Renaissance Faire Fiddling!

July 22, 2018, 12:08 PM · Yesterday I went with my friends to the Bristol Renaissance Faire! I had been to it last year, and that was my first time. I just thought I'd mention I probably saw about three violinists fiddling away whilst I was there, and in different styles, too. One of them was playing holding the violin across his arm with a Baroque bow, playing it in an old style and not using the chin rest. It's really cool to me how he was still able to use vibrato and hold up the violin well. He played with an acoustic guitarist, and when he stopped fiddling to sing, sometimes in harmony, he would hold his violin in different positions, sometimes cradling it close to his chest when he would sing about something intimate, sometimes swinging it out, holding it by the neck. I just thought that was a really interesting story-telling device that isn't really used much. Another violinist had some sort of Hardanger fiddle with a fancy pattern on the instrument in stripes, and was playing as a street musician. And then there was a violinist who played with two musicians in a trio, a guitarist/flutist who switched off and someone playing a drum. One of the songs they sang was about tree logs and fire-wood, and the best tree of them all: the ash tree! I liked as they were talking about these wooden things, there was plucking with the guitar and the violin, really emphasizing this material in a more percussive element to me than arco. They mentioned the Phrygian scale, which made me happy, and I talked to her (the violinist) afterward how I play the violin and am studying music composition at Augustana. All in all, it was really fun getting to see so many violinists performing, for the most part, Irish or Celtic music. I just thought today how seeing all these violinists was like seeing the country bands at the Apple Orchard I used to go to in the fall that I blogged about in 2012 - 2014 when I went with my family, and it gets me inspired and excited about the violin again to practice when I get a chance today!

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