I’m a cellist. And I wouldn’t want to be anything else (except maybe a professional coffeehouse wanderer.) But every once in a while I can’t help but wish I could fiddle. It just sounds so fun, with the beautifully played complex string crossings, rhythms, and ornaments and I love the Irish melodies. (I must get it from my Grandmother Mitchell.)
But most of this incredible music isn’t meant for the cello – it is property of violinists. I sadly accept that, except those rare moments when I say “No! They don’t get to shut us out of this!” and I run back to the studio to try my hand at it for a few hours…until my coffee cup runs dry.
So, during these odd moments in my career I have collected a few books that I truly enjoy receiving inspiration from, and I’d love to share it with you!
Favorite Celtic Melodies – This I love for sight reading with my younger students. It is great for early book 2 and fun to introduce some drones and ornaments.
Castles, Kirks, and Caves – Wonderful for book 3+ students as they can get quite complicated. This is also where we can start to alter melodies to fit our cellos.
The Irish Cello Book: Traditional Tunes & Techniques by Liz Davis Maxfield – If you really want to know how to adapt the cello/use it properly with Irish fiddle music, this is your manifesto. I particularly love the parts about how to adapt tunes to sound good on our cellos without ruining the music.
So, there you have it. Until the fiddle bug attacks again, I will leave you with a wonderful fiddling cellist Natalie Haas playing with her sister:
>>photos by @creativecoffee, filters by afterlight