By Didier François
My Article is about how to avoid tendon injuries by playing in a relaxed way. It is not an attack to other techniques, neither a "better" way to play. Its my personal experience that I like to share with everybody who wants to hear about it.
Today, tendonitis is a well known phenomenon. I have struggled for many years with this problem. The technique of the world famous violinist Arthur Grumiaux saved me. I discovered that a relaxed way of playing is the only way to get rid of the pain. I have created my own position (holding the instrument) for the bow technique and have also fine tuned the left hand position).
In this essay I would like to reach out a hand to all players who may also face the same problem. I will attempt to do this by combining technical explanations with examples of movements we use in everyday life.
For about 20 years now I teach and play the nyckelharpa and I have the chance to make a living out of it! I like to do researches on sound, technique, groove, musical expression ...
In this instrument I also found a good partner to express my creativity in many compositions and improvisations. More and more I specialize in playing in a polyphonic way.
About 15 years ago Marco Ambrosini and I met at a festival in France. We talked a lot about our passion for the nyckelharpa and a nice cooperation started, both attracted by the fact that we were doing, in a certain way, the same thing.
We thought it was rather strange and a pity there were not so much links in between all that was happening around this strange unknown key fiddle. Many people around the world are playing, working, searching, teaching, composing, without really or easily knowing about each other. Something had to be done!
And today I am happy other people thought similarly! I am more than thankful about the CADENCE project. We finally had the chance to share ideas, music and different points of view with people from five European countries.
I hope this will be only a starting point for the spreading and the evolution of a very old string instrument that still has so much mysteries to be discovered.