Erskine Morris (1913 – 1997)

Erskine Morris (1913 – 1997)

Thursday, February 4, 2016

"Uncle Peter's Tune" - Erskine & King Marion

Here's a tune that caught my ear a few years ago and is one I've been playing often for the past six months. Erskine didn't supply a title for it—this came a few years later when I found a tape of old Gaspe fiddlers in Willie Methot's collection. On the tape, Kingsley Marion played this tune during a house party and the person recording announced it as "Uncle Peter's Tune." Kingsley (or "King" as he was known) seems to have been from the Line Road, either Bougainville or Belle-Anse. Some of the old timers still remember him but he left the coast many years ago. I'm in the process of finding out more information on him. He was certainly a wonderful player. Also, if any readers thinks they might know who Uncle Peter was, drop us a line.

Both Erskine and King provide some nice footwork along with the tune, Erskine using what sounds like quite a bit of double toeing to my ears. Bill Lucas from Haldimand also played this tune and so it seems the tune may have once been in wide circulation around the Gaspé area. This lovely melody is just a little peculiar, with loads of lift. It starts off with a charming and sharp melody in G, but when the turn hits it sounds more like a bunch of syncopated bow riffs than a clear melody. As Brian Morris told me a few years ago when we were talking about the character of the old Gaspé tunes:

They’re more rhythmic instead of melodic, because the dancers loved that. I mean there’s syncopated, off-beat stuff. Man, it’s good for dancing. (Brian Morris, July, 2011)

The view from the yard at Belle-Anse School

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