Sunday, June 26, 2011

Bourrée: On d'onderon garda

As always, any corrections, additions, or questions are appreciated.

I was listening to one of the first bourrées I'd ever learned, "On d'onderon garda," and realized I had this tune in a number of versions. I listened to them all and found it a fascinating exercise. Thus, here are a number of different versions of this ear-worm of a tune. Check out the sheet music, as well. (There's a difference in how some play the second bar of the A section. Some play it as here, one-and-two-three, others play it as one-two-and-three. Choose wisely.)

I first heard this tune about twelve years ago, played by Sylvain Piron on a Castagnari Giordy, a tiny accordion with a concertina-ish sound.



Sylvain and I, about to perform On d'onderon garda
at the Trenton Grange
I quickly downloaded the sheet music, which Sylvain had posted on his site. Later, when he visited the United States in 2002, we performed the tune together at the Grange hall in Trenton, Maine.

Sylvain's light touch on the tune did not prepare me for the version I heard on a compilation called, Accordeons en Aubrec. This is pretty hard-core Auvergnat playing on the five-row, chromatic button accordion -- the squeeze-instrument of choice for tradfrench music for most of the twentieth century. Note the spelling change of the name.

Christian Bessiere, "On Onarem Gardar"


As a counter-weight to this accordion-ish-ness I thought I'd include a version of the tune on French pipes, the cabreta d'amor, performed by José Roux. On this instrument, the tune becomes a completely different beast. This recording is especially nice because it's done in duet with the chromatic accordion and bells. Pretty much the classic Auvergnat sound. I only regret I couldn't find a version on vielle à roue.

José Roux, "Ont tirarem garda?"


[UPDATE] In another vein, a fellow over on concertina.net pointed me to this recording of the open session at the George Inn, featuring members of the George Inn Giant Ceili Band (GIG CB) leading the festivities. Members include Alan Day (concertina), Mel Stevens (pipes), and Chris Shaw (melodeon). I invite you to bask in the experience of living in all that sound, the pipes right there, multiple hurdy gurdies, fiddles, conversation, glasses clinking, and you drinking. The melodeon player has place his ear against the box in order to hear it! Marvelous.



[UPDATE TWO] Alan Day, of the GIG CB, has posted a solo concertina version of the tune on his YouTube. It's a delightful rendition that shows that, while it may sound "concertina-ish," the Castagnari Giordy is not a concertina. Alan does some very interesting things with the rhythm and chords. Take a listen.



Finally, here's a reposting of my recording of this, made about three years ago on my Salterelle Pastourelle.

2 comments:

  1. Hi Gary

    The "most standard" spelling of this tune is probably "Ont anarem gardar", "where shall we go keep [them]", pronounced "ound anaren garda" (frenchish spelling) "oon danaren gardah" (englishish spelling). (Not that there is such a thing as "proper spelling" where different variants of occitan are concerned).

    I also have it on the following recordings:
    - Antoine Bouscatel, Roi des Cabretaires
    - Duo Ancelin-Rouzier
    - François Lazarevitch - Danse des bergers danse des Loups
    - Jean Bergheaud (as "quand menarem gardar")
    - les musiciens aveyronnais à Paris
    - Gaston Pouget - Jugar dau Violon

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  2. Excellent! Thank you ... I am not so interested in "correct" and I like your phrase "more standard." I find this stuff genuinely fascinating.

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