Week 37

Noteworthy this week:

  • Surprise visit from Genticorum on Monday afternoon, which of course entailed their all trying their hands at nyckelharpa.
  • Hasse Gille came in as our guest teacher on Wednesday. His playing manages to be both rough and polished, somehow, and full of joy.
  • Banking report: it turns out we aren’t eligible to open bank accounts here after all. Which is to say, we are allowed to have a savings account, and even to have a dumbed-down version of a debit card usually used for teenagers, but not to do any internet banking. And since transferring funds to other people’s accounts is how people pay for pretty much everything here, we are relegated to a cash economy, plus our US credit cards. Argh.
  • First music theory class, fortunately with extracurricular projects (starting with a Bodapolska transcription and its inherent philosophical questions) since otherwise the higher-level group is starting out with reading simple rhythms and melodies. Great vocabulary builder, though.
  • First song class: we all now have a common repertoire of three schottis songs. The catchiest goes,

    Grannens bastu har vält omkull, och våran står och lutar.
    Bättre ha en krokig en, än att va’ alldeles utan.
    (The neighbors’ sauna has overturned, and ours is leaning.
    Better to have a crooked one than to go entirely without.)

  • First private lesson, with Ditte. Working on my bow hold. I am hoping that after I spend some more time watching videos, I will graduate to the stage where I can at least form the desired hand shape, and then I can work on trying to keep it that way while I play. On the bright side, I was pleased to discover that the beautiful tune Ditte played with Olov at the Uppsala concert and then here at our orientation is one of her own.
  • We each filmed ourselves playing a couple of tunes. This is the “before” picture, for our possible amusement/edification at the end of the school year.
  • Class pizza party on Friday evening. We all make pizzas (collaborative prep of dough and toppings, pairs/trios decorate individual pies), we scrounge for more tables and chairs to make one long festive dining table. There are singing and tuning of beer/soda bottles and (briefly) speechifying and multiple desserts and dancing of many sorts in the not-so-big space.
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