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