Tag Archives: olddognewtricks

Old Dog New Tricks at Bridlington Contemporary Art Gallery

Friday 13th March 2020 Bridlington Contemporary Art Gallery

Rebecca Folds Gallery Programmer:

‘On Friday evening the gallery space at Bridlington Contemporary was packed with an expectant audience, eager to hear the renowned hurdy-gurdy player, Quentin Budworth. We had seen Quentin before at the Hull Folk Festival with the band Celtarabia. That was a massively amplified, foot-stomping, head-banging, stadium rock performance on an outdoor stage with a huge crowd of festival goers dancing their socks off.
It was a surprise and delight to see him in this more intimate setting, transformed from rock god into an entertaining and informative raconteur showing us the more subtle and thoughtful side of his musicianship.
With the help of an Arts Council Grant, Quentin had spent 2019 travelling through the UK and Europe visiting centres of musical excellence, meeting and playing with and learning from the best musicians, composers and instrument makers who form a quite remarkable international community.
Quentin’s account of his year of travel took us from this country to various festivals, gatherings and musical schools throughout Europe. We heard about the different traditions, styles, and approaches in different parts of the continent. It was good to know that these were being shared and adapted, keeping the tradition alive and of course Quentin was able to demonstrate all this on the two beautiful instruments he had with him. The were plenty of questions from the enthusiastic audience in the final part of the evening and I think everyone learnt a lot – from the history of the hurdy-gurdy since the 11th century to the response of contemporary composers to the instrument. And of course a whole load of cracking tunes – all in all a fantastic evening’.

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Meeting up with Peter Kanssen in London

It was really great to meet up with Peter Kanssen yesterday and have a good play through some tunes and have a delicious Parsnip Soup lunch (not pictured). I also got the chance to have a go on Peter’s Neil Brook 3d Gurdy (storming!) and his amazing Sam Palmer midi gurdy both of which I have to say are lovely instruments. As a few people have been in touch about my thoughts on Sam’s midi gurdy I’ll write a post about it in the not to distant future.

One thing that came up during the meeting was the variable length crank as a learning tool …. to develop articulation of the coups – (buzzes) of the Hurdy-Gurdy trompette.

Far From the Madding Crowd – eMade Kinnersley Castle – Music for dancing – Far From The Madding Crowd – Peak Dance

This was a really lovely full on learning experience as participants we were offered a very full programme of learning experiences with the opportunity to dance in the evening. APR2019 Workshop Timetable . I learnt about playing and singing for dancing in Breton, Poitou and Scandinavian folk music over four days. To say that the experience was intense would be an understatement – I learnt a lot about playing styles, singing, call and refrain, playing by ear and much more.

My Mousnier Tenor Hurdy Gurdy which had it’s first outing on this trip. It was a challenge using a new instrument in a workshop situation however people seem to really like it’s low sound and roar.

For more inf visit http://peakdance.org.uk

Master Class with Elizabeth Pignol at the Stichting Draailier En Doedelzak weekend.

Hurdy-gurdy for (more)advanced players – Isabelle Pignol (Fr)

This workshop for more advanced players. This course will focus on the musical and technical aspects of hurdy gurdy playing, including dynamics, phrasing, ornamentation, and right and left-hand articulation (both with and without trompette). Isabelle’s interesting techniques will most surely give advanced players something to study this weekend! She writes us she likes to work this weekend on:
games and practices in the group to study on the posture and the position of the instrument, to improve the listening and the sound
– «loose handle strike», loose and half loose wrist strike, binary, ternary and assymetrical. Working method for 6 and 6-loose beat strikes
– Searching for the double intonation of the chien to improve the «swing».
– Effect of rhytmical and melodical styles: combinations, off beat, syncopation, appoggiatures, mordent, vibrato, portamento, détaché, pizzicato.
– How to be rhytmically free
– Working on harmony: arpeggio’s of chords
– Çreations: two-part writing, improvisation, composition.
– Examination of ‘sounds’
– Examination of style and interpretation
– Traditional and modern repetoire, individual pieces and polyfony

Listen to the music of Isabelle Pignol:
• Isabelle Pignol – cinquième saison
• Tri-Bal – Asie you want
• Tri-Bal – Rond d’eau douce
• Tri-Bal soundcloud pagina
• DEDALE – live in park Chateau St Chartier (1993)
• Ritmythes – Duo vielle – batterie (oude opname)
• Ritmythes – Vent de sable (oude opname)
• Tribal – documentaire

Here are some pictures from this wonderful event

Halsway Manor Hurdy Gurdy Weekend 2019

I attended the Halsway Manor Hurdy Gurdy annd Bagpipe weekend it was amazing. I studied with Francesco Giusta. What did I learn… lots here is a video demo of the music from the workshop.

Ways into playing 2 time bourees – three part harmony arrangements for Hurdy Gurdy also approaches to playing Waltz and Mazurka – variable speed wheel technique slow cranking to give space and rhythmic spice too tunes, off beats paradidles and a whole lot more.

Here is a full list of tutors for the weekend:
The Team (Hurdy Gurdy)
Claire Dugué (Host) a native of France, encountered the hurdy-gurdy in London during her college training as an instrument maker. She was captivated by the instrument and has been making hurdy-gurdies ever since, producing quality instrument for amateur and professionals alike. Claire has now taken over the organisation of the weekend from Paul James and will be hosting the event and be also at hand to help with the technical aspects of setup and maintenance.

Gilles Chabenat is regarded as one of the very best hurdy-gurdy players of his generation. He began playing the hurdy-gurdy at 13 with Les Thiaulins, an association devoted to folk arts and traditions. Following private lessons with Georges Simon, he won several music awards and subsequently devoted himself to his region’s traditional repertoire with a desire to branch out into other musical styles.

In the wake of Valentin Clastrier, he thus felt the need to reinvent the instrument and the playing techniques associated with it. Around that time and after several years of research, luthier Denis Siorat developed a contemporary-style electro-acoustic instrument which facilitated the integration of the hurdy-gurdy into the modern musical experience.

In 1992, Gilles Chabenat began a twelve-year partnership with the Corsican group I Muvrini. During that period, he met and worked with a number of renowned artists: Véronique Sanson, Stephan Eicher, Jean-Jacques Goldman, Sting, as well as Frédéric Paris, Edouard Papazian, Alain Bonnin, and Gabriel Yacoub to name but a few. More recently, he has been collaborating with jazz musicians and also works regularly with Eric Montbel, Didier François, a Nyckelharpa player, Gabriel Yacoub and Patrick Bouffard.

Gilles’ musical experience and evolution are thus constantly shaped by the people he meets. In his approach to hurdy-gurdy playing, he draws essentially on the multifaceted nature of an instrument which has been in constant evolution for more than one thousand years.

Francesco Giusta (Italy) started to play hurdy gurdy at the age of 11 with local tutors before developing his technique with some masters of the instrument; J F Maxou Heintzen, P Bouffard, G Jolivet, G Diaz, T Nouant, S Durand and V Clastrier.

Within the years he has played in several bands, mostly in folk and medieval music performing at many folk and medieval festivals in Italy and France; worked with Lou Dalfin and in some musical project with Sergio Berardo.

He recorded some CD’s (‘En l’aire ailamont’ in 2011 and ‘Podre’ in 2013 with La Mesquia, ‘Balfolk’ in 2014 with Trigomigo) and was a guest in ‘Bon Nadal Occitania’ in 2009, with Sergio Berardo, ‘Cavalier Faidit’ in 2011 with Lou Dalfin, ‘Santulubbiranti’ in 2015 with Malanova.

Since 2011 he has been giving masterclasses in Germany and regular lessons in Turin. In 2015 he won the first price at the hurdygurdy challenge at ‘Le son continue’ festival in Chateaux d’Ars, France.

He now plays with Trigomigo, Controcanto, Bal là and has regular hurdygurdy classes in Turin and Cuneo.

Joel Turk is one of our regulars at Halsway Manor, as he has been teaching hurdy-gurdy to the most advanced players over the past 2 years. He is back this year to look after the beginners! Joel is well known for being a member of the great band Red Dog Green Dog.

Two really useful videos on modes and tonal centres

Knowing how to create modes from the major scale is a really useful skill here’s how to do it.

If you think about the tonal centre of the Hurdy-Gurdy as the drone string then changing it’s pitch can open up lots of interesting possibilities…using the same melody…

Brexit

Due to the uncertain political situation and the danger of crashing out of the EU with ‘No deal’ I’m having to do some research into factors affecting artists travelling in Europe the Arts Council have published some guidelines for arts organisations here:

ACE_EU_Exit_Guide_22jan19

Also with regards to travelling in my car I’ll need a special permit called an IDP (International Driving Permit) in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, IDPs may be required for people intending to drive in EU countries after 28th March 2019.

Post Offices offering the IDP service can provide information on IDP requirements before 28th March 2019, or you can visit www.gov.uk/driving-abroad/international-driving-permit

Crikey it’s all happening! The Euro is really high – as I found out today when booking onto workshops in Germay and Holland. I’ll have to double check my health and travel insurances too… also my medical card is still valid.

I got the blues on the Hurdy-gurdy

Inspired by the Muddy-gurdy film and remembering a deep teenage of love of the blues I’ve been doing some online and action research into playing the blues and blues improvisation and started to work on how to make it work on the Hurdy-gurdy.

I’ve looked at guitar blues methodology here:

https://www.musicradar.com/tuition/guitars/8-essential-blues-guitar-lead-tricks-640018

https://www.musicradar.com/tuition/guitars/25-blues-rock-guitar-licks-you-need-to-know-636061

I’ve looked at violin methodology here:

 

The structure of the music the 8/12/16 bars would lend themselves to looping and then soloing over the top… Remember if the tune if the tune is in D solo and improvise in D likewise G and C.

blues-chord-progression-1
images (1)

In D:
I = D IV=G V=A
IN G:
I = G   IV= C V=DIN G:
In C
I = C   IV= F V=G

Blues Scales in Gurdy friendly keys:

The blues scale in D is: D F G Ab A C

The Blues Scale in G is: G Bb C Db D F

The Blues Scale in C is: C Eb F Gb G Bb

 

Major Pentatonic Scales in Gurdy friendly keys:

Pentatonic Major in D: D E F# A B

Pentatonic Major in G: G A B D E

Pentatonic Major in C: C D E G A

 

Minor Pentatonic Scales in Gurdy friendly keys:

Pentatonic Minor in D:  D F G A C

Pentatonic Major in G: G Bb C D F

Pentatonic Major in C: C Eb F G Bb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gilles Chabenat and a hunt for the Hurdy-gurdy Blues

I’m booked in at Halsway Manor The national Centre for Folk Arts and will be studying with French Hurdy-gurdy maestro Gilles Chabenat. We’ll be working on these tunes:
valse à louis
dix petits grains d’or
bourrée prieur
allemande variations

Which are all pretty traditional Gilles Workshop covers the following areas:

Gilles Chabenat is regarded as one of the very best hurdy-gurdy players of his generation. He began playing the hurdy-gurdy at 13 with Les Thiaulins, an association devoted to folk arts and traditions. Following private lessons with Georges Simon, he won several music awards and subsequently devoted himself to his region’s traditional repertoire with a desire to branch out into other musical styles.

In the wake of Valentin Clastrier, he thus felt the need to reinvent the instrument and the playing techniques associated with it. Around that time and after several years of research, luthier Denis Siorat developed a contemporary-style electro-acoustic instrument which facilitated the integration of the hurdy-gurdy into the modern musical experience.

In 1992, Gilles Chabenat began a twelve-year partnership with the Corsican group I Muvrini. During that period, he met and worked with a number of renowned artists: Véronique Sanson, Stephan Eicher, Jean-Jacques Goldman, Sting, as well as Frédéric Paris, Edouard Papazian, Alain Bonnin, and Gabriel Yacoub to name but a few. More recently, he has been collaborating with jazz musicians and also works regularly with Eric Montbel, Didier François, a Nyckelharpa player, Gabriel Yacoub and Patrick Bouffard.

Gilles’ musical experience and evolution are thus constantly shaped by the people he meets. In his approach to hurdy-gurdy playing, he draws essentially on the multifaceted nature of an instrument which has been in constant evolution for more than one thousand years.

Recently Gilles has been working with the Muddy Gurdy project

Andrey Vinogradov has also been exploring the playing of blues on the Hurdy-gurdy

So this started me to wonder how does one approach playing the blues on the Hurdy-gurdy what are the stylistic elements of the form and approaches to leadlines chordal structures etc.

Learning Languages

I’ve been studying Spanish using the Duo Lingo phone App since the summer and have now started to brush up on  my French and German.  I have a  daily routine and my hope is that I will be able to talk to people in their own language when studying the Hurdy-gurdy in France, Spain and Germany.

download

I do about 40 minutes a day on the app usually first thing in the morning it stops me listening to the news and keeps me in a good positive mood for playing.

The Hurdy-gurdy has a very precise language all of it’s own and it varies from country to country I’m asking people on the Facebook Hurdy-gurdy Community page to fill in this document to help Hurdy-gurdy players understand each other.

word art

Learning should be fun

I’ve been brushing up on my sight reading skills and found this food chart to help me with the rhythms it makes me chuckle every time I look at it. It’s is great fun to play using the buzzes on the Hurdy-gurdy and short melodic phrases that ape the sound of the words. It’s a quick and easy way to brush up on those sight reading skills in a hands on way.
music-notes-rhythm-guide-1523624520

Developing Your Creative Practice Award

drq_hurdygurdy-1

I’m really happy to announce that the application to the Arts Council to develop my creative practice has been successful. I’ll be working on my Hurdy-gurdy playing and developing a new body of work. I’ll be working with some of the best Hurdy-gurdy players in the world to develop my skills, refine technique and musicality.

It will take my Hurdy-gurdy playing to a standard that enables me to tour as a soloist performing music that I have composed, laying solid foundations for the development of new solo and ensemble work in unusual and exciting contexts. I will grow a professional European touring and support network to help me achieve this.

I will be mentored by the recognised leading players from the global Hurdy-gurdy community over a year to develop: playing skills; contemporary performance technique; composition; exploration of traditional and contemporary repertory; the use of new technology; looping and effects; recording techniques; professional performance opportunities; a unique musical voice.

For each experience I will write and record at least one piece of music that reflects and internalises the learning gained. I will document techniques taught on film. I will share the story of my musical development as a soloist over the year on a website. I will perform short solo pieces at various gatherings during the process concluding with a solo show.

This will be a life-changing opportunity to develop and refine my solo practice so that I can learn from the best, compose new work and reach new audiences. When I first learnt to play the Hurdy-gurdy, 33 years ago, opportunities to meet with other players were very limited. Now there are more platforms to meet and study performance techniques and repertory with leading exponents of the instrument across Europe on a one to one basis and in group settings. The activity will take place over a year allowing me to digest, internalise and institute these new techniques and music. I will be building my international professional network by meeting and talking with players and promoters.

I will be raising my public profile as a player by sharing my experiences with an online audience through my website and social media. These activities will raise my status as a player and create opportunities for new performance and recording to take place. The process will allow me to develop the skills, knowledge, technique, confidence, flexibility and resilience to be able to work as a soloist in many musical contexts. To demonstrate learning and gain feedback I will present a solo show. I will record and showcase new compositions along the way online using my website, You-tube and Face Book and also at specially-selected events that feature new acoustic music, including festival appearances and concerts.

After the development phase is complete, I intend to record an album of my compositions for Hurdy-gurdy and tour it internationally.