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 :-)



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 :-)


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 :-)


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

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