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Fiddling in Alaska & The Canadian Yukon Territory
Take off, eh! To the Great White North, you hosers!
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ELCBK
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June 23, 2022 - 1:20 am
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FANTASTIC FIDDLERS... way up in the Great White North, where you might not expect them! 

Found a great little 29 minute film from 1994, "Fiddler on the Loose" - about Fiddler Joe Loutchan, up in Whitehorse, Yukon.  The colorful kind of fiddler you could listen to all night - playing GREAT music! 

 

 

https://offtracktravel.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/4-essential-items-you-must-bring-on-any-road-trip-in-yukon-territory-northern-canada-500x750.jpg

 

← you guess the 1st item?  ...a FIDDLE! 

 

@Georganne -

I was thinking of you, being you're much further North than us, here in Michigan.  Just had the hottest evening (weather wise) since 1933! 

Do you folks have any local fiddling legends in your area of Alaska? 

- Emily

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ELCBK
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Classical music imagery of the Klondike Gold Rush in Alaska & the Canadian Yukon, between 1896 - 1899, "Klondike Fiddles" a compilation of 2 melodies arranged by Andrew H. Dabczynski - "March of the Gold Miners" and "Crooked Stovepipe"

 

 

Klondike-Alaska Gold Rush

 

...in case some of you don't know where the saying, "Take off, eh!  To the Great White North, you hosers!" originated - it started with SCTV comedy skits of Rick Moranis & Dave Thomas, back in the early 1980's, and soon became a craze.  https://www.thecanadianencyclo.....icle/hoser

- Emily

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June 23, 2022 - 4:19 am
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I learned of a new Fiddling Genre - "Athabaskan Style"

Some very interesting history on how two, distinct types developed - "Upriver - Gwich'in" & "Downriver - Koyukon".

Bill Stevens, Fort Yukon - legendary Fiddler, Teacher, International Ambassador of Fiddle Music! 

Charlie Peter - Gwich'in Fiddler, filmed in 1972 (Craig Mishler). 

Downriver Koyukon love song - "Eagle Island Blues", composed by Tom Patsy.  My favorite version is performed by Boyd Benjamin, Keitha Clark and Kate Weekes. 

 

Great origin story of Tom Patsy's tune and more about Athabaskan fiddle music, from Alaska Magazine, here: 

Athabascan Fiddle Music

https://d3525k1ryd2155.cloudfront.net/h/603/625/1269625603.0.m.jpg

 

"The Crooked Stovepipe: Athapaskan Fiddle Music and Square Dancing in Northeast Alaska and Northwest Canada", by Craig Mishler.

Quite interesting preview on Amazon, so I ordered a copy of the book off eBay. 

 

- Emily

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June 23, 2022 - 5:38 am
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"Lonesome For The Yukon", composed by Andy Greatrix of Alberta (Sue Ward).

 

"Klondike Two Step", by Frankie Rodgers of British Columbia (BPMONKMAN).

 

https://i0.wp.com/anjviola.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/IMG_7279.jpg?ssl=1

 

 

← Kelutviaq (or Qelutviaq), one string fiddle of the Yup’ik people, Alaska, late 19th century!

- Emily

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https://www.crwflags.com/fotw/images/x/xa-ntgw2.gif

Well, I finally got into reading "The Crooked Stovepipe" - Athapaskan Fiddle Music and Square Dancing in Northeast Alaska and Northwest Canada (post 3)

Craig Mishler has a wonderful way of writing - intertwining history with stories in a way that made me feel I was a part and witness to the birth of Gwich'in fiddling in this area, but also returns me home to the modern interpretation/expression of this music! 

This regional style comes from the British Isles, French Canada and the American South, so it's Metis Fiddling - but there's some unusual transcriptions and tunes new to me.  Besides great history, there's also fun facts... as late as the 50's I might've been asked to dance by a kick in the leg & a yank out on the floor!  Dances lasted all night, like "endurance contests" - and to be asked to spell a fiddler was quite the recognition.  Good fun, alcohol & drug free.

I still have a little ways to go, but this has proven to be enjoyable reading - worth getting a great look at fiddling up in the North West!  

 

"Charlie Peter Charlie’s Rabbit Dance" - performed by Katie Jane Lubiens.  Charlie Peter Charlie (1919-2008) was a well known Gwich'in Fiddler and elected Chief of the Vuntut Gwitch'in! 

 

 

More Metis Fiddle tunes and info in these threads: 

French Canadian Fiddle Tunes Thread

Canadian Critter Tunes Thread

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