Fiddle Forays: New Beginnings and the First Post!

Hello everyone! I am beyond excited to share this new website with you! My name is Hannah Harris, and I am a performer, scholar, blogger, and occasional teacher of Irish traditional music in the northern Michigan area. This website serves two main purposes: one is to keep you all up to date with future gigs and to provide another method of contact if any of you are looking to hire a performer or a fiddle teacher. The second purpose is this blog! I love to write, and I love to network and learn about other people’s perspectives on the Irish tradition; however, having completed my time with academia, I find that I have to create these opportunities for myself if I want to further my knowledge on the music. One of my solutions? Start getting my voice out there, and write!

Photo by Holly Conners

To give you a bit of my background, I was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina, an area which is still very near and dear to my heart. I’ve also lived in Georgia and South Carolina, but then in 2016 I made a complete geographical leap when I decided to pursue my Masters Degree in Ethnomusicology at University College of Cork in Ireland. Needless to say, I had a wonderful year immersing myself in the music, playing in pubs or on windy beaches, and making long lasting friendships with some truly wonderful people. I used to think that home was a fixed geographical place, but now I am more inclined to think that I have many homes, simply because there are so many people I’ve met all over the world who just make me happy! I ended up moving to Michigan when I returned to the US (yes, I got the Masters!), and after surviving the coldest and longest winter of my life, I am feeling relieved to get back into longer, warmer days and more opportunities to play my fiddle both inside and out! There’s nothing quite like sitting by the water, sawing away at a few tunes…

So what can you all expect to see in this blog? At the moment I am not traveling much, but I have plenty of untold stories from my year in Cork as well as a few others from past trips (I may need to knock on wood here, but I have become an expert at flirting my way onto even the smallest of planes with my fiddle case). I’ve also started teaching fiddle lessons this past year, so it’s probably time to revive and revise those old and slightly camera awkward YouTube fiddle tip videos, which you can find here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49KBmOeHgeQ . I also love to go on rants about Irish music and how it’s different from Celtic music. It just might have something to do with writing a 50+ page Masters thesis on the topic last summer… what can I say, I had to pick something I’d be obsessed with for a long time!

While I may be sharing my story and writing about the things that are interesting to me, I want you all to gain something out of it too! Whether you are a fellow fiddler looking for a fresh perspective, a classical musician trying to incorporate an Irish style or technique to your playing, or just someone who likes to learn new things and is wondering what the heck “ethnomusicology” is, I invite you all to follow along, ask questions, and tell me what you want to know more about! Thank you for joining me in my fiddle forays, and I look forward to sharing more content with you very soon! Stay tuned!