Gurdypedia

Documenting the curious world of the hurdy-gurdy.

Caroline Phillips: Hurdy-gurdy for beginners

TED Talks

Caroline Phillips cranks out tunes on a seldom-heard folk instrument: the hurdy-gurdy, a.k.a. the wheel fiddle. A searching, Basque melody follows her fun lesson on its unique anatomy and 1,000-year history.

Californian-born, French-resident entrepreneur and musician Caroline Phillips is one half of Basque music duo Bidaia, alongside Mixel Ducau. Her searching, Moroccan- and East Indian-inflected vocals are accompanied by the distinctive, folky sounds of the hurdy-gurdy, an unfamiliar and unusual string instrument operated with a crank-turned wheel.

Throughout her years as a professional musician, Phillips has regularly performed in jazz clubs and toured with her one-woman show in the Caribbean and North Africa.