Thursday, July 7, 2011

Fiddle tunes, and the Szpilman Award for Ephemeral Acts.

I'm in Port Townsend, Washington this week, at the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes. One of the great American summer music festivals, this year's week-long event features fiddle music from all the Americas: Huastecan (Mexico), Cape Breton (Canada), Swedish (Minneapolis), Cajun (Louisiana), and Appalachian (Virginia and Kentucky.) I've been playing old-time Appalachian fiddle and guitar for about 8 years now. This music – culturally as far from my own eastern European/German/Austrian/Russian-Jewish roots as it could be – captures my heart.

Here's a bit of a video of J.P. Fraley, playing a tune on his front porch in Kentucky and talking a bit about the music. And here's another.

Although my life is as a visual artist, I can't get by without music. I have no ambitions as a musician as I do as an artist. I just love it and I feel more whole when I play or sing every day.

I also play some blues guitar, and studied North Indian classical vocal music for five years. The formlessless of music has always attracted me; make it, and it's gone.

In that regard:

The Szpilman Award is awarded to works that exist only for a moment or a short period of time.
The purpose of the award is to promote such works whose forms consist of ephemeral situations.

Deadline September 30, 2011

2010 winners 

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