Old World or New, Sacred or Profane

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Enter a Contest? Why not?

Perhaps foolishly, I've sent in my application for the 2008 Topanga Banjo & Fiddle Contest, to compete in the "Other Instrument" category. The date is May 18th.

I've attended the contest a number of years before as a spectator. I've heard some of the competitors, including some of the "Other Instrument" players, so I have an idea of the typical competition. Yeah, I'm going to have to be well prepared. And I'm going to play in front of hundreds of people. Yikes! (Of course, picnicking--beer-drinking--frisbee-throwing--sunshine-worshipping people are different from coat-and-tie---concert-going--indoor people, but still... Peoples is peoples!)

I've got a couple of friends to agree to accompany me. One on guitar (or maybe bodhran), the other on hammer dulcimer.

What to play? My original choice was a waltz called Leona Tuttle (the definitive Larry Unger version contains a delightful viola solo). Now I'm considering playing the set Seylan Baxter plays in a video at celloharp.com. They're not too terribly difficult anymore.

Still, whatever I select I'll want to do a good deal of polishing, so I'll be dragging it in to my teacher. I'll also want to take another trip cross town for Emily input in a month or so. You game, Emily?


Emily said...

The gamest! I have been to that competition as a spectator once. At the very least, it's reassuring to see a bunch of people with similar quirky interests.

And you know you have the chops; we'll just keep grooming your approach so that your technique truly lets you express yourself.

Maricello said...

The Seylan Baxter set is wonderful! Thanks for posting the link. I hope you will provide a video of your performance too. Good luck!

Sandro said...

Hello Terry,
I hope one day I'll have the courage to do a public performance.
But the set of Baxter is really beautiful. Can the sheet music be found somewhere on the net ?
Thanks in advance and good luck !


Terry said...

Sandro, the first tune, Da Full Rigged Ship, and the last, Da New Rigged Ship, can be found in Abby Newton's book for cello, Crossing to Scotland. It seems to me her CD and book have become something of a classic in the alternative cello world.

Both tunes, and the middle tune, The Sailor's Wife, are public domain and can be found in ABC format on the Internet. There's a great site that links together sites with ABC tunes and converts it to midi and standard notation, JC's Tune Finder:


However, these tunes need some treatment as special cases. Maybe in a day or two I might have sheet music posted here. Then we can discuss some of the aspects of them.

sandro said...

Terry , thanks a lot for your reply. The MIT site is indeed terrific! I downloaded the sheet music in pdf.