Greetings from Burren Fiddle Holidays!
The summer busyness continued into October and I’d like to thank those who came on Fiddle Holidays this year, in particular Diane, Ally, Michelle and Mattias. I hope to see you all again in 2019!
Festivals attended included Cruinniú na mBád (August), a musical wooden boat festival in Kinvara, Co. Galway. Also more recently The Pádraig O’Keeffe Festival (October bank holiday) and The Ennis Trad Festival (November). All of which were deserving of posts in their own right – I’ve should write more often!
Some news I’ve been meaning to share for ages is that the summer brought a new viola to the instrument collection, woohoo! I got it from Kate Thompson of Wild Goat Fiddles, Kinvara. It’s a hand-finished Chinese instrument, setup by Kate at her workshop. It was relatively inexpensive and yet it has a lovely sound and is lovely to play! I was so happy when I got it. My friend brought it to my gig, so it was there that I got my first chance to play it for any length of time, and I couldn’t stop smiling. When I got home I played it until 2am. At the bottom of this post there’s a video of me playing a reel ‘The Watchmaker’ on the viola, inspired by the fiddle player John Weir, who I’ve heard playing it in G minor lately. I think it’s a great tune and I like it in that key.
Some less-exciting news which is also worth mentioning is that I got a new webcam. This greatly improves the video and sound quality when I’m giving Skype Lessons. The Watchmaker video was recorded using said Webcam, as I attempted to practice, test equipment and create new blog content all at once. The result is a slightly-scowling expression, the odd careless note and by the time I got everything kind-of-okay it was dark outside! The microphone input level is quite low to allow for the volume and depth of the viola sound. For the next video I will try raising the level and sitting slightly further away. I initially recorded in a quality which was too high and when I uploaded to Youtube the video corrupted; half the quality again also had the same problem. The result below is now so compressed that the video doesn’t do justice to the webcam quality at all. I include a Webcam screenshot of one of the higher quality videos for reference. P.S. I do smile sometimes, especially when not struggling with technology, and Santa is bringing me a viola shoulder rest.
Burren Fiddle Holidays is now accepting reservations for music-filled holidays in 2019. If you’d like a musical stocking-filler for yourself or a loved one please get in touch! I hope you all have a lovely festive season, filled with plenty of tunes in good company –
P.P.S: Here is the link to Wild Goat Fiddles; http://irish-music.net/wild-goat-fiddles.htm . If you’re looking for a fiddle, viola and/or bow, I would highly recommend a trip to Kate’s workshop.