-28 April 2012

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.

TICKET PRICES

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.

Santiago
Loreena McKennitt

Renowned Canadian singer Loreena McKennitt performs Santiago, featuring Nigel Eaton on hurdy-gurdy.

The Quarter Brawles
Neil Brook

Luthier Neil Brook plays the Quarter Brawles, popular in England as early as 1565, and demonstrates his “St Thomas Altar” hurdy-gurdy.

Vergers
Nigel Eaton

A 2/2 time Breton Andro style schottische written & played by Nigel Eaton in G on a Chris Eaton double keyboard Hurdy-Gurdy.

Halsway Schottische

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!

Goldcrest
Nigel Eaton

A 2/2 time tune in d on a Chris Eaton gurdy (g melody), written & played by Nigel Eaton.