This week I’m in the far western mountains of North Carolina, on the campus of Western Carolina University, attending the Mountain Collegium Early Music and Folk Music Workshop. I have intensive classes in recorder technique, ornamenting Renaissance music, and Renaissance dance. At the end of the afternoon, my harp and I go to a folk ensemble where I am learning new tunes by ear and there are no more pesky notes to interpret.
There’s not much time between classes to get myself and my assorted instruments from one classroom to another. By the end of the day, this is what my bed looks like. (The arnica is for my ankles after the dance class.)
I’m getting to play lots of 15th and 16th century music, learning how to play and dance Bransles, Galliards, Canaries, and Pavanes, trying my hands (and lungs) on even more obscure instruments like krumhorns and cornamuses, and spending time with folks from across the country who are even more ga-ga over Medieval and Renaissance music than I am.
I am grateful to again be at this gathering of the tribe of early musicians, grateful to again see people who are becoming old friends. And I am grateful to have another place in this world where I know I truly belong.