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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Hurdy-gurdy hospital. Caroline Phillips, Bidaia's resident singer and hurdy-gurdy player goes to her Luthier's house in Perigord (vert) to get her Hurdy fixed.
It had to happen. Play the hurdy-gurdy on your iPhone. There’s an app for that…
Website of “the Hurdy-Gurdy Band” - a hurdy-gurdy duo. Features a lot of nice historical images of the hurdy-gurdy - but beware the homepage of the site launches into some unrequested hurdy-gurdy playing, so you may want to turn the volume down on your computer!
Enter the Ukuwheele
Bored of your hurdy-gurdy? Try the latest in musical instruments - the Ukuwheele - a surprisingly pleasant sounding ukulele, modified with a wheel and manivelle.
Anna Murphy, hurdy-gurdy player for the Swiss folk/pagan metal band Eluveitie, talks about her instrument and demonstrates it backstage at their 4/25/10 show in NYC.
There’s a great video interview with hurdy-gurdy virtuoso, Matthias Loibner over at interMuse - see here. Interesting description of the instrument and some fantastic playing. Well worth a watch!