Yeah we do this quite often as there’s more than enough musos here that have played at contradances that putting together a band at really short notice is not difficult. Remember that we have the apparently Neverending Session playing somewhere on the Estate at all times.
First person I asked was Bela, our Hungarian violinist who fortunately speaks French as do Gus and I. He of course agreed. And you’ve not experienced a contradance ’til you’ve heard Gus calling in two languages, sometimes three when a player who doesn’t speak English or French takes part.
We’ve experimented with hand drums as part of such a band so I knew a Scots player who didn’t want to be named here as he wasn’t supposed to be playing after injuring his wrist several months back but couldn’t resist the challenge. Janey, a smallpiper from the south of England, was the third player. She suggest Wicker, an Elvin wire harpist, also be added and she did agree to play when I asked her.
With the band in hand, Gus met with them, planned out the tunes to be played, and even played through several of the less familiar tunes. Our contradances are a bit unusual as they usually are four to six hours long with a sort of potluck part way through and other breaks as need be. That gives the band an occasional respite before they get back to playing.
So join us later this evening in the Courtyard for a contradance quite unlike any you’ve been part of!