When asked early in my secondary school career what music instrument I could play, I answered the descant recorder. After all. I had represented my primary school in an all-London weekend at the home of Carl Dolmetsch who was largely responsible for the instrument’s world-wide popularity in schools.
I was laughed at by my eleven year old peers, who probably thought of it as a toy.
My next instrument was the violin, a string driven thing which had belonged to the recently deceased wife of my scoutmaster. I had a few lessons in the school’s lunch break, the time when I could have been playing football in the playground with my classmates. Football won, and to this day I have never learnt how to play another instrument.
Until I left school, I always associated the vile violin with classical music and concertos, with a certain rigidity of interpretation. Only then, having also left home, did I come to recognise that being portable, the fiddle was a popular instrument for buskers and small groups, and that, like the guitar, it could be plugged into amplifiers.
Here’s a selection from my archives:
1. Fairport Convention – Come All Ye (Dave Swarbrick)
2. East Of Eden – Jig-a-Jig (Dave Arbus)
3. High Tide – Nowhere (Simon House)
4. Caravan – L’Auberge Du Sanglier/A Hunting We Shall Go (Geoff Richardson – viola)
5. Curved Air – Vivaldi (Darryl Way)
6. L. Shankar – Little Stinker
7. The Flock – Tired Of Waiting (Jerry Goodman -pre-Mahavishnu Orch.)
8. It’s A Beautiful Day – Time Is (David LaFlamme)
9. Discus – Violin Metaphysics (Eko Partitur)
And there’s no way I could ignore …