Thursday, June 19, 2003


Update: Potomac Celtic Fest '03

This week in my Celtic music world:

I went to the Potomac Celtic festival last weekend and had a ball. Talked with some Jacobite reenactors (who nitpicked my great kilt outfit mightlily, which means it was pretty close). Ran into EJ Jones, who was up there with Rosie Shipley as part of a one-off project called Manannan. Saw a lot of great music, but the group that stood out the most was Beolach, a number of young Cape Breton musicians (three of whom did Cape Breton step dancing). It was horribly hot and muggy, and I guess there's a good reason 19oz wool great kilts w/ tweed jackets aren't worn in, say, in Borneo.

This week's pipe lesson went fabulously. My instructor and I played for almost the whole hour, and at the end, he announced "I have nothing more to teach you. You can go home now". Granted, he was obviously talking only about the CAPD repertoire, but still. That was encouraging. I'm ready for the band, he says, past ready even. I just need to completely memorize the repertoire to the point where I'm comfortable with it. As soon as I'm in the band, we begin working on putting together competition sets for me, though I don't see competing until next year at the soonest.

Fiddle lesson went equally well, and other than ironing out some rough spots on the reels and my double-stops, and adding dynamic variations on the level of individual mesures, rather than just the whole part, I've got two air/march/strathspey/reel sets I'm ready to compete with this summer.

And I think I'm ready to find a cittern-player and a percussionist for the Scottish fiddle band, which now has a new tentative name: The Devil's Tailors, hopefully to begin playing together by next spring at the latest.

Everything's going according to plan...

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