From The Folknik Jan/Feb 1999

Kate Wolf News

Song Survey Results: Fans' Favorite Kate Wolf Recordings

Several hundred Kate Wolf fans participated in a survey asking for their favorite Kate Wolf recordings.

The top five songs were:

1. Give Yourself To Love (far and away the favorite)

2. Friend Of Mine

3. Across The Great Divide

4. Eyes Of A Painter

5. Pacheco (written by Robin Williamson)

The entire Top 50 songs can be found on the Official Kate Wolf Website at http://www.katewolf.com/songs/favorites.htm. There is a general store at http://www.katewolf.com/store. You can subscribe to the Kate Wolf Newsletter by sending your name and email address to newsletter@katewolf.com.

And don't forget to save June 26 and 27. It's the weekend of the Fourth Annual Kate Wolf Memorial Music Festival. web site: http://www.katewolf.com. Includes biography, songs, albums,video, song books, order info, Owl Productions, Another Sundown Publishing, concerts. (800) 767-4748 or (415) 924-4848

Other web sites of interest to folkies

Songs Of The Gold Rush

The Library of Congress, or more specifically, a curator dedicated to folk music, has created a site highlighting Northern California folk music from the 1930s. This collection includes audio clips of songs and historical photos, adding up to 35 hours of folk music.

Web site: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/afccchtml/cowhome.html

Editor's note: It's fun to browse around here and see what you can hear-some versions are a surprise.

Golden Bough


Includes tour dates, group bios, photos, sound bytes. They will be regularly adding to and updating this site.

Managing Your Musical Creativity

Editor's Note: (Kathryn) I first saw something like this a number of years ago, in conjunction with efficiency expertise. Now it's shown up on the Internet in the context of managed care. I do believe this might qualify as an urban legend!

Schubert's Unmanaged Symphony

A managed care company president was given a ticket for a performance of Schubert's "Unfinished Symphony." Since she was unable to go, she gave the ticket to one of her managed care reviewers. The next morning she asked him how he had enjoyed it. Instead of a few observations about the symphony in general, she was handed a formal memorandum which read as follows:

1. For a considerable period, the oboe players had nothing to do. Their number should be reduced, and their work spread over the whole orchestra, avoiding peaks of inactivity.

2. All 12 violins were playing identical notes. This seems an unneeded duplication, and the staff of this section should be cut. If a volume of sound is really required, this could be accomplished with the use of an amplifier.

3. Much effort was involved in playing the 16th notes. This appears to be an excessive refinement, and it is recommended that all notes be rounded up to the nearest 8th note. If this were done it would be possible to use para-professionals instead of experienced musicians.

4. No useful purpose is served by repeating with horns the passage that has already been handled by the strings. If all such redundant passages were eliminated, then the concert could be reduced from two hours to twenty minutes.

5. The symphony had two movements. If Mr. Schubert didn't achieve his musical goals by the end of the first movement, then he should have stopped there. The second movement is unnecessary and should be cut.

In light of the above, one can only conclude that had Mr. Schubert given attention to these matters, he probably would have had time to finish the symphony.

Steve Barnes, festival producer of Fremantle, Australia, defines folk music as "music with its roots in the past but its branches wherever they choose to grow."

Shopping Around? Read This

Looking for a new instrument to play? Someone named "Mike" recently commented on the Cittern mailing list:

I recommend buying an inexpensive but not cheap instrument. A cheap instrument will make you hate playing it. If you buy a nice one, and you decide you love the cittern, you can use it as your second instrument for traveling. If you don't like it, or need the dough, a nice instrument holds its value relatively well (especially compared to computers or hi-fi equipment!)

Then luthier John Peekstok added this sage advice:

I agree with this 100%! I've seen people make two mistakes-either they decide to buy the best right off the bat, or they decide to buy cheap for their first instrument. If you buy a very nice, very expensive instrument and then decide that you don't really want to play, you will feel really, really stupid. And if you do play a lot and get pretty good, I can almost guarantee that you will have different criteria for instrument selection after a year or two. If you buy a cheap instrument it will probably not be enough fun to play or sound good enough to draw you into practicing enough. If you buy a quality mid-priced instrument, you will have a functional instrument that will keep up with your improving skills for a long time, maybe forever. And if you decide at some point to buy the instrument of your dreams, you will do so from a position of experience and knowledge of what you want in the way of feel, sound, and appearance.

Llama Humming

(And you thought they didn't know the words)

Culled from the Internet via Carl Hinrichs

Humming, being [the llamas'] predominant vocalization, has the most subtle variations. Llamas are often thought to hum when they are happy and content, but it is really quite the opposite. Llamas hum when there is a disruption from their normal, relaxed, worry-free state. They hum when they are tired, distraught, curious, hot, uncomfortable, or worried, and when mothers greet their new baby. The same hum is not used to express all these different states. When they are hot, tired, or uncomfortable, the hum sounds similar to a groan. The sound is soft, drawn out, and not very forceful. The pitch may lower towards the end of the hum. It could also get a bit more forceful and drawn out as the llama gets more uncomfortable and becomes more insistent.

When llamas are curious, they give a shorter, higher pitched hum. The pitch will get higher over the course of the hum, and it sounds like they are asking a question. They may hum this way when they notice something new, see a new llama, or are curious what you are doing in the barn, or field, or both.

Llamas who are distraught or worried, usually from being left alone or weaning, produce another type of hum. This hum is higher pitched, but of longer duration and quite forceful. Because it is produced with a lot of force, it is often one of the louder hums. There is a worried, panicked tone to the hum, which makes it distinct from the others.

The last type of hum is produced by a mother communicating with her new cria. The hum is smooth, medium-pitched, and of moderate duration. It can sound very mellow and relaxed or more excited depending on the personality of the dam. It is done to greet the cria, reassure it, and begin creating a bond.

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