Track 2 - Sisyphus' Hill
After another couple weeks off, I've finally gotten back to recording my "album" (here). This week's tune is one of the first fiddle tunes I ever wrote and its called "Sisyphus' Hill." Interestingly I've slipped this one into an Elderly video alongside some standards (as mentioned before, here) - that clip is below:
Me playing "Sisyphus' Hill" on an Ome Northstar; filmed for my side-gig as a banjo tester for Elderly instruments (still love every Ome I've ever played!). Link for full video: youtu.be/052xPB-Dm5Q
The way I played the tune above is the way I used to play it with my band back in VA...but I decided to give it a few tweaks before recording this time. The biggest change is that I ended both the A and B parts on a C# (both parts originally ended on an A). The song is mostly in A minor, but this change forces both parts to end on an A major chord. Here's the Audio file of my "album" recording:
"Sisyphus' Hill" - an original fiddle tune by Jeff Norman (me). Played twice through by me on my Buckeye tuned to aEADE; guitar accompaniment the 2nd time through using a 12-fret Epiphone Masterbilt in standard tuning without a capo. Tune and recording Copyright 2017 - Jeff Norman.
I think I like the changes but I'm wondering if the major chord is too gimmicky...opinions welcome in the comments!
A bit on the name: my buddy Chris named this tune in reference to the Greek myth of Sisyphus, who had to push a rock up a hill only to have it roll down again every day for eternity. Chris thought this was a good metaphor for fiddle tunes which (when played right!) seem to go on forever : ) We even named our band the "Sisyphus Hill Stringband" for a while but the reference was lost on a lot of people ("Is that hill around here somewhere?"). Best not to have a band name you have to explain so much - eventually we changed to "Happy Hollow Stringband" instead.
As for banjo stuff: Buckeye banjo, no recent alterations (it could use some new strings!), tuned to A modal (aEADE). Amazingly, I've only got 1 more tune to finish up the album...maybe I can actually push through to the end next week!
7/10/2017 04:27:04 pm
Here's a vote for the major chord. Though I wonder how it would work if you just used it at the end of the B part?
9/12/2018 12:14:22 am
you have a great blog here! would you like to make some invite posts on my blog?
11/1/2018 08:34:43 am
I love this song. I am trying to learn it by ear. I love the quirkness of it. I would love to get your CD. Where is it available?
Hi Julie - thanks so much for the compliment about my tune! I recorded an album with a couple of friends (outside of these little snippets I've posted here) recently and CDs are currently being manufactured. Once that's all done, I'll have CD's and MP3's available to purchase (and links on the site to do so).
6/11/2020 10:10:15 pm
Wow! Such an amazing and helpful post this is. I really really love it. It's so good and so awesome. I am just amazed. I hope that you continue to do your work like this in the future also
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