March 14, 2008

Fiddle Practice: Ashokan Farewell

I've spent all morning trying to get ready for my performance on Sunday - I told a friend I knew how to play this song and now she expects me to do it for a group of about 40 people on Sunday. It's a fiddle piece by Jay Unger but I'm no fiddler. They say the only difference between a fiddler and violinist is the number of teeth they have. I've got full set of pearly whites so I'm going to have to fake it a bit. To prepare, I've been listening to fiddlers on YouTube and trying to figure out my own notes to make it sound authentic.

It's not perfect yet, but I thought I'd record it for you guys to hear. It's one of my all time favorite pieces of music. Some of you may recognize it from Ken Burns' Civil War series on PBS. Enjoy the screeching:


27 comments:

Tracie said...

Nice job, Sarah! From one aspiring fiddler to another, keep up the good work!

Kate said...

Way to go, I love that song. I play the violin too, but I can't fiddle worth a darn. My husband wants me to learn how, but I too have a full set of teeth and live in the big city where they listen to rap, not country.

Lindsay said...

Nicely done! It's a lovely piece and you play it well.

Anonymous said...

oh my gosh. that was great. i had tears in my eyes.

A. said...

You play that song so well!! I never, ever get sick of it that song...so beautiful. Good luck for your performance on Sunday!

Heather said...

HOLLYWOOD, I loved it. I love that song. Very beautiful. Thank you. You are so talented. please share some with me.. please really

Hollywood said...

Thanks guys! I put in a pretty massive practice session this morning while the kids were at a friends house - you should have heard it when I started out! I'm hoping the nerves don't get the better of me on Sunday and this turn into a disasters. After you've spent 20 years concentrating on just playing one string at a time, it's pretty hard to start playing multiple strings all of a sudden!

Susan M said...

I'm so impressed! I wish I knew how to play the fiddle.

Heffalump said...

We played that song in High School (I play viola) and I have always loved it. Double stops are hard to get used to though.
I hate playing solos, so I admire you for being willing to do it. I am sure it will turn out great.

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

Love it!

tracy m (dandelion mama) said...

Hollywood, that was wonderful! I wish wish wish I could do as well. My boys just sat here, mesmerized and watched the whole thing.

I do remember that song from The Civil War- it's acheingly beautiful.

Angela said...

Hey there - You're it! See my blog for details.

Nancy Sabina said...

Very impressive. I often wish I could play the violin so I could join a folk music group. I'm working on the banjo (although I think I have too many teeth to play it properly). So rather than the learn the violin, my plan is to force some of my children to learn it and then our family can be it's own folk group! We'll have a guitar (hubby), the banjo (me), a violin (daughter), a harmonica (son), and a singer (maybe we can enlist Aunt Ruth for this one).

Boy Mom said...

That was good enough to forgive you for three days of eels.

Melinda said...

I wish I was you.

Mrs. M said...

Way to go! It's hard work to learn a piece in new style. Taping yourself, then watching and listening is a brutal, but effective, way to find out just where those trouble spots are. Best wishes for Sunday:)

Kels said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heather O. said...

I love that song. DH and I pop that CD in when we go roaming about the Virginia country side, crusing Civil War Battlefields (yes, we really do that. It's not a joke. We're Civil War geeks, what can I say)

Kels said...

I thought it was gorgeous...! I KNOW I've heard that song somewhere other than the Ken Burns documentary.. probably in a western movie but I can't put my finger on which one... if anyone can remember, please let me know! I wanna say maybe in Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee or something... at least a western that's been made since the 80's.

Anonymous said...

I like your couch.

J-Rod said...

You have a nice television.

Anonymous said...

You say you've been TRYING TO LEARN the fiddle? Sounds like you're a pro! :)

Dannielle

The Parker Family said...

That was totally good! And I'm a nerd, so I've watched a bunch of those PBS Civil War movies.

Angie said...

Brave and noble of you to let us see/hear you play - mistake(s) and all. (Was there more than the one you groaned at yourself/) Thanks for this.

KEEP BELIEVING

pflower10 said...

The kids and I sat round the puter and watched you play. We were all touched. After a few minutes I said to them "Hey kids, that's the lady that made all 20 million of our new additions to our family". They were speechless after that.

Like I said before...Is there ANYTHING that you can't do?

Brent and AmberLee's Family said...

So beautiful. I've been forcing my 5-year-old to take violin for almost a year now so someday she can be like you. If you ask her right now, she'd rather do just about anything rather than play violin. I just explain that music practices are supposed to be painful.

Lenny said...

Beautiful. I have no talent so I love to bask in the aura of those who do.