Been having a wonderful time this week collaborating with some wonderful musicians including fiddler extraordinaire Roger Wilson as part of Trinity Laban's Colab FolkLab (bet you can't say that 10 times fast).
I thought that this week was just going to be one long pub session but it is only day three and we have already done so much more than that.
We have been exploring the depths of what makes folk music folk music and looking at the similarities and differences between different styles of folk music. Later this week I will be posting a couple of soundbites and videos of what we've been doing and some great tunes that we've given a new twist.
On Monday we focussed of learning a whole load of new tunes and sharing them together while we explored them harmonically and stylistically. This was very exciting for me as they were mostly English and American tunes which I don't have much experience with.
Also, you'll never believe it, but I actually really enjoyed learning a song! Maybe our next album will have a few songs on it. It is really good to learn a whole new repertoire of tunes from a really skilled fiddler like Roger Wilson. Tunes he taught us included:
-The Rambling Pitchfork
-Frog in the well
-Billy in the Lowground
-The Northern Lass
-Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
However, it did feel like it took everyone a little while to get into the groove. The interesting thing about playing folk music with primarily classical musicians is that they can really find it difficult to learn aurally so it can really force you to be clear and concise when you are teaching a tune.
Yesterday's session was focused on looking at the arrangements we had made a little more closely and working on pushing the harmonies as far as they could stylistically go. Myself and Penny James taught a couple of Scottish tunes to the group as well as Roger teaching us some more English and American tunes. It again struck me that it is really interesting to work with singers and although it can be difficult to include someone who is only a singer when you are learning tunes it can really add a completely new colour when you include a song in a set. One of my new favourite tunes is the Two Sisters (I know it's a song!), for such a simple melody it is so easy to create wonderful soundscapes and colours. Other tunes we learned yesterday included:
-Mrs General Cambell
-Maggie Wests Waltz
-Shove the pigs foot a little further into the fire.
Very excited for what today is going to bring!