March 2008


Now this is special – how you can make music with your Moleskine notebook. Already music for your eyes, Domingo Martin adds an auditory dimension to this well-packaged and designed notebook.

Special thanks to Moleskinerie for highlighting this. The Moleskine is my notebook of choice – for its form factor, its paper, its rounded corners, its elastic and its rear pocket – there’s even a version with music manuscript paper :-)

Cheers
Jerry

Cheers
Jerry

Filk music?? That’s what happens when folk takes on the imaginary worlds of science fiction fandom. It is strange, but of course folk is about how people experience their world – it is music of people. Including, it seems, sci fi fans – who make songs about their take on the science fictions worlds they inhabit. And like a lot of music, it’s less about the skill than the bringing together of people to sing about the things they care about.

Thanks to Boing Boing for sharing this one :-)

Cheers
Jerry

Well, another National Folk Festival has come and gone – and I thought I’d share some of my personal highlights. Firstly it was great to meet up with so many old friends from interstate – including most of the former Mucky Duck members who I played with in the early-mid 1980s.

I got to a number of concerts in between music sessions in the Session Bar.

Vin Garbutt – I last saw him in 1980 in Perth Western Australia and he has just got better over the years – more political edge to his songs, and hilarious repartee. I bought his CD “Plugged” just because it had “Man of the Earth” on it.

Danish band Faerd played some great traditional Danish music and Swedish polskas… the combination of Peter Uhrlbrand’s fiddle playing (also lively in the Session bar!) with Eskil Romme’s saxaphone and Jens Ulsvand’s bouzouki was stunning

The Session Bar proved popular and I had some great sessions with Bob McInnes, Scott and Louisa Wise, and Chris Duncan

And Butch Hooper and I played at the Merry Muse to a great audience – really responsive and ready to party!

The Genticorum concerts were wonderful – I love the fiddle player’s foot percussion and the trio’s great harmonies. But one thing puzzles me… are all Quebec folk songs about food and sex or some combination of the two? I loved the story about the fiddle’s time out in the winery, slinking back home to its case after a night on the town with a ukelele :-D and how when the fiddler picked it up again, he was playing tunes even he didn’t know and at twice the pace!

Trouble in the Kitchen started in Canberra a few years ago and have gone from strength to strength. I love the new direction they are taking their music. The tune “The Darkroom Fiddler” is on my must learn list. And I bought the last copy of their CD. My apologies for the poor photo quality.

Other highlights were David LaMotte and Liz Frencham – David’s guitar work was fantastic

I ran into “Gurdy Girl” Jane Ruckert playing a nyckelharpa – a kind of Swedish bowed hurdy gurdy – and we swapped instruments for a play – she on my hardingfele (eight-string Norwegian fiddle) and me on the nyckelharpa. Suffice to say I have increased my respect for nyckelharpa players – but what an awesome sound!

And speaking of amazing instruments, I saw this hurdy gurdy in the session bar

The sessions were terrific

And after trying one of David Guscott’s violins I decided that I needed an octave violin – so I bought some octave strings for my electric fiddle and mmmm love that sound! – You’ll hear more of that on our website soon!

And I have a heap of tunes to learn :-)

Cheers
Jerry

Well folks – the National Folk Festival is on again right now – and you will be able to catch me in the Session Bar tomorrow from early til late :-)

I might even bring along my pochette… it’ll be a good test of its volume!

For those who haven’t been before, this is what the Session Bar looks and sounds like

There was anticipation as I packed my fiddle and loaded the van. St Paddy’s Day on a Monday. At least the set-up would be easy – no pushing through the crowds… Okay, so how wrong can you be?

The set-up for the first show was amidst a lunchtime crowd who were in no mood for going back to work. And they were even less inclined to go back to work once we started playing – the Guinness had nothing to do with it!

St Patricks day - Full Circle at PJ O'Reilly's

The Irish dancers provided a great middle set with some great dances to some not altogether traditional Irish tunes!

St Patricks day - Full Circle at PJ O'Reilly's

After two short sets we were packing up ready for the next show – at Filthy McFadden’s in Kingston. We had the other sound system pre-set up so I just needed to set up the lights and mic stands and we were ready for another three and a half hours.

St Patricks day - Full Circle at PJ O'Reilly's

Filthy McFadden’s was a good high energy show and the time fairly flew by.

St Patricks day - Full Circle at Filthy McFadden's

We certainly had a great time and made loads of new friends :-)

See you all at the National Folk Festival!

Cheers
Jerry

Today is a great day for Full Circle Band – we’re performing at PJ O’Reilly’s in Civic from 1.00pm – 4.00pm and then at Filthy McFadden’s 5.00pm-8.00pm in Kingston. These are always lively shows  – so if you’re in Canberra, come and join us and help celebrate Australia’s Irish heritage :-)

Cheers
Jerry

Looks like a great exhibition coming up for anyone heading to California… Violin making in America – a celebration of the luthier’s craft and technological innovation – including electric violins from the 1930s, and all the different shapes that violin makers have tried  in their quest to improve on the centuries-old design.

And violins are nothing without a bow – so the exhibition also includes a large selection of bows too!

Cheers
Jerry

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