Jen (ylla) wrote,

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A musical weekend

I took Friday afternoon off work and went to see my teeny cousin, because I knew there wasn't going to be a chance in the rest of the weekend, and I didn't want him to get big before I got to see him.

He was very small, and very cute, and good to hug, and looks grumpy all the time, which may be a reasonable reaction to being deposited in a big cold November world (and vililee got 6 goes of him and I only got 3, which is neither equitable nor fair).

After that the weekend was mostly full of fiddle festival. Friday night had the first concert, which started off with a brother and sister act - very good, but very teenage, definitely flashy rather than subtle. The main act was Duncan Chisholm ('and his band' - a boy who played the guitar and a boy who played smallpipes and whistle) - I've seen him there before and only remember coming away with the impression that if he was chocolate he would eat himself, but I think I enjoyed him more this time round (and he is very very good!)

And the ending was quite entertaining - they had basically done their encore within the set, with the two boys going away and Phil Cunningham coming on to join Duncan for one of his tunes - and then they put the house lights up straight away to try to get rid of us, only the audience were having none of that and eventually all four came back on to play a tune that Phil denied ever having played before and the two boys denied ever having heard! It was lovely, though - starting off very plain and growing as it went round.

And then there was a session at Summerhall, with a bit of confusion over the presence of the bar, and the late night festival club, which I'd never been to before as this was the first year it had been worth me buying a weekend ticket - so I was determined to stay to the end, but I was very sleepy. (So that night it was 2am when I got to bed.)

Saturday I went to a workshop, where we learnt a very complicated new Shetland tune and a really nice simple old one, and then I went to the recitals (lots of small concerts all afternoon) for a bit, and pottered round the stalls and sat listening to the session and the open stage.

Saturday night I had a change and went to the Dunedin Assembly to dance, and then SB and I went to tigger_boing's and drank champagne - and we went for the night bus just after 2, so then it was 3am before I got to bed.

Sunday I was going to go to a talk by Angus Grant, but he was ill, so I went to the recitals for a while, and to hear Mark Neal talk about sound (interesting, but all about microphones, which I don't really need to know about, and not about mixers which I do a bit), and then into the session for a while and to the final stramash - which for once stuck to tunes I knew (apart from 250 to Vigo, but I'd been studying it).

So then I went and got some dinner and read about Alasdair MacColla, and went to the final concert. The first half was a thing called the Strathspey and Surreal Society, which was four new compositions, a mix of new tunes and of old tunes taken to bits and put back together differently. And then Adam Sutherland, who was good but very odd - a bit rocky, with drums and bass guitar and a guy playing a workbench full of random things that made noise when you hit them, and sometimes a bit jazzy, and I suppose it was all folk really.

And then I crept home to bed!
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