Friday, October 28, 2011

Acoustic Moon 3 - Where were you when...?

If you were bemoaning the vile weather, thinking about the logistics of Christmas and being autumnal in all the wrong ways, together with the fact that it was still only Thursday, then here are three words:

If that is so then you have only yourself to blame. You could have been in a cosy village pub, with great food - from three-course feast to bar snacks - and drink at very reasonable prices, listening to some of the finest and most varied acoustic music that the UK has to offer. That is Acoustic Moon and the admission charge for that aspect is £5 on-the-door.  Trading Standards Authority motto to the public is this: "If something seems too good to be true then it probably is."
It is indeed good advice but, then again, all rules need a few exceptions for validation and this is one of them. Yesterday's selection of music was nothing if not varied except in that it happened to include two very different artists playing one of the rarest of percussion instruments and one that is new in the 21st century...
One of the oldest tuned acoustic instruments of all is, in its various forms, dulcimer. It doesn't have to look or sound ancient and around here we know that. It has been hammered into us in the best way possible.
Opening the evening - Intricate.
Barbara J Hunt on guitar and lead vocals with Dizzie on a thoroughly modern hammered dulcimer and sometimes including theatrical interpretations. There are absolutely no warm-up acts here and very soon that 21st century creation - the hang. It combines mid-19th century physics of acoustics, courtesy of Helmholz, and late 20th century metallurgy in the form of ammonia-gas-nitriding in an instrument that both looks and sounds like it might have actually been around since forever.  The first example did not however make a public performance until 2001 and they are all still made by a "cottage industry" in Switzerland.
To see one hang player in an evening is good fortune, to see two is a miracle.
The second hang player was Venus Bushfires and I do not actually have any pictures of that. It is for a reason. I was borrowed for another duty. I was watching, listening and recording but have no pictures of the set. She played solo, sometimes actually acapella, and showed a completely different aspect of hang playing. It sat in her lap rather than on a stand and was in support of a quite different style of music.
This is the one photo I did take, just after her set had finished.
It is rare that I don't write about an evening such as this in a single post, rarer still that I don't stick to the order in which the artists or acts appeared. In this case I have decided to do both - the three acoustic guitar artists are to follow.

No comments: