One of my favorite classes to teach has always been my Twin Fiddle class. I remember getting the idea for the class while driving to West Virginia in the summer of 1998. I told Gail (as best I remember), “This will be a class where I can teach Gu’Achi tunes and Swedish tunes and American tunes that lend themselves to harmonizing. And the students can master a little chord knowledge and music theory to help them figure out harmonies for themselves.” We started the class within the next year, and it showed up in the Fiddle 4 rotation every year until a few years ago. This year I brought it back. As you will see at the end of this post, it was a great class.
But the most memorable year for Twin Fiddle was 2010 when, within the span of the few weeks, we were visited by fabulous fiddlers from three countries – Mexico, Austria and Finland – plus a band from North Carolina.
Osiris Caballero came by in May 2010. Besides teaching us a tune from his home state of Tamaulipas, he played a YouTube-worthy version of Cielto Lindo accompanied by our own Maria McCullough and Yahvi Pichardo.
Austrian ethnomusicologist, Rudi Pietsch, hung out at the Old Town School of Folk Music on his sabbatical away from Vienna. (The University of Chicago was his other hangout.) He visited Twin Fiddle class a couple of times and taught us a jodle (yodel) and a couple of polkas, as heard here
The Polka Chips from Finland and the Mostly Mountain Boys from North Carolina and Washington DC visited in June 2010 and did a special workshop for Fiddle Club and several Old Town School classes. This post reported on the workshop and the World Music Wednesday concert that followed. It also contains a recording and a video from Rudi Pietsch’s Fiddle Club meeting a few days earlier.
Check these old posts out for some great twin fiddle music 4 years past. And it continues, as this years Fiddle IV Twin Fiddle class proves at an Old Town School graduation showcase.
Paul Tyler, convener