ACHF Arts Access
I will expand and further develop my Transylvanian fiddle repertoire and techniques. Success will be evaluated by the increased number of songs added to my performance repertoire, incorporation of new playing techniques, and by comparing those techniques with village musician recordings. 2: This project will give Minnesotans an opportunity to experience and engage with a highly specialized, relatively unknown music genre from Eastern Europe. Success will be evaluated by audience attendance at informational performance and the demonstrated understanding and response of workshop participants.
I was able to access recordings in my personal collection that I have never seen or heard before. The original mini DV recordings were still in good condition. Digitizing them was no problem once I had computer equipment that could handle the task. My collection now comprises accessible music field recordings from twenty-six villages in Transylvania, Romania. It also contains three examples from Hungary and one from Serbia. With access to these recordings I was able to expand my Transylvanian fiddle repertoire and techniques. For example, I added a set of six Bude?ti songs to my repertoire that are specific to that village. Their playing technique of using a sliding left hand motion in place of vibrato are not used anywhere else in Transylvania. The result is a crying or weeping-sounding melody. While the technique is not quite natural for me yet, I have established a deep understanding of the basic components of the ornament, when it use it and the goal of its overall effect. 2: My band Száska and I presented an informational performance and workshop on Transylvanian string band music. We focused on how standardized string instruments (violin, viola and double bass) are used in unconventional ways in that region. Highlighting video examples from my archive collection, I led the audience through a musical tour of four villages in Transylvania. As one example, I broke down a specific ornament and demonstrated how it is produced. Then I played a video example to show how those ornaments sound in their original context. Szászka also gave a workshop on Transylvanian folk music from the village of Palatca. Workshop participants were musicians in the Twin Cities folk music scene, but this was their first experience with Transylvanian music. They were challenged with learning how to hold and play standardized instruments in unconventional ways. Towards the end, workshop participants and teachers gathered in one room to practice together and give a final performance.
Other, local or private