1. Video: Jelängerjelieber — Solo Hurdy Gurdy

    Jelängerjelieber played on solo gurdy as a wickler/slängpolska for an epic eight minutes (it feels like much less on the other side of the instrument!) — so grab the nearest person and wickl some time away :)

    This lovely tune is Matthias Branschke’s Säckpipa version of what was originally a Sorbish song from the Kralsches Geigenspielbuch called “Fa ßym ta jena hubena ßryota”, and was given a new name by the Verein zur Förderung traditioneller Musik des deutschsprachigen Raums (who need a new name themselves, phew), and published in 2015 in “Neues aus alten Büchern 2” — full of nice tunes and highly recommended.

    Sheet music for this tune is available here

    The instrument is a 2nd generation Vio gurdy from me, recorded with an AKG C1000S and the internal pickup.

  2. Video: Erik and Anna from Dråm playing some of the Swedish dance tunes they taught in their workshop at Vaka in Akureyri:

  3. Video: Benjamin Bech playing Icelandic dance tunes at VAKA 2015:


    These tunes are three of the pieces of music Benjamin has discovered whilst researching old dance music known to have been played in Iceland. All three feel to me like polkas, although the second (“ræll”) could probably be played as a schottish too.

  4. That fuzzy feeling when people give you really, really high resolution graphics to work with.

    I forgot how much fun even the simplest video editing was.

  5. Practice Notes 2014-09-25

    By chance, I have access to a piano in my apartment for the first time… ever, actually. Trying to work through sight-reading some of J.S. Bach’s two-part inventions (score, warning: PDF). Inventio 4 in D minor is a favourite, and I can get through either part on its own without too much trouble, or both together VERY slowly.

    Also put simple chords to De Montford and played along with a rather excellent video by Starymonetti, who I met half of in Vienna this summer:


    Also: explained the inner workings of the hurdy gurdies’ mysterious buzzing sound to my roommate. It’s not actually effectively explained anywhere on the web as far as I can tell, so if you’re curious:

    One (or more) of the strings rest on bridges which are not adhered to the instrument but rather sit in a slot and can pivot. A string (the “tirant” en Français) applies force to the non-vibrating part of the string, pulling the pivoting bridge down firmly against the soundboard. The amount of tension on the tirant sets the threshold of energy with which the string must be vibrating in order to pivot the bridge, at which point a slip-stick cycle starts to happen, repeatedly pivoting the bridge before it slips back, hammering against the soundboard.