TAUNY to hold several events about making folk instruments
Saturday, July 15, 2017 - 8:31 am

CANTON -- TAUNY (Traditional Arts in Upstate New York) is inviting Northern New York residents to attend several upcoming documentation events focusing on the making and keeping of folk instruments such as fiddles, guitars, and other instruments that are part of regional, community, or family musical traditions.

These documentation days are a part of TAUNY’s next research project and exhibit, “Instrumental Stories: North Country Folk Instrument Making and Collecting.”

The documentation events will be:

Tuesday, July 18, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., at Brick and Mortar Music in Potsdam;

Thursday, July 20, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., at The TAUNY Center in Canton;

Wednesday, Aug. 23, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., at the Mennonite Heritage Farm in Croghan;

Wednesday, Aug. 30, 4-7 p.m., at BluSeed Studios in Saranac Lake;

Further dates will be listed at www.tauny.org.

Whether or not they play music themselves, many North Country residents connect to musical traditions through instruments. Over the coming months, in preparation for a spring 2018 exhibit, TAUNY is documenting makers, keepers, and collectors of folk instruments and the stories that go with those instruments, their creation, and their use.

For this project, instrument-makers might include anyone from a professional luthier who supplies a whole community to someone who just wanted to try making an instrument and improvised one from materials on hand.

Instruments people keep might be an uncle’s fiddle or guitar, a piano their grandmother played for kitchen dances, or a classical instrument that was used to play in a folk tradition.

These instruments might be home-made, hand-made, or factory-made, originally from the North Country or brought here from other regions or countries. Some people might have one treasured family instrument, while others might have whole collections built over the years.

Interested participants should bring the instrument if possible (or a representative instrument if part of a collection) and be prepared to fill out a questionnaire about their instrument(s) and related stories.

The form will also be available ahead of time online at www.tauny.org.

Appointments during the documentation hours are encouraged.

Documentation events will be led by Camilla Ammirati, TAUNY research and programs director. Contact Camilla at [email protected] or 315-386-4289 to make an appointment, with any questions, or if you can’t attend a documentation event but have an instrument and story to share.

More information about this research project is available at www.tauny.org.

Additional information can also be found in the following interview with Camilla Ammirati and NCPR’s Todd Moe which aired 7/12/17: https://www.northcountrypublicradio.org/news/story/34278/20170712/a-sear... .