Welcome to the Symposium
of the North Atlantic Fiddle Convention 2018!
This year’s theme is Dialects and Dialogues: Fiddling and Dancing across Oceans and Continents, and we are delighted to welcome four eminent keynote speakers to discuss fiddling in different parts of the world. Jacqueline Codgell DjeDje will be speaking about her research into West African Fiddle playing, Mark Slobin will be talking about Klezmer fiddle, Heather Sparling will be discussing Cape Breton fiddle and dance, and Maurice Henderson will be discussing his research into fiddling and dance in Shetland and Greenland. We also have an exciting, diverse number of presenters plus some interesting new projects at the symposuim. Laura Risk and Nic Gareiss will be curating a ‘performance as research’ element to the conference as a way of bridging the gap between academia and music performance, and we will be running an ethnographic film series, hosted by Danny Diamond.
Fiddle and fiddle-dance traditions can be found in many cultures across the world. Diversity in terms of organology and timbre, repertoire and composition practice, rhythms and tempo, performance context and function, is demonstrated through the instrument’s versatility and dynamism. North Atlantic Fiddle Convention 2018 will celebrate the outstanding nature of fiddle and dance across oceans and continents, combining an international academic symposium with performances and workshops to create an event devoted to exploring and sharing cultures, traditions and heritages. The convention will highlight the ways in which the fiddle, fiddle music, and associated dance styles transcend boundaries of all kinds – geographical, political, and cultural – creating new traditions and fresh musical insights.
While the focus of symposiums in the past has been the countries surrounding the northern part of the North Atlantic (mostly the UK, Ireland, Scandinavia, Canada and the United States), we are extending this in 2018 to include mainland Europe, Central and South America, West Africa, and other parts of the world where there are notable fiddle traditions, in order to broaden the discussion and explore the use of fiddle and other bowed string instruments in a variety of performance contexts.