Society of American Music, 2016 Conference Paper
Presenting a paper on the music of Tommy Doucet, “The Art Deco Fiddling of Tommy Doucet,” at the 2016 annual conference of the Society of American Music to be held in Boston in March, 2016. The abstract explains;
“A look at New England urban fiddling as exemplified by Franco fiddler, Tommy Doucet, a legendary player in and around the Boston area in the mid-20th century. Noted for his elegant and sophisticated style he drew repertoire from a wide spectrum of popular dance music of the time as well as from the traditional fiddling repertoire of jigs, reels and hornpipes. His musical style can be compared to the predominant visual design style of the mid-20th century – art deco.”
2014 Passim Iguana Fund Production Grant
This project will include a CD recording of music gleaned from my collection of old and rare New England and Canadian Maritimes fiddle music including rare manuscripts, hand–written music notebooks, early 20th century published music books, home-recorded 78rpm discs, reel-to-reel tapes, LP records and cassettes. The project will also include both web-based and printed book transcriptions and histories of tune sources, players and influences.
|There are no frets on the fingerboard of a fiddle. The fiddler learns to step and half-step by feel, by instinct, on a sliding scale of infinite tonal possibilities.So the process begins, first the mechanical, the tackle, the tuning, scales. Then the language, the rhythm of jigs and reels, slides and polkas, hornpipes and airs.Turns and triplets, the left and right hand stepping
and dancing out the flavor of the tune, sliding and
vibrating to that ancientorder of notes. The fiddler knows only the view from the fingerboard.
It’s the view I know best.