Cape Breton's Magazine

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Page 4 - Lee Cremo Speaks

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1972/10/31 (2964 reads)
 

Another fellow who taught me, gave me a lot of boost too, that's Prosper, Wilfred Prosper. He was a next door neighbor in Eskasoni when I was up there. A really good boost. I'd go up to his place in the evening and wouldn't come out of there till 9-10 the next morning. Play all night. Me and Prosper, he was along side of me. We had two fiddles and what I didn't know he'd teach me, and what he didn't know I'd teach him. He taught me a lot of things. I don't know if I taught him a lot of things. But I tried anyway. I have to shake his hand, he gave me a lot of boost. He's older than me. Wilfred is about 42. I would say he's good for another 10 years. He's really good at the moment, I think he is right at his peak. He beat me after I was the champion. I was champion '66, '67, '68. He's the one who beat me. I coaxed him to go up. I knew, I knew he was going to beat me, but...he had great points. He only beat me by one point but still I knew in my head that he's going to beat me. He doesn't go out in the open too often, but I think he's a great fiddler. So my father taught me a lot and Wilfred taught me a lot, and I learned a lot lis? tening to Buddy MacMasters • a hard man to beat. I think he's from Judique. There's another fellow who's good • made a lot of tunes • Dan R, MacDonald. You can get a lot of tunes from him. I'm not saying I'm de? pending on them, but I catch on their tunes. I don't try to copy anybody. The things that come to my head I play. I play them the way I think. I could be making hundreds of thousands of mistakes in one tune but that's the way I feel. It's just the way you feel the way you play. This is my style. The only thing I don't play too much is slow airs. I don't think I'm qualified. That's for a concert fiddler. I'd just make a mess out of it. Cape Breton Fiddling is really quite hard, perhaps harder than any other, I would say it's coming from the bow, the bow thing • it's not the fingers but the bow • it's more difficult than anything. Like • how can I say it? You shiver that bow at the end, try to get that dadada-dum. That's the hardest thing. You have to judge if you're da-dadadum, if you put 7 you're out of time. It has to be 5 or 6, in between. But some of them have 8 beats, they have triple, double and triple beats. That's why it's hard to play this kind of music. You have to hear a lot. It's like a language. If you hear a strange langueige it's pretty hard for you, but after a while if you stay with them you speak it. It's the same with Scottish music. It's hard. You'll ne? ver learn in one year. You have to be al? most born with it. Or surrounded like where I lived. It's all Scottish. Everywhere I go I hear the tunes. And there's a music you could call Micmac music. They don't use any kind of instru? ment. They just take a little piece of stick and they tap on the bottom of their sole. There's good rhythm to it. That's why I think today when I play a reel, a Scottish reel, I make it a little faster. I think it's the Micmac rhythm. Indian mu? sic you can stepdance to real good. You have to use both of your feet in the same way. If one foot is delaying the other you are losing your timing on the music. Same goes for step dancing. Now, when I make a tune I never try to use Scottish or Micmac tunes • I think what comes is a different thing all together. I've had different styles. I'd take it a little slower but they didn't seem to go for that. I'd put it a little faster. An? other time I put it really tremendous fast and nobody could go for that. This speed I

CONTINUED ON PAGE 24 A Welcome to Cape Breton's Magazine A. M. Hassin Store Clothing Furniture Appliances 295-2887, Baddeck Best Wishes Frank McKnighf Ltd. " Everything Musical " Sydney, Nova Scotia Cape Breton's Magazine/4
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