Erskine Morris (1913 – 1997)

Erskine Morris (1913 – 1997)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Cyril Devouge at Pembroke

Jimmy from New Jersey has posted another great video of Cyril and Brigid at Pembroke in the mid-1990s.

Here we have Cyril playing a great driving tune he told me he learned from his best friend growing up, Roland White, of Bois-Brulé.

Cyril really gets into this tune and his bowing is just incredible. This is a great video to watch if you are trying to get a hold of those machine-gun-like string crossings that are characteristic of Cyril's and many other Gaspesians' style. These really sharpen the tune up and contrast with the smooth bowing in the other phrases.

Also, you can really here Cyril's strong footwork here and towards the end, you'll here him do a few double time foot steps to kick it up a notch.

This tune is another fine example of what we called a "half tune" in previous posts being only 16 bars in duration and composed of a few short, memorable phrases as opposed to the longer, more conventional 32 bars reels. You can imagine this tune would be great for step-dancing.

Yesterday was Cyril's memorial speech given by a church elder. A few years ago when discussing his speech with this elder, Cyril told this man that he wanted the following to be said "Cy was a good man. But we're still trying to figure out what he was good for". Leave it to Cyril to have the whole room erupting in laughter from beyond the grave. At first, the elder told Cyril that he wouldn't say this but Cyril was adamant and they reached a deal whereby this would be said but only if the elder could explain to everyone the things Cyril was good for. Needless to say, it was a lengthy speech and very inspiring.

Afterwards, Brigid, Brian, Neil MacKay, and myself went over to Kent Sutton's place for an afternoon of fiddle music to honor Cyril's life and music. It just wouldn't have seemed right any other way.

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