Well, Fiddle Campers, Virtual Maine Fiddle Camp is off to a great start. This past weekend we kicked it off with a “live streamed” Maestro Bistro on Friday, May 15 hosted by Neil Pearlman, and an online “Zoom” fiddle lesson by Elaine M. on Saturday, May 16. Both events went off without a hitch and were very well attended.
The Maestro Bistro featured 4 four musical acts plus some words by our head chef, Kate Wallace, on her sourdough bread which is a staple at Maine Fiddle Camp. Here’s a video Kate made about the bread (and where she introduced her helper, Henrietta): VMFC Recipes: Kate’s Famous Sourdough. On to the music: Ben Foss started things off “out in the Belfast woods” with some fiddle tunes (many in flat keys – pay attention everybody!) and a song accompanied on a “baby blue TENOR Telecaster” (I honestly didn’t know there was such an instrument), He was followed by Aidan Boardman checking in from Brooklyn, NEW YORK CITY.. singing and playing guitar with some original songs. Then a “food talk” break by Kate… Next was the brother-sister act of Elizabeth and Ben Anderson with some hot dance tunes on fiddle and cello, and finally Bennett Konesni invited us into his home for some worksongs (I would call the first part of the show “Greatest hits from around the MFC campfire” including “Farthest Field” by Maine’s own David Dodson) and some Norwegian fiddle (on viola).. You can watch the whole show right here: Online Maestro Bistro #1 As far as we can tell, about 500 viewers “stopped by” and everyone had a great time as you can see by the YouTube “chat”.
Here are some words from Elaine about her workshop: “Saturday afternoon 40 people attended a Zoom fiddle workshop run by Elaine. Most were fiddlers but a few pianos and a cello spent an enjoyable afternoon polishing up 2 Québécois tunes and discussing bowing techniques and style. The focus was on how to make a tune come to life. Virtual Maine Fiddle Camp is alive and well!”
There will be one more Maestro Bistro before the “big weekend” in June. That will be on May 29 at 6PM, featuring Ellen Gawler, Gordon Peery, Susie Burke, Dave Surette and an SSFG (special surprise food guest). You can view it live on the MFC YouTube page or Facebook Group. Also there will be another instrumental workshop the next day, Saturday May 30 featuring Alden Robinson.!. Of course, all this is leading up to Virtual Maine Fiddle Camp (best ever!!) which will take place over the weekend of June 19-21.
Here is a list of instruments that will be offered during the big weekend and the teachers..
Steve Muise – Loons level 4 youth and adult
Ellen Gawler – Herons level 5 Y&A
Greg Boardman – Owls level 3 Y&A
Éric Favreau – Buffleheads level 6 Y&A
Helen Newell – Eagles levels 1&2 youth
Maggie Robinson – Hawks levels 1&2 adult
Mountain Dulcimer – Pam Weeks
Harmonica – John Pranio
Banjo – Carter Logan bluegrass style, Jennifer Armstrong old-time clawhammer
Mandolin – Glen Loper
Piano – Rachel Aucoin
Cello – Daniel Hawkins
Bass – Stuart Kenney
Whistle — Sharon Pyne
Guitar – Aidan Boardman, Fred White
DADGAD – Guitar Eric McDonald
Ukulele – Kenny Raskin
Voice – Bennett Konesni
Button accordion – Sabin Jacques
Piano accordion – Chris Brinn
Registration for these workshops will be opening soon so stay tuned!! Once again, the big weekend will take place June 19-21, starting Friday evening, and ending Sunday afternoon. Attend all or part! Details to follow..
CALLING FOR CAMPER SUBMISSIONS!
Join the festivities by uploading a musical performance, a workshop, a skit, or a story to YouTube! You can think of this as taking part in the camper concerts, leading a specialty workshop, or performing in the variety show! The sky is the limit!
If you upload your video by June 1st it might be selected for the Official Virtual Variety Show! Space is limited, but everything that gets uploaded will be debuted on the official VMFC playlist even if it doesn’t go in the show! Submissions to the Variety Show will only be used after we ask your permission.
All you need to do is upload a video to your own personal YouTube channel and add the hashtag #virtualmainefiddlecamp to the video title!
Once we get a critical mass of submissions, the MFC staff will create a playlist where you can watch everyone’s videos and connect with each other in the video comments!
DONATE TO MFC!
Help support “Virtual MFC” and other Camp programs!
You can donate money to MFC by PayPal right HERE!
TUNE HISTORY “Skänklek efter Lars He’en” is a Swedish tune from Uppland region, north of Stockolm. The tune type “skänklåt” is a tune that would be played at the giving out of food/coffee at for example weddings. “Skänka” is a verb which means “give”. So the tune basically means “a Gift to Lars Hedén” or something like that. The tune is in the key of G major and played AABB. Here’s is a video of David Kaynor playing it. Doug recorded this at David’s family cottage in South Harpswell, Maine, right after August 2019 Maine Fiddle Camp. David Kaynor playing “Skänklek efter Lars He’en”.
There will be an email interview with David Kaynor in an upcoming newsletter so stay tuned!
Incidentally, I asked Ida Meidell-Blylod, Swedish fiddler who was a special guest at Camp two years ago, about the tune. She asked around the folk music groups in Sweden and many people recognized the tune in a slightly different version. Here’s what Ida says: “I found out some info about the tune. It has many names and many versions (I realised I also know one – didn’t recognise it until someone wrote the lyrics to the song!). Known as ”Skänk en slant åt spelman”, ”Leipzigs krigsmarch”, and ”Tiggarmarchen”. From Uppland it seems. Here is a link to it’s folkwiki page.
”Skänk en slant åt spelman” translates to “give the fiddler some money”,.. hah hah see how to donate above!!! – bill o.