At the NHM 2013 in Järna (Sweden), Vincent Michaud gave a workshop on the relationship between dance and music exemplified in the gavotte bigoudenn, a dance from Finistère (= finis terrae, the westernmost department of France) where he comes from.
Vincent’s workshop had two parts:
In part 1 (dance), Vincent taught the participants to dance the gavotte bigoudenn. Dance is the tool we need to gain a thorough understanding of rythmical patterns, stressed-times in the musical phrase and style. The dancing workshop was open to all, even those who don’t play music, or don’t want to be spoiled by terrible wirestrung horrors, or fear the madness of the teacher.
In part 2 (music), participants learnt to play these dances by learning their separate formulettes in order to bake individual suites of dances, using the rhythmical patterns we found during dancing, and blending techniques in order to produce the wanted bright, chic and energetic style. Vincent played the music on his wire-strung harp, but all other instruments were welcome too, since these tunes can be easily transferred.
Vincent wrote: “An occasion for me to demonstrate, share and spread my wire-strung harp method centred on MONODY on harp: yep, monody 🙂 Many strings yet short compass melodies, strong dances repertory and the necessity to be accurate both about style or rhythm made me want to get rid of the nightmarish XIXth century romantic junk around the harp, to impose myself firmly as folk musician and not classical/baroque/jazz/pop musician that would condescend to folk-music “for-it-is-sooo-charming-isn’t-it” 🙂 I will share and demonstrate these techniques that can be played, transposed, adapted to many kind of music, musicians and instruments. No snaughtiness, no requirements, no bribe, no poison-rings, no ordeal, no tantrum, no ants (I don’t like ants)! Come as you are, degemer mad = welcome :-)”