Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Fiddlin Country

The Open Up the Summer Kitchen Celidh

cei-lidh: pronunciation [key-lee]
–noun Irish, Scot., and Canadian (chiefly Prince Edward Island).
a party, gathering, or the like, at which singing and storytelling are the usual forms of entertainment


The fourth annual Open Up the Summer Kitchen Ceilidh was held in Almonte on Sunday. Yes, fiddling remains alive and well in this part of the country, and Almonte is one of the centres where this fine tradition continues to thrive. I took a few video clips with our little camera (I guess I should learn to use the kids' proper video camera), so please excuse the quality, especially the sound quality, but I do want to share this experience with those of you who live in areas where such wonderful traditions are no longer extant. (I also blogged about the event two years ago here.)

First up, we have The Barley Shakers. These are the people that I jam with ... more or less. I make this claim modestly because I am only able to play about every fourth song when we get together, and even then I often struggle with the fast tempo. Nevertheless, they humour me and let me continue to hang around the edges. They play great Celtic-style tunes. This clip is only about a minute long.



Step dancing and fiddling seem to go together, and the group called Fusion usually attends festivals such as these, and they were in very good form on this occasion. To many, this form of dance is unfamiliar, but I guess it's related to Irish dancing and clogging although it isn't exactly either of them. This clip runs for over three minutes, but I hope you decide to peek at a bit of it anyway because they're really good.



Finally, I present Andre Brunet, last year's Canadian Fiddling Champion. This clip runs for just under two minutes. He's a great stage presence and enjoys himself immensely. He was the only non-local performer of the day, and even then he only lives a few hours away in Montreal.

10 comments:

Mara said...

I was fortunate enough last year to catch an 'Irish' performance with authentic Irish music and dance. None of what of you see today. And you would be surprised how much the four girls in your clip looked like the joy in dancing in that performance.
Oh, and on the musical level: if you ever get tired of the fiddle, why not try the bodhran? It looks easier, but then again, I might be completely wrong!

Mara said...

PS: for some 'proper' Irish dancing here is a fantastic link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2NOfOeSX4k&feature=player_embedded

Mary said...

AC,

Enjoyed all three videos. When I was younger, we used to attend the Fiddling Contest at Shelburne every year. It's been a long time since I attended.

Have a wonderful day and enjoy our beautiful spring weather.
Blessings,
Mary

Donna said...

HAhaaa...I Loved Mr Brunet's feet dancing!!! That's a Whole lotta tapping going on!!hughugs

JunieRose2005 said...

AC,

I really-REALLY- enjoyed these vids! Love the dancing and it does look a lot like clogging to me!

My grandson and his girlfriend are involved in 'swing dancing' in Orlando! It also is somewhat like this!

Oh! I LOVE this type of Irish music!! :)

Thanks for sharing this!


Junie

Lorna said...

When I was a young woman, I lived north of Québec City in a community with a lot of people with Irish and Scottish names who didn't speak English, and stepdancing, with the rigid upper body was always a treat at les danses du samedi. All the same instruments too. I didn't realize I missed it until I watched your videos. I love a ceilidh!

Pearl said...

Missed that one. Aw well, couldn't have got there this weekend anyway.

So. AC, where or when would I go locally to hear live bodhran? There's a fest in Ireland this month but I won't be making it there this year...

Ginnie said...

It's good to know that you are still "fiddlin" ...

Woman in a Window said...

Makes me want to do something cultural, anything, and it makes me kinda want to dance, too.

jinksy said...

YouTube and my computer have issues - get the fiddling load and clear, but the dancing remains static, sadly. But the sound of the feet is great, anyway...