|May 19, 2013||Posted by annathepiper under About Me|
And now, to finish up my posts about going to Victoria at the beginning of April, here’s the recounting of what we did on Sunday of that weekend! The previous posts, for those of you who may have missed them, are:
- Friday, in which Anna and Dara declare that 6:30am is not an actual time of day, in which a ferry is taken, in which the Royal BC Museum has HOLY SHIT MAMMOTH!, and in which Fernwood has a highly awesome open mic
- Saturday morning and afternoon, in which much wandering of downtown Victoria is done, in which Anna’s new mammoth is photographed having adventures, in which books in French are bought, and in which Anna acquires SURPRISE GUITAR!
- Saturday evening, in which Anna and Dara have a spectacular time seeing Le Vent du Nord, in which Anna’s mammoth meets a polar bear, and in which there is photographic evidence of fiddle players
On to the final leg of the Victoria adventure: Sunday!
Apologies for being a bit late in getting this posted, folks–I’ve been fighting a head cold this week, so I’m not entirely up to speed. Nevertheless, here you go, part 2 of my thoughts on self-publishing. Hope y’all find this helpful! This post focuses in particular on beta reading and editing, things that, in my… more
To follow up on yesterday’s post of musical squee, I am delighted to report that that wasn’t actually the only fun musical thing I pulled off this weekend! As I reported earlier this week, session folks are encouraging me to learn Genticorum’s lovely little ditty “Valse de poeles” (Waltz of the Stoves). It was played… more
One of the fun things about Google Analytics is that I can see what people who hit my site might have been searching for. And I’ve seen a couple of people come in now looking for a translation of Great Big Sea’s “Le Bon Vin”, which appears on the new XX album. Presumably they’re keying… more
|May 10, 2013||Posted by annathepiper under Music|
Because, O Internets, I just more or less figured out the rest of “Manteau d’hiver”!
Which, for those of you who may just be joining in, is my very favorite instrumental by Le Vent du Nord, off of their current album Tromper le temps. I adore it to bits, as I have fangirlishly squealed about in previous posts. It’s lovely and evocative and upbeat and makes me think of snow showers and snowball fights and drinking hot chocolate by the fire after you come in from being outside.
I’ve been practicing trying to figure out tunes by ear and this was one of the ones I wanted to try, since having the awesome recording of it on hand is a fantastic motivator. I threw it through Tempo Slow on my iPhone, pulling the tempo down REALLY hard–we’re talking 40-50 percent of actual speed here–so that I could try to work out what the melody line was actually doing. And it WORKED.
The piece is deceptively simple in structure. There’s some opening ornamentation as an intro, and then the main tune kicks in with an A part and a B part. And that’s really all there is to it, except that as the piece progresses, they bring in the podorythmie on the second time through. And on the repetitions after that, they vary up the melody to make it more interesting. Harmony comes in, and rhythmic variations as well. And then at last you get the outro to wind it down.
I just focused on working out the basic melody, what appears in the first couple of repetitions. I’ve been trying to transcribe it using Finale Songwriter, but that’s proven to be surprisingly challenging–because it’s a crooked tune, and the time signature does some wacky things I haven’t figured out yet! So I’m not entirely sure how to notate it correctly.
I’ve been trying to get as close as I can by just writing it out in 4/4 and getting the notes in the right order and rhythm as best I can. But partway through the B part I flailed out on that hard, and tonight I opted instead to just try to listen very hard to the slowed-down track and see if I could get into the appropriate zen space of letting my fingers tell me where they needed to go.
I got the notes I was missing and ZOMG you guys, I think I can play this thing. Slowly, with some fumbling, but I can play it! And now that I have down the basic melody line, I can work on seriously practicing it so I can take it to session! This is going to be EIGHTY KINDS OF AWESOME.
And, amusingly enough, I’m working this out on Silver tonight–and realizing that for once, actually, the flute with the keys is striking me as the right instrument. Because Silver is metal, and tone-wise, that’s actually striking me kind of right for a piece whose title translates to “Winter coat”.
Want to actually hear what I’m babbling about? Behold, Bandcamp streaming goodness! (ETA: Adding in the direct link since LJ apparently eats the Bandcamp embed code. Sorry, LJ users who see this post!)
Or, here, here’s a live version!
For the record: I CAN’T do it that fast yet. But that will be coming. Oh my yes. It’s going to HAPPEN.
|May 9, 2013||Posted by annathepiper under Music|
This being the first of a flurry of mini-reviews of all the various albums I’ve picked up lately!
“Come What May”, by Ad Vielle Que Pourra: Mostly instrumental, but with a lot of hurdy-gurdy goodness. The hurdy-gurdy here isn’t nearly at the powerhouse level that Le Vent du Nord delivers, but that’s not a bad thing, given that I happen to like how the voice of the instrument lends itself to more delicate tunes. What vocals are here are almost choral in their quality, which fits in nicely overall with the understated instrumental performances.
“Eaux-de-vies”, by Les Batinses: I already had this group’s other album, so I fully expected to like this one too. I was not mistaken. More jazzy/bluesy in style than how I usually listen to my trad, but again, not a bad thing. Especially in the extended solos in track 2, “Vin Et Amour” (and how’s that title for a summary of two of the major topics of Quebec trad music, hmm?). Also: appears to be a live album! This was obvious at first only with the audience noise at the end of the tracks, but the last couple of tracks really get bouncy. So that makes it extra fun to listen to.
“Koru”, by Mauvais Sort: Another group I’d already sampled with an initial album, so yeah, I thought I’d pick up a couple more of theirs. Mauvais Sort are similar to Les Batinses in overall vocal style and instrumentation, with a few hints of Mes Aieux as well. General thumbs up for rocking up the trad, though it’s odd to hear a drum kit in the background. I wanted this album in particular though for their take of “Ziguezon”, which is imprinted on my brain with the La Bottine Souriante take sung by Andre Marchand. Fun to hear alternate versions of such things!
“Gront”, by Väsen: This being the group from Sweden I became aware of via their touring with Le Vent du Nord! I’d been meaning to find one of their albums, and when this one shot across my radar, I was happy to pick it up. Partway in on the first track of this album, which is from 1999, I’m thinkin’ yeah, these guys are totally compatible with my musical interests. The nyckelharpa sounds very cool, and they’ve got some viola goodness going on as well. Rhythm-wise, their percussion is very familiar-sounding to anybody familiar with Celtic music. Or Quebecois, for that matter, even though I’m hearing drums here and not feet. The album’s entirely instrumental, so I suspect this’ll mostly serve me as background music for writing code. Or writing prose, for that matter. Of particular amusement to my fellow Browncoats, though: the last track in particular struck me as something that would not be out of place AT ALL in the soundtrack of a Firefly episode.
More to come!