~ News ~
Just finished recording the last track for my upcoming album of original tunes for *vielle!
These compositions show off the medieval fiddle in all sorts of contexts; some tunes are inspired by medieval forms, others by traditional American, Scandinavian, and Turkish music, and some simply welled out of the bubbling musical stew in my brain. I was fortunate to be supported in writing the music by a grant from Artist Trust, and a grant from Jack Straw Productions enabled me to record the pieces. A raft of excellent musicians helped me out - Shula Kleinerman on vielle, Kane Mathis on his magical African kora and the Turkish oud, Christos Govetas on bendir (Turkish frame drum), Ben Thomas on vibes, Glenn Jones on banjo, Ronnee Fullerton on bass viol, Dorothy Shapiro on viola, Terry Wergeland on accordion, and Becca Baggenstoss on drum. Thanks to all! Just a few finishing touches to add and it’ll be ready, this fall - available both as CD and downloads. I’ll keep you posted.
* What’s a vielle? It’s an ancestor of the modern violin, very popular throughout medieval Europe, played by troubadours, traveling minstrels, and angels (as pictured in illuminated manuscripts and sculptures of the era). It came in all sorts of shapes and sizes and numbers of strings, but was most common with 5 strings, usually made out of gut, and that’s the type I play. The vielle fascinates me with its link to a musical life from 1000 years ago and its bridge between Arab and European cultures. The instrument has been brought back to life by modern instrument makers with reconstructions; very little written music for it exists.