Fiddling & the human condition | Bowing Down Home


File: arsenaultrobert-oh-fiddlersrepcultures_M.mp3


RA: Robert Arsenault

RA: A fiddler carries his own level of feeling with him when he plays. A fiddler when he plays he plays with his body. A fiddler is a dancer and his whole entire body plays. You stop a fiddler from tapping his foot or making his body go -- Do you notice the action of the arms. The whole physical thing. It's all tied into one. This feeling is being communicated to people who dance as well, that being a contagious thing but it's sort of a reciprocal thing as well. I think the Acadians just have the feeling tht they have. It is a reflection of what the whole entire karma has been up to the day they were playing the thing. It has to do with what ever historical things they went through. Like the Scottish Highlanders got kicked off their land and they ended up here. The Acadians got kicked off their lands and ended up here. The Irish fled because – you know it's all this misery that brings people together. We all inherit it, whatever it is our ancestors had before and here we are and this is what it is. But I think that feeling is probably part of it. I feel to it has to do a lot with wilderness aand nature and has to do a lot with civilization versus non-civilization.

KP: In what way?

RA: Feelings that are being transmitted in music. It has to do with urban which is the ultimate thing in civilization other than the control part of the atmosphere ... and living in the woods. What I am saying is that those musicians who get the most out of their guts are those musicians that are closest to the roots of mother nature. I think that the Scottish and the Irish and the Acadian fiddlers when they play, they will just present - I don't know if that is the proper word. Well, they are a témoin, what do you call it, a witness to the nature of things, to the nature of that person's own entire cultural inheritance. And this person is there as a manifestation of that for the particular time that he is playing.