Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Magic of Playing the Spoons

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The Magic of Playing the Spoons
It was one of those amazing moments when everything happened all at once.  I am not sure that I have found the words that describe the moments that were taking place.  We were all caught up in what was happening.
And for myself nothing could be more true.  I had spent hours upon hours preparing the wood carvings and now they were being used and appreciated by everyone that was close enough to hear what was happening.
Yes you read that right. They hear the wood carving – not just see or touch the carvings.
What am I talking about?  That something is the variety of Wooden Spoons that I have created and use at the Wood Carving Shows that I present my wares at.
The original idea of paying the spoons is as old a spoon itself.  In the Wikipedia presentation of all things “Spoons” it states, “In Canada, the spoons accompany fiddle playing in Québecois and Acadian music. They are rarely seen in other parts of Canada.
“Playing the Spoons” can be done with the spoons we eat with or Wooden Salad Spoons.  But if you will take some time to read a bit of this link “Spoons – Musical Instrument” you can catch the thought that perhaps the original percussion was played on Sheep Bones – ribs to be exact… which was called “Playing the Bones”.  And it is all related to playing the Castanets… two hand held pieces of wood that are rattled together.
On the Web Site dedicated to Folk Music I read that “Some people think the playing of the bones was part of a spiritual tradition that loosed the spirit of the animal, or channeled the animal's positive spiritual benefits.Link
History is rich with information about two pieces of wood, bones or metal spoons being hit together while great music is being played.
I am convinced that the Playing of Spoons (or Bones) wakens a deep excitement in everyone that hears this special and “pioneer” kind of music being played.
I have been playing the spoons for a number of years now – BUT – nothing could be compared to what took place a Lang Pioneer Village last Saturday and Sunday night at their Christmas by Candlelight – December 7 & 8.  My Spoons were played – oh were they ever played… and I have the video evidence that shows the magic of what took place over the 8 hours of time(off and on) we were together.
Something to note, most of the folk that took up the spoons and began following along had never tried the playing the spoons before.  The magic of the spoons captured player after player.  It took a mere minute or maybe two before the spoon musicians had a fair grasp of what they should do.  That was especially true with four young ladies that joined me for the two nights as volunteers.  They were Emma (my granddaughter) and her three friends from High School, Danika, Myah and Brooklynne.  Wow – were they ever good.
Here are the Video Links that will allow you to get caught up into the moment with these young players.  One of the Links show what power is involved with what was happening – even Santa Claus (Father Christmas) joined in the playing of the spoons!!!

Longer video – Misty Hollow Carving at Lang Pioneer Village 2013 Christmas by Candlelight

Video contributed by Jacques B. Surveyer, a Guest at Lang Pioneer Village – Spoon Players at Lang Pioneer Village”

Each set of spoons that I have carved and produced has a unique sound. Each one set played by itself has a certain way that it blends into the music being played.  But putting the sets of spoons together, each with their different sounds, was plain magic. And for me as the wood carver there was nothing more of a “Wow Moment”. It was truly magical!!!  What I had created was now doing exactly what I hoped it would do.
Hey… if you have nothing to do some day and just happen by the place where we are playing the spoons… I would love to have you join in with us and do some music together.
~ Murray Lincoln ~
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