Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Big Performance Friday Night For the Mill Swamp Indian Horse Musical Program

Thirty years ago Daddy (Nelson Edwards) and some of my brothers and sisters were the first show at the Smithfield Times Summer Concert. This Friday, the 30th anniversary year, he will return to the stage on Main street in Smithfield at 8:00 pm. He will be joined by participants in the Mill Swamp Indian horse music program. For the past several years he has helped teach riders ancient songs on ancient instruments, showing them how many of these songs were performed in the 20's and 30's. It will be best to not miss this show.

He will not be able to perform at the 60th anniversary show. He is already booked for that night.

 Here are a few of us together on the tack shed porch last week

On Monday nights several of our riders and their families get together in the Little House to learn old time, bluegrass, gospel, folk and Americana music. Only a handful have played the instrument that they learn to play for the group before. They also learn complicated parts of performing like how to relate to a microphone and maintaining solid stage presence even when mistakes are made. There are a lot of us--so many that it can be a challenge for everyone to be within microphone range.

The kids have worked hard to learn the ancient songs that Daddy and I have shown them. They have learned how these songs fit into the culture from which they arose. They are the songs of life--both its heights and depths. Today one could never imagine a genre of songs built around orphans, the death of young children, rage and inexplicable crimes, and at the same time songs of the assurance of a better life to come, the warmth of a close, loving family, and ballads intended to actually preserve and convey information about significant events, such as The Sinking of The Titanic. For those who performed these songs 50-100 years ago those themes were at the core of their existence

All of this fits tightly into understanding natural horsemanship. The core of natural horsemanship is to develop the ability to communicate with the horse in a manner that the horse understands. The core of successfully performing these songs is to communicate emotions to the audience in a manner that the audience understands--be that emotion fear, grief, love, loneliness, pride, or hopefulness.

Come on out Friday August 26 for the 8:00 pm show on main street in Smithfield--bring a lawn chair, relax and have a great time.

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