Le Rêve Du Quêteux Tremblay

from by Eileen Ivers

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Le Rêve Du Quêteux Tremblay / Le Bedeau De L’Enfer

The Canadians inherited a rich tradition of songs and dances from northern France, including the Celtic nation of Brittany. Music from the Irish and Scottish settlers also interacted with this tradition. Canada and Ireland share a rich history. After the long trans-Atlantic passage, many Irish arrived on the shores of America and Canada. Many ships at that time came to a small island lying about 30 miles east of Quebec City, named Le Grosse-Ile. This island is Canada’s poignant and visible link with Ireland’s Great Hunger. It was designated as a quarantine stop-over for European immigrants to the New World.

There is a mass famine grave with over 5,000 Irish buried there. On a visit to the island in 1994, former Irish president, Mary Robinson, recognized the wonderful French Canadian people as well as the horrors of famine. “I was struck by the sheer power of commemoration and I was also aware that, even across time and distance, tragedy must be seen as human and not historic, and that to think of it in national terms alone can obscure that fact …Famine is not only humanly destructive, it is culturally disfiguring. The Irish who died at Grosse Ile were men and women with plans and dreams of future achievements. It takes from their humanity and individuality to consider them merely as victims …As I stood looking at Irish graves, I was also listening to the story of the French-Canadian families who braved fever and shared their food, who took the Irish into their homes and into their heritage.”

These are two reels from the French-Canadian tradition. The first is based on the Scottish tune Archie Menzie and is called Le Rêve du Quêteux Tremblay (Beggar Tremblay’s Dream). Québécois fiddler André Alain learned it from itinerant fiddler William Tremblay. Le Bedeau de l’Enfer(the beadle of hell) is an example of acrooked reel in the French-Canadian tradition. As a way to synchronize the music and dance, a fascinating part of the tradition is the use of podorythmie (foot percussion) that drives the beat and provides a strong backbone to the melody. The folklore of this reel also involves another itinerant fiddler, Thomas Pomerleau, who once promised a priest he would throw his fiddle in the wood stove to receive absolution. After receiving it, he promptly pulled the violin out again from the stove that he never lit!

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from Beyond the Bog Road, released March 4, 2016
{Trad. Arr.: Ivers, 3:14}

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Eileen Ivers New York, New York

Eileen Ivers will change the way you think of the violin.
Grammy awarded,
Emmy nominated,
“a sensation"- Billboard
"Jimi Hendrix of the violin"-NY Times.
Pushes trad fiddle boundaries from folk music staple to intensely driving world stage experience
…performer,composer,producer,songwriter,bandleader,educator,multi-instrumentalist,pioneer,connects her American,Irish trad,jazz, blues,and world roots
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