11/06/2018: "Saturday: Fiddle Group Childsplay"
From humble dance halls to world music audiences in Sweden and public radio audiences throughout the United States, Childsplay has introduced many thousands to the delights of fiddle music, and will be coming to Friday Harbor's San Juan Community Theatre on November 10 for a truly spectacular and musical evening as part of their final farewell tour.
From rural dance halls to The Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C., and from world music audiences in Europe to public radio listeners at home, Childsplay has been touring the United States and Europe since 1988. This will be their 30th anniversary tour. Supporting the twelve fiddlers is an all-star band, including an All-Ireland harpist, a driving rhythm section of guitar, banjo, bass and cellos, a virtuosic Irish flute player, stepdancers and the world’s foremost hambonist.
What is unique about Childsplay and central to the concept behind every performance is that all the fiddlers in the group perform on violins that violinmaker Bob Childs has made for them in his shop in Boston, hence the genesis and the double entendre on their name Childsplay. So their special sound lies not only in the skill of the musicians but in the warm familial timbre of the instruments they play.
Perhaps the heart of this camaraderie and the unique nature of this group is evident in one of the songs it performs:
“But I was made to play the fiddle
To hear it sing
To hear the angels dream of softer wings
Here Devils stop and scream
Where does the music come from
Where does it go
I may know, I may know, bye and bye
I draw the bow and I feel my heart fly”
From The Fiddler’s Hymn, Pete Sutherland
Pete is the producer of the soon to be released seventh album from Childsplay entitled The Bloom of Youth.
The group's passion, authenticity and artistry declare that traditional music, song, and dance are alive and well in North America. Captivating, inspiring, entertaining, life-affirming, call it what you will, the stick-to-your-ribs fiddling of Childsplay has become a jewel in the crown of American music.