In memoriam

Since I’ve been here, we’ve lost some amazing musicians and wonderful people from both sides of the Atlantic.

From the nyckelharpa world,

Hasse Gille (d. 12/31/12)

Nyckelharpa builder and extraordinary musician. He had been in the hospital for much of the time since his visit to our class as guest teacher in September, and in ill health for many years, but his loss was/is still a widely felt shock. I was honored to be able to attend his funeral this afternoon and hear more stories and music shared around his memory.

Tage Larsson (d. 11/28/12)

Builder extraordinaire of more than 500 (!) harpas. I had enjoyed meeting him and playing one of his instruments in Borås in August. The community of nyckelharpa builders seemed somewhat stunned by the news, and dedicated some time at their early-December meeting to sharing photos and reminiscences.

(pic from Tage’s site)

From back home,

Nat Hewitt (d. 11/23/12)

Brilliant contradance fiddler from New England. The Boston Globe obit offers an engaging bio. Nat always had such a twinkle and brought such life to everything he did, it is hard to believe he could be gone.

(pic by Seth Houston)

Carolyn Pulis (d. 11/3/12)

Fiddler and dancer and dear friend back in NYC. The NYT obit offers a brief sketch. Carolyn was one of our Swedish fiddling buddies, a graceful dancer, and a true inspiration in the determination with which she met her several final years of severe health challenges. I think of her often and feel that our year here is in some way partly dedicated to her, since she would have loved to join us.

(pic by John Hall)

Arthur Cornelius (d. 10/6/12) and Samuel Green (d. 9/24/12), members of the ECD dance community in Boston and Western MA respectively, were supporters of our Kickstarter project to make this whole trip possible. In both cases I knew their wives better from the dance community than I knew them, because they were dancing less by the time I became more active in that scene, but I knew them well enough to have warm memories of friendly folk. Much sympathy and love to their families, and thanks for all you have done for us.

While I’m at it,

Scott Rose (d. 5/28/12)

Boston-area contradancer and dear friend from way back, was part of my inspiration for making this whole adventure happen this year. He had always been healthy and active, and then suddenly in 1/2012 he was hospitalized for something obscure that took months to identify, and then even more suddenly he was gone. It made me think harder about how I might better stop maybe-someday-ing about this idea and get moving. I visited him several times in the hospital while I was working on logistics for applying to ESI, so I think of the two as being linked. I missed his memorial celebration in August because it was just after I arrived in Sweden. Much love to Meredith and 7-year-old Leslie.

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