Old World or New, Sacred or Profane

Monday, June 25, 2007

CTMS Summer Solstice Festival

Last Sunday, Mrs. and I drove up to the California Traditional Music Society's Summer Solstice Folk Music, Dance and Storytelling Festival. This year it was held at the Warner Center Marriott in Woodland Hills, CA.

In previous years it was held on the grounds of Soka University in Calabasas. Soka has moved to Orange County; those beautiful garden grounds now belong to the State of California. I don't like it in the hotel. As large as the hotel it is, it's too crowded. Too much overflow of sound from one group and workshop into another. I was playing in an outside jam session and a presenter came from around the corner and said the guitars and dulcimer and fiddle were OK, but the sound of the cello carried too much and interfered with their story telling. I moved further around the corner of the hotel building and tried to play quieter. Still a problem; I had to move inside to a different session. These darn, booming, excessively loud cellos! ;-) I was told that inside four walls the problem is reversed and it's the high fiddle notes that carry too much.

In the main lobby I participated in some of the scheduled jams. In the Blues Jam, I took an improvised solo chorus and I didn't do well. I rushed it and it came out sounding, well, dorky. A while later I tried again and the results were very different. Somehow, that one clicked. A fortuitous accident! When I finished I heard several compliments and at least one participant gave me a big thumbs up. One particpant later told my wife I done good. Move over, horns and git-tars, cello can play the blues, too!

For Maricello, who seems to be an East Coast counter-part: Absolutely, I have that book. Great stuff. I've worked on a few of the pieces. Maybe soon I'll play one in public. I also have the Ferintosh CD. Very different, in some ways more serious and artistic. The three make for some interesting chemistry. Let us know in your blog how it goes at Scottish Fiddle Camp.

1 comment:

Maricello said...

Terry, your Summer Solstice Festival sounds great--except of course for the storyteller complaining about your cello. You should be proud of your big booming sound!

I personally like festivals where the venues are close enough so that you can hear the sound of music drifting in from all directions.

Cello improv in a group is great, isn't it? Especially when it works. Congratulations!