Dandelionslayer earned his master's degree in the middle of nowhere. Socorro, NM, is the county seat of a mostly empty county. It's perfect for studying astrophysics, but a little dry in other ways. Fortunately, past presidents of NMT recognized the difficulty of luring quality faculty to such a place, and took steps. Trees were planted, lawns watered. A golf course was installed. A performing arts center was built, and a pretty impressive series of artists were invited to perform. And when we were there, at least, student tickets were cheap or free. So we took in quite a few shows.
Preferring cheap and free ourselves, we usually took the tiny Caterpillar with us. We became known to the lady in charge of the performances, and she regarded us more or less favorably. As she introduced one concert, she mentioned that she was pleased to see some children in the audience. "If," she warned, "your baby should happen to cry"--and the Caterpillar wailed, right on cue. Everyone laughed, and I spent most of that show in the lobby.
I remember leaving him with a babysitter for a particular show. Some Celtic-type band was supposed to come, but at the last minute they couldn't make it. Instead, a young fiddler from Cape Breton Island arrived to entertain us. Okay, she's our age, but we were young, too. And Natalie MacMaster certainly did entertain us. We were hooked. We went to see her again when she made a quick stop in Albuquerque, a few days before Scoot was due. We caught a free show she did in Savannah. Dandelionslayer and I went to see her Christmas concert in Seattle. So we were excited to see that she was coming to the area again last week. This time, we took the Caterpillar along, because we knew he'd love the concert, too. He didn't wail once.
The music she plays tugs on my Scottish roots, but what I really love is the sheer joy and energy that she radiates while playing. Here's the Volcanic Jig. It's one of Natalie MacMaster's own compositions, but she plays the traditional tunes with the same fire.
Parable of the Pit
5 weeks ago