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Thread: The unknown musician.

  1. #1
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    Default The unknown musician.

    Some friends own a bit of land out in the country. With some wood left over from a project they built a stage and invited a few friends round for an "open mike" evening to celebrate a birthday. Guests welcome to bring a tent. Right at the end of the evening this guy turned up, got on the stage played his mandolin and then went. Nobody knows who he is or how he got to hear about the party. A wonderful end to the day.

    Next morning it looked like Glastonbury, after the festival.




    The rumour is that he once was in a well-known group.
    Last edited by Rembrandt Rob; 07-13-2011 at 10:37 AM.

  2. #2

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    I can't help you to identify who he is BUT it's great that you are posting more of your videos. Looked like a great night.

  3. #3
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    It was. Considering that by this time of night I was completely out of my tree, I'm surprised that I managed to video anything at all!

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    You know what? I loved that. Ok, shots are a tad wobbly........ but you were blitzed so full marks for even remembering to press record.

    Good sound - how did you record it?

    (It's Sting by the way in his usual 'hippie' disguise and the track was Roxanne played in this instance in D Minor)

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    "Identiy the instrument" would be an equally good title. I'd never come across a 12 string mandolin and even Wikipedia's entry on mandolins doesn't mention such a beast.
    However a search for 12-string mandolin does indeeed bring up a number of results. It would appear that, unlike "normal" eight string mandolins, which are strung in pairs, a triple string mandolin is strung in triples (four sets of three)

    However, this instrument is clearly designed to be strung in six pairs (like a 12 string guitar) - although it looks to me like the muso has only strung one of each pair.

    With the use of echoplex, his looks and his demeanour, I'd have said the muso was John Martyn, but as he died a couple of years ago, I think your friend's "festival" was viseted by a ghost. That sort of thing happens in Cornwall.

    Loveley shots and sound by the way.
    Tim

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    It does sound a bit like John Martyn in his "Solid Air" phase but (a) this guy didn't sing and I can't imagine JM not singing at a gig and (b) he had both legs. But, as you pointed out, the clincher is that John Martyn is, in fact, dead. You're right about Cornwall though, even a hardened atheist realist non-believer like me sometimes finds the atmosphere here a bit other-worldly. I think it's more likely to be a former member of a group like King Crimson or Caravan.

    As for the instrument, I've seen all sorts of weird and wonderful things down here ranging from a seven-string guitar to a ten-string mandolin-like beast. If it's got strings and makes a noise then, in Cornwall, someone sooner or later will turn up in a pub with one.

    I was happily enjoying the atmosphere when he started to play and I got that "I've got to record this" feeling. So I staggered to the car and grabbed the camera and a recorder. I plonked either an Edirol R-02 or an Zoom H2 (I honestly can't remember which one I used) at the front of the stage and then tried to get some shots. Working when stoned is not my normal state but prancing about on stage with a camera is relatively automatic. Of course, at the time I was convinced that everything was rock-steady but then how many times have you cut something after a few drinks, only to look at it the next day with a "What the hell was I thinking?" feeling.

    I'm a bit miffed that, in uploading to Youtube, there seems to be a slight loss of sync. The original is frame-perfect.

    Edit: Midnight, I meant to say Edirol R-09 or Zoom H2.
    Last edited by Rembrandt Rob; 07-14-2011 at 10:41 AM.

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    Could it be a Giannini CraViola 12 string guitar as played by Jimmy Page.
    giannini_01.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rembrandt Rob View Post
    As for the instrument, I've seen all sorts of weird and wonderful things down here ranging from a seven-string guitar to a ten-string mandolin-like beast. If it's got strings and makes a noise then, in Cornwall, someone sooner or later will turn up in a pub with one.
    I have happy memories of the William IV in Truro where Wednesday night used to be (maybe still is) jam night. A bunch of us holidayed is a small village nearby for several years when I was in my late teens/early 20s and we'd always take instruments. One week I turned up with my flute - and this was a little unusual in the late 70s - boy was I in demand. My general incompetence on the instrument and being a grockle seemed to present no barrier to being invited to join in.

    Still working on the muso...
    Tim

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