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Yearly Archives: 2018

Mnase Graduation

By | Blog, Tanzania | No Comments

In 2003 when we first visited Mnase village education was not a priority for children, for all sorts of reasons. Things have changed and this year they just had their ninth graduation – very excited to receive these pictures from our contact Seth. #VFTN2018

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Stringed Instruments

By | Strings | No Comments

For thousands of years people have used the simple technique of vibrating strings to create sound and harmony. Bowed, plucked or hit we have been amazed at the incredible sounds that we have heard on our travels, created by sinew, fishing line, string and wire.

Crwth

By | Strings | No Comments

Another instrument that intrigued me whilst in Wales was the crwth, one of Wales’ oldest instruments. It is a form of stringed lyre which is played with a bow and which has a range of just one octave. Cass Meurig is one of the leading exponents of this wonderful instrument.

Welsh Triple Harp

By | Strings | No Comments

Rebekah and I have just come back from spending 8 days traveling around the south of Wales exploring some of the ancient Celtic sites. During this time we also discovered more of the rich history of music and song. The unique triple harp originated in Italy in the 16th Century yet became so popular in Wales that it is now known as the Welsh harp.

Tabwrdd drum

By | Drums | No Comments

IMG_0933After an evening of listening to storytelling and songs from Ray Hughes in a church in Milford Haven I got to play a tabwrrd, a traditional Welsh drum. That day I had been doing some research about this instrument and found out that there was only one drum maker in the whole of Wales who still made this traditional drum. So you can imagine my joy in turning up to a church who had a drum made by this same company. Two days later I met the makers and I am now excited to tell you that they are now in the process of making me a drum. Read More

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Sounds from the Voice box

By | Voice | No Comments

There are so many incredible sounding instruments that we have encountered on our travels, yet there is nothing quite like the human voice for it’s range, diversity and uniqueness. From Tuvan throat singing practised amongst nomadic Mongolian farmers to the South Indian art of vocal percussion called Konnakol, every culture, people group and religion uses their vocal chords to produce singing. In some communities, it is so much a part of life that everyone participates, ie. Central African pygmies where everyone is an incredible vocalist and is able to sing complex yodeling.

Water drumming

By | Drums | No Comments

I love how rhythm starts with what you have around you. In some places it’s as simple as water! The Baka woman from Cameroon, Gabon and Congo use the sounds of water to accompany their songs – as do the woman of Vanuatu, a volcanic archipelago in the south Pacific.

New Windows

By | Tanzania | No Comments

Due to high winds and a dust storm the medical dispensary in Tanzania has taken a hit with many broken windows. VFTN are sending resources to renew glass and curtains.

Building a teepee

By | First Nations | No Comments

It was such an honour to be part of a gathering of Celtic and First Nations musicians in Nova Scotia. During the gathering we built a teepee (during which we got eaten by tons of midges!!) on the grounds and enjoyed a very special night with Frank and Josie from the Mi’kmaq people. They led us in a very special ceremony around the fire after which we celebrated with drum, singing and the talking stick was passed around.

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A fishy story!

By | First Nations | 2 Comments

2018 has been a difficult year for the local people as the fisheries department had not allowed net fishing due to the extremely low numbers of Chinook Salmon returning to the Stikine river. Fishing is not only the livelihood for this region but has major cultural significance as whole families gather, celebrate and live in communal fishing camps when the salmon are running! Read More