Sunday, 2 October 2011

The Nordic Fiddlers Bloc

An evening reversing slowly across my kitchen at the end of a rapidly-lengthening rope made of sanitary disposal bags from the Scourie Hotel. The thin waxy paper makes a nice cubist sort of rope, which I'm thinking of interleaving with the rich brown rope of iris leaves collected in Skye and Uist. So a memento of the 'Poet's Tour' much in the line of Caroline Dear's make a rope a day collection...I wish I'd got to see this in Inverness.

For rope-making best choose new music you want to hear over and over again, in this case the eagerly-awaited Nordic Fiddlers Bloc CD (comes with Norwegian stamp!) that was waiting for me when I got home. You might remember me going on about them after 'Fiddle Frenzy' this year. If it reminds me of anything I've ever heard before it's 'Appalachia Waltz' by Yo Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer and Mark O'Connor. The (NFB) sound is constantly self-contradictory: wobbling in the best way between poised and unhinged; eerie and airy; acetic and ascetic, dissonant, inordinate, rapturous, just as the new October light is here. Also often earthy, as in the case of 'Maria's 27th Birthday Plattgympa' with its oscillation between lewd and douce. (I wish there was on youtube a clip of Anders Hall demonstrating the plattgympa (dance); all the more reason to try and see them live...)

It's the nature of harvest (hairst) to be a rich and melancholy time – the lambs are being driven by quadbikes around the knolls and eventually into the trailers, five whiting were swinging, yesterday, from the neighbour's washing line, drying; leaves and shaws in the veg garden rusting and rotting even as my purple turnips continue to burgeon. I've hung some coriander sprigs up in the kitchen, in case the green seeds dry enough to use for spice. It's not winter yet, but autumn's a blink here, almost as it is in the Arctic, and there's two new snow tyres on the back seat of the car, waiting to be fitted.

Busy time: rope, the first online workshop for the Poetry School tomorrow night, mentoring deadlines, and trips to readings and workshops in London and Lancaster in the next couple weeks. I'm making fleeting edits to the 'Byssus' poems on the basis of the recent readings. More about all this later perhaps...


Big mamma frog said...

I'm trying to imagine sanitary bag rope. Is it plaited? Or twisted under tension?

Hope there'll be a photo when you're done.

Jen Hadfield said...

it's cut into thin strips and then bound in two strands. It's one of those things hard to describe and easy to demonstrate!