Well now. This is a tricky post to get my head round. I have to be up front and say it has absolutely NOTHING to do with either textiles are art journaling. But it is to do with music, and therefore legitimate blog fodder, I'm sure you'll agree. But thanks for all the comments on the previous couple of posts, and I have answered them!
I think the easiest thing to do is just post the photos and try and remember what was going on in each one. I can't begin to express adequately the magic that is the annual Burwell Bash, when people turn up with their fiddles, flutes, whistles, guitars, and piano accordians for the tutored classes, but also sneaking in other illegitimate instruments such as melodeon (me), violas, mandolins, bouzoukis, broomstick basses, double basses, cellos, djembe, cymbals, trumpets, saxaphones, clarinets,.......correct me if I've missed any out! Suffice to say there is non-stop music going on. No tv, no radio, no newspapers...who would have time to read one?
Anyway, the eager ones turned up on the Sunday, and right after supper a session got under way outside the lounge.
Monday everyone else arrived and the course got under way. Burwell House look after us beautifully, the staff welcoming us back year after year, like old friends. I can't tell you how well the whole thing just moves smoothly on, we certainly aren't aware of the 'seams' though I'm sure behind the scenes there is furious paddling going on all the time.
The Burwell Bash is organised by Stephen Bardwell (with help from his son Joe...a guitar student on the course.)
Jumping about a bit here, but trying to be chronological and explanatory at the same time - failing on both counts! The tutors for the Bash are as follows. Google them, as they are all incredible performers, talented and generous musicians who play solo, together, and with a plethora of other well-known musicans and bands.
New to the fiddle class this year, Irish fiddle tutor Tola Custy, who arrived with his wild hair and fiddle, having had 6 hours sleep in 3 days...or was it 3 hours sleep in 6 days. Anyway, he settled right in.....
Responsible for more than a few philosphical digressions during class, Tola never the less managed to impart some fab tunes, two of which I have in my head all day .
Brian Finnegan is probably the foremost flute and whistle player, anywhere, ex of the band Flook, now with Kan, and corroborating with umpteen other musicians. As well as learning within our instrument classes, students are allocated to a 'mixed band' headed by a tutor. We have a handful of classes to prepare a couple (at least) of numbers to perform before the Tutors' Concert on Thursday night. The year I was in Brian's mixed band I was overcome by the beauty of the tune we learned. The arrangement was magical and I can still remember feeling quite emotional about the final rehearsal when it all came together. (FYI, Burwellties, it was a slow version of 'Joy' from Brian's cd. )
Assisting Brian is Katherine Mann who is surely one of the earliest Burwell-goers, from childhood. This year Katherine came accompanied by husband and baby.
Ed Boyd tutors the guitar class. Another ex member of Flook, Ed has played with bands and solo artists too numerous to mention; he's always in demand because his talent is widely sought after. Honestly you have to google these guys to understand just what top-notch tuition goes on here. The running joke at Burwell is Ed's iron - or lack of one!
Last but certainly not least, we have piano accordian tutor Sam Pirt. What can I say about Sam? Musically, I think, he's a genius. No, seriously, stand him in a room with 50 or so music students on various instruments, no music, a tune off the top of his head, and within 20 minutes or so he will have us all having learned the tune, taken it apart, put it back together again and re-arranged in several variations. The end result is...mind blowing! And it isn't prepared. I don't think Sam reads music. Anyone who can arrange a piece for five different instruments and 50 players, on the hoof, in 20 minutes, has to be pretty special, don't you think? We do. Every year I tell Sam I am getting speaking to his mum about the adoption papers!
The lap-top you can see there was enabling a link-up with Helen, a regular flute student who was unfortunately in California so unable to join us. We had her on skype for about 4 hours while she chatted to all of us and then she watched the concert!
Sam plays in so many bands I couldn't name them all. 422, and The Hut People are the ones I mostly know him from. He plays an eclectic variety of music, all of it hugely rhythmic and attention grabbing, particularly the south American Foro and Poro tunes. This year Iwas in Sam's Mixed Band (Next year again, please, Stephen!) and we did two cracking numbers. Truth to tell, I was torn by wanting to buy a piano-accordian just so I could play the sort of music Sam plays. Not that I would leave the fiddle class ; ) ! Oh, so tempted. But I think I will continue with my melodeon, which I do love.
Ok, I am slowly losing the will to live here, going back and forth between photos, so just a few more general shots.
Ellie is another student who has been coming to Burwell since babyhood. Here she is doing a guest spot with her band Kiss The Mistress..unfortunately I couldn't squeeze John on bhodran into the shot, but he was dead good! Their set was absolutely brilliant.
Well, do you know, I think that's your lot. Normal service will be resumed next post! Sorry my plan to explain more about the course fell by the wayside, as I'm in a hurry to get this out. However, I think the photos speak for themselves. To fill yourself in, google Burwell Bash and have a read, also you'll find most of the tutors on youtube, somewhere! Now I'm going to lie down in a darkened room! Catch you next time.