I’ve reached the end-of-the-road with my Little Wooden Friend Geknackt. Geknackt, if you don’t know, is my vintage ’70’s Dolmetsch alto recorder, who has been alongside me on quite an adventure this summer. My trusty friend was there with me at the Amherst Early Music Festival in July, when I experienced a near-biblical conversion into the world of early music and historical performance practice. I have practiced this instrument every day since. I was accepted as a student into the studio of a magnificent teacher, and now have two similarly magnificent new altos on trial loan from Boston’s Von Huene workshop. This new purchase means that my Dolmetsch will be retired – shelved, but not discarded.
It seemed right to bid my LWF adieu with a crazy video. After all, it was our first video “together” that got me started down this whole road. The tune here is Tico-Tico no fubá, a Brazilian choro song which literally means “Sparrow in the Cornmeal.” My articulation here sounds a little bit like a sparrow trapped in cornmeal. BUT – if you can somehow disregard the terrible hand/arm position and the even worse articulation, perhaps you can imagine that I spent FOREVER playing this tune. It involves more chromaticism than all of the Handel I’ve been working on. So, adios Gekanckt, and thanks for a summer of good times.