It’s late on Monday night. I wonder how big the post-concert jam is? My hotel neighbor and I returned after the concert — there will be another time for jamming, but we want to sleep. After I unwind a little online.
This is my first time at a week-long festival, as opposed to a weekend. I like the format so far — five class sessions each day, so you get five hours of instruction each day from five teachers. Unless, like me, you take four classes, or fewer.
I’m taking Linda Lowe Thompson’s class on jigs — we learned a really nice mixolydian one today called Double Dutch. She does the two-note bounce thing to get two sixteenth notes with one hand, one stroke — it would be a cool trick to learn.
My second class is beginning whistle with Guy George. The Susato whistles he had for sale were so much easier to play than my Waltons, and have such a nicer, sweeter tone, that I had to buy one. Guy uses his pinkies to help hold / balance the whistle, but my right pinky doesn’t quite reach without locking or overextending, which makes it stiff and a little sore — so I’m going to try to either not bother, or to change something to make it work more comfortably. I also discovered that you don’t have to lift your fingers much — which, lo and behold, makes it a lot easier to find the right holes again.
Then there’s lunch. I bought some havarti cheese and some crackers, some baby carrots, some yogurt, and some fruit, so that I could pack lunches. I even bought a mango. I love mango, but have never bought one before. I hope I picked a good one.
My third class is Stephen Humphries, percussion rudiments. I’ve taken rudiments classes several times at weekend festivals, but I haven’t made use of the stuff on my own much. I’m hoping that a whole week of it might help at least a little.
Then there’s a long break for me — there’s about forty-five minutes for short workshops or jamming, then the fourth class session when I don’t have a class, so for me it’s two hours of down time. Not enough to go back to the hotel… but a lot to just sit. I’m glad I brought my knitting. It might be the best time to tune my dulcimer, if I end up having to tune it at all — but my strobe tuner is rather big and heavy and I hate to have to take it to the festival site along with my dulcimer, guitar, knitting, and everything else. Perhaps I could borrow someone’s digital tuner — but with my past experience I don’t know if I would be happy with the results — especially the results for my fragile overwrought pysche, ha ha.
I arrived yesterday in time to check in, get some dinner (Kurtz Restaurant has a nice atmosphere, and the grilled chicken salad was very nice), then register and jam a little. On my way back to the hotel I remembered about lunch so I had a late shopping trip to Wal-mart before getting to bed.
Tonight my hotel neighbor and I had dinner together and then went to the instructors’ concert, which, hurried as it was (each performer got about two songs or tunes), still lasted a good three hours. There were some really nice things in the concert. Les Gustafson-Zook had a great kids’ song about getting in (and out) of the bathtub. Bing — wow, what a voice. Rick Thum and Ken Kolodner were driving energy and so was Butch Ross. Cathy Barton and Dave Para had a funny work song about the hard life of a folk singer. And there was more, and more, and more.
And now, folks, I am off to bed.