Saturday, July 4, 2009

Festival at the Eno

Hi all!

Happy 4th of July weekend!

This weekend, I am spending a great deal of time a the Festival for the Eno. It is an awesome gathering of musicians, artists, and conservationists coming together to enjoy a beautiful place and event together on a very hot weekend. It is always a blast and this weekend should prove to be the same.

This weekend, I am working with the folks at High Strung Music in Durham, a wonderful little string shop that specializes in bowed string instruments, acoustic guitars, mandolins, ukuleles, and other folk instruments, giving daily seminars on violin improv. High Strung really provides a wonderful service at the Festival. They have guitar repair services right on site at the Festival and daily seminars that include, in addition to mine, beatboxing, learn to play the ukelele, open jams, and others. High Strung is centrally located at the festival and really embody the spirit of the event.

My seminar is a very low key introduction to string improv for those that haven't ventured away from the page before, but if a more advanced improviser comes by, I will give them feedback on their playing and tips and tricks that may help them out. And, if folks prefer, my friend and guitarist Adam Sampieri, and I will just play a little bit and talk about the thought process that goes into generating an improvised solo. I am there to represent D'Addario Bowed Strings and Coda Bows, both of which High Strung carries.

One of the highlights of the day for me yesterday was getting to know the guys in the band, Fiddlefoxx. This is a cool little trio of fine musicians from the Boston area. They feature some fine fiddle playing, acoustic guitars and mandolins, and a really good beatboxer on percussion. Their music is influenced by a variety of styles, but reminds me of some of the early Bela Fleck and the Flecktones stuff. It is really cool and I encourage you to check them out. Also, they are available to work with school orchestra programs and I think they would be a super addition to any program. I know that I am going to try to have them in to the NC School of Science and Math at some point to work with my kids. The beatboxer from the band also gave a masterclass on his art and it was really cool. There were a bunch folks there to check it out and he is really a wizard at the mouth percussion!

My family and I also really enjoyed checking out all of the artists' displays and various booths around the festival. We bought some pottery, learned about the new Mountains to Shore trail, played games, ate a ton, and generally had a wonderful time.

The festival runs for 2 more days (July 4, and 5) and totally recommend that come out and check it out. I'll be giving my seminar at 3:00 each day and would love to see you there. I can't think of a better way to spend some time over the holiday weekend.

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