Garkelien & Djembe

 

Renaissance Junkies Go For Baroque


FOR THE fourth consecutive year in a row, David Reed was asked to provide the music for The Bidwell House Museum's annual fundraiser (www.bidwellhousemuseum.org). The Bidwell House, built in the mid-18th century was the parsonnage of the Rev. Adonijah Bidwell and is one of Monterey, MA's earliest dwellings was to be the setting for the annual gala. As he typically had done in previous years, David was preparing a program of mostly instrumental music played upon guitar, banjo and cigar box instruments. But this year, the Bidwell Board of Directors decided they wanted "music that Reverend Bidwell might have listened to...maybe some recorder music might be nice?"

Uh-oh. Not entirely sure of what ol' Adonijhah might have been groovin' to back in the 1750s (or how !), and never having been too fluent with a recorder, Reed was momentarily flummoxed. But then, he had a flash of inspiration!

Miss Mary, of course! Known for her prowess with her flutes, Mary Knysh is also redolently reliable with recorders. A quick phone call to the peripatetic Miss Mary procured her and six of her recorders for the November Bidwell benefit! Not only would attendees be enthralled by her soprano and alto recorders, they would also share the shrill excitement of her diminutive 5" Garkelein and the deep voice of her giant 48" bass recorder as they played the Baroque and Renaissance music of Praetorius, Bach and Wilhelm the Elder. Besides taking up space, David agreed to provide accompaniment to the mellifluous melee by harmonizing the recorder tunes with his guitar and providing spritely percussion parts with his djembe, though not at the same time.

At one point, the duo decided to improvise quasi baroque/jazz inspired melodies with bass recorder, djembe and foot tambourine. This resulted in benefit participants gathering around, spell-bound and crying out "Bravo! More, more!" It was at this point that David solemnly quipped the new duo would be coined "The Renaissance Junkies" and that their music "would likely gather momentum and influence as American society regresses further into the Dark Ages."

Rumor has it that The Renaissance Junkies will return to benefit the Rev. Bidwell next year. Go figure.

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