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Poll: Tune Of The Month, May 2015

Jim Besser

Poll: TOTM for May 2015  

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It’s time for yet another TOTM poll. Hope you find something here you’d love to learn, play, record and post!

French: La Ronde Des Millorianes


A tune that moves back and forth between 6/8 and 9/8 - how cool is that?


I first heard this when I attended a session at The George in London, led by members of the great band GigCB and our own esteemed Alan Day. I’ve seen a lot of notation for this tune on the Web, and much of it looks pretty squirrely, so be prepared to figure out the version that works for you.


Here's GigCB doing a rousing dance version.

And Blowzabella the great English band that plays a lot of French inflected music.

Here's an interesting version on guitar, mandolin and recorder.

And a rocked up version that smooths out the tempo changes


Scandinavian: Vals från Kall

I’ve always known this as Vals Per Rost, and that’s the way it’s labeled in the Waltz Book 1 by Bill Matthiesen, an indispensable resource for contra dance musicians, but whatever the official name, it’s a great tune and very concertina friendly. And I just love the soaring B part.


Here are a couple of examples:


Shetland: Da Slockit Light

How about a beautiful slow air composed in the 1960s by Dr. Tom Anderson, a Shetland fiddler?

Here’s what in my mind is the seminal version by fiddler Alasdair Fraser and cellist Natalie Haas.
And a wonderful version on Hayden concertina.

Irish: Horse Keene’s Hornpipe

I learned this years ago from a longtime c.net participant, former bandmate and friend, the late Michael Reid, then totally forgot it until last month, when Daria played it for the ‘Theme of the Month.’

And a truly fine tune it is.

Here it is played by the composer, Jimmy Keane. You can include all the cool Irish ornamentation or not.


That's the poll for May; ready, set, vote!

Edited by Jim Besser
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Alasdair Fraser's version of Da Slockit Light is how it should be played but far too often isn't. It's quite common in sessions here but is far too often played much too quickly.

I agree, it is a lament afterall; and even if I start playing it at a sensible speed, there'll be bound to someone who'll start speeding it up. :(



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