On Saturday, Cuppa and I headed to Middleville, which, oddly enough, is in the highlands of this county. The county is called Lanark and with places like Perth and Glen Tay, it doesn't take a genius to decipher much of the early background. In fact, we found a pioneer cemetery in Middleville, and many of the tombstones declared that the deceased had been born in Scotland.
The whole Ottawa Valley region is known for fiddling and Celtic music. At least that's true in the rural areas. It's certainly not just Celtic; we hear a lot of country music as well; in fact, on the whole, we hear a lot more of it. But fiddles and guitars and the like kind of fit right into that genre too.
Anyway, the point is that we went to this little community hall to take in a Celtic Jam. There were thirteen musicians and not many more in the audience. They didn't really need an audience; they were just jammin', playing for their own enjoyment. They sat in a circle: a few fiddles, a keyboard, a couple of guitars, and a ukelele. Some of the musicians switched to a flutish instrument periodically: not an orchestral flute, something simpler.
Each musician had a songbook propped in front of him or her, and they simply went around the circle, each person calling out a favourite in turn. I don't know how many times they made it around the circle, but they were still enjoying themselves when we left after three hours.
I love the photo of the young fiddler above. I took quite a few pictures, but the light was low, and most weren't terribly presentable. But they had fun, and we had fun. Two of the veterans are pictured below.
We are so caught up in performance music these days. Maybe that is why I found it so delightful to see and hear these amateurs simply enjoying their own and each other's participation. It did the heart good.