Hi fellow dance musicians,
What creative ways are you finding to play dance music these days? Are you
working on any music-related projects?
The pandemic has certainly slowed me down. However, there's a few projects
that I'm really enjoying...
-The open band that I lead is still meeting once a month. We gather through
zoom, spending about about 1/3 of the time visiting and the rest playing
music. Only one mic can be on for the music playing but that seems to be
working well. At first, it was either the lead fiddler or myself (piano).
The last two sessions have involved the fiddler and I playing together
while physically distanced outside.
-I've been wanting to get better at playing fiddle and a friend in the US
has been interested in learning how to play Cape Breton style piano so
we've recently started swapping weekly lessons. We each teach for 15
minutes which gives the other person just enough to work on for the next
week. (We both have kids so there isn't much practice time!)
-I'm working my way through a new tune book: Honeywood by Emilyn Stam and
John Williams. It's full of absolutely gorgeous European dance tunes...
-Finally, one of our local contra dancers organized a physically-distant
picnic that was open to all last week. Ontario is currently allowing a
maximum of 100 people to gather outside in groups as long as they maintain
distance. 20-30 people showed up and everyone respected distance. I
organized a few musicians to attend and we played in the background. There
was no dancing but the dancers appreciated the music.
I'm curious as to what you are up to!
:) Emily in Ottawa
I’d like to know people’s opinion of using music while playing for a contra dance. Is it easier to create excitement if the musicians play by ear? Thanks in advance for your opinion, Tom Hinds
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