A joyful cacophony!

The Swedish summer spelmanstämma is a thing of wonder. A bad translation would be ” fiddlers meeting”, festivals where hundreds of musicians get together for a big jam, and a dance in the countryside in the sunshine, all day and often all night. Walking in to a spelmanstämma is a very unusual experience , the sound of a crowd of musicians ( not just fiddlers by the way) all playing different tunes simultaneously under trees, outside tents, beside lakes, on top of hills, on their own, in big ensembles or duos, a joyful cacophony! Because of the nature of unamplified music outdoors you can choose your channel as you get closer and the individual melodies become clear, and if you’re a musician you can choose which tune to join in with ( if you’re sensitive about it of course and don’t try and take over or play too loud).

Anyway, the reason I’m telling you all of this is that I’ve got a few gigs coming up at these events -theres concerts too as a kind of side show, so Niklas Roswall and I will be at Ransäter Spelmanstämma and Delsbo Spelmanstämma, I`ll be at Bingsjö with Ethno Sweden ( I think I told you about that in a previous newsletter), and Burträsk up in Lappland as a duo with Maria Jonsson, playing tunes from that region. Ooh and there`s Korrö festival too with Ian Carr & The Various Artists trio-me and Maria and Staffan Lindfors-oh and I´ll be playing solo there too.

Other things to look forward to are Laura Wilkie´s wonderful solo record of Gaelic Waulking songs on fiddle and guitar with Sarah Hayes producing. I heard the rough mixes and it’s great.

Work continues on the new Ian Carr & The Various Artists record. It is an ever evolving process, in my cellar, with Maria Jonsson and Staffan Lindfors making everything better!

Steph Geremia will soon release her brilliant singing record, featuring Kris Drever, John McCusker, Alan Kelly, Eddi Reader, and moi!

I`ll tell you more about all of these things as they develop.