Monday, October 20, 2008

Weekends one & two

Weekend one was great.  The first weekend is always exhausting just trying to get used to the whole routine again.  The first day was my birthday.  I managed to turn every song we played into a song celebrating my birthday.  Since all the songs are in foreign languages and I get to translate them all for our audiences, it wasn't very hard.  
My friend Cayla came out for the first weekend to see what it is like to do what we do.  She is one of the funniest people I know.  It was great to have her there to laugh with.  
I did a few of my own sets - my own music, not Istanpitta.  I had a great time, and scoped out a few good places to sit in the shade and play some music.
Second weekend....  We had the same 'Pitta crew, but this time, Joachim and I were preparing to play for weekend three without Al.  I played saz most of the weekend.  Joachim and I came up with a list that both of us could live with and we let Al play his Citole (aka medieval ukulele).  
I did more of my own sets in new places.  There is a long path with a "creek" (it's probably some nasty ditch) near Sherwood Forest.  It is totally shaded and peaceful.  I really liked playing back there.  Not as much traffic, but more people got to stop and chat without feeling rushed through the hustle and bustle of the regular fair setting.  
I got to hang out with my friend Pinocchio who brought by the pictures he took from Middlefaire.  Yay, pictures!

Friday, October 17, 2008

TRF definitions

Before I get started with the Istanpitta news for TRF 2008...  here are a few definitions so you aren't totally lost.  

"TRF" abbreviation for Texas Renaissance Festival

Istanpitta Personnel in order of appearance:
"Al" 1. director of Istanpitta, 2. owner of more instruments than should be legally allowed on one insurance policy, 3. NASA engineer nerd (he actually works there)
"Joachim" 1. funny guy, 2. fiddle player (and other stuff that I have not witnessed)
"EJ" 1. player of all things that blow, 2. other definitions exist but they are classified
"Heather" 1. known mostly for her Irish fiddling, also a fine vielle-ist, 2. another engineer
"Alesha" 1. an amazing dancer, 2. flutist, 3. strangely, another engineer...  just less obvious!

Instruments
"shawm" really really loud double reed instrument 
"krumhorn" think kazoo for the sound, and giant candy cane for the shape
"vielle" medieval fiddle
"saz" Turkish, very round body, very long neck, 9 strings set in three sets or courses, strummed like a guitar or mandolin
"Molly" 1. my octave mandolin, of the Irish bouzouki family, 2. cross between a tenor banjo and a guitar, 3. very large mandolin

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Pre Texas Renaissance Festival

Because this fair is eight weekends long, we, Istanpitta, sets up a pretty nice little camp.  We have electricity, light, a small fridge, camp stoves.  I cook breakfast for whoever the Istanpitta players are for the weekend.  I have spent the afternoon chopping food, organizing pots and pans, and making sure I don't forget an instrument or article of clothing.  I will load up my little Volkswagen and get on the road in the afternoon tomorrow.  I can't wait to tell you how everything goes!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Post Middlefaire Report

As weather at a fair goes, this one could not have asked for better out of either of the weekends. I had a great time, met a lot of great people, and I sang in any patch of shade I could find.
First picture, here I am in the shade.

Playing some tunes with Scott Boswell.
Taking fashion advice from Misty.
My friend, Pinocchio could have taken this photo BEFORE the last second of the fair.  (All of these pictures are courtesy of Pinocchio himself)
Next?  Texas Renaissance Festival!  I am really glad that I will have the chance to share some of my music and still be a part of Istanpitta all at the same festival.  This is going to be an amazing year!!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Website facelift

My website has had a facelift.  If you haven't taken a look lately, feel free to drop by.  I used some of Michelle's fabulous art work to make a banner for the top of the site.  Everything looks fresh and clean....  Let me know if you see any typos *pleeeeease* :-)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Wine Tasting

It's official. I want to be a musician when I grow up.

My friend Laura called me on Monday to see what I might be doing on Tuesday.  Laura's mother was trying to find a musician who might do some strolling for a wine tasting event.  There would be several tents and she tells me that I would be just great.  Not having anything to do, I agree to it.  The woman organizing the event called me next to give me directions and we agree on 6 o'clock.  I was a little nervous, but not so much that there was any hesitation...  I just went.

I followed the directions to Round Top and found the group of tents that was the Arbor Antiques Show.  I began strolling and singing to everyone around.  It was a combination of singing telegrams and a fair. Sometimes I would approach a friendly group and ask if they'd like a song, sometimes I would just post myself in a visible but out of the way spot. Both methods worked very well and produced such friendly responses. I was offered more wine than I could have possibly drunk in about 3 months.  Everyone was wonderful.  So many kind comments and questions.  I laughed with all sorts of people.  It was one of the most rewarding evenings I have had as a musician so far.  Two hours went by so quickly.

I will be doing the same for the wine tasting event they have for their spring show.  I should have a few new songs by then...  I can't wait to share them with this great group of people.