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Pioneering Performance Studies

Learn all about the elusive transformational ('magical') experiences between audiences and performers.
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(University of Exeter, UK: part-time postgraduate research student, Department of Drama)

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Susan Hope Hoffman



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Listen to samples from all the different CDs ...

These field recordings let listeners in on the musical dialogue between fiddle and guitar, and also into the living rooms and dance halls where even more characters’ dialogue bounces between comic ruminations and the shouts, claps and stomps of dancers. A natural and complex acoustic documentary fresh from the fields and old dance halls of Maine — loaded with surprises and free-wheeling, robust traditional barn dance music.

The “liveness” of acoustic music, and of the social scenes it’s played in, is presented with a real sense of theater — listeners get a unique package of intricate improvisations, solid dance tunes, and plenty of good humor. Nuanced and vigorous fiddling is matched with bold, inventive guitar accompaniment, in a style founded on an older generation of dance musicians and flavored with each scenario’s spontaneity.

CD covers are printed with vegetable inks on recycled paper.

Bringing the fun and spontaneity of live performance to the forefront, these studio recordings of Celtic favorites showcase the imaginative, adventurous and tasteful musicianship of Hope Hoffman (fiddle) and Jeff Trippe (guitar and octave mandolin). This sensitive and subtly dramatic duo offers gracefully improvised phrasing and lush renditions of jigs, reels, hornpipes and singing. Hoffman's fiddling brings a precise and fluid style to instrumental melodies, and a resonance and delicacy to vocal accompaniment.

Elegant settings of popular Irish tunes form a fitting context for a sampling of Hoffman's new folk compositions; "Road to Lisdoonvarna" offers insights into her new jig "Longview", and "The Merry Blacksmith" compliments her tune "The Merry Bastard".

Live recordings of original fiddle compositions, with the sprightly Kittlish trio’s viola, cittern, guitar, percussion and jaw harp. French, Irish and Scandinavian styles reflect the cultural landscape of fiddler/composer Hope Hoffman’s time in Maine. Her playful, ethereal and rootsy melodies spring to life in this collection of concert recordings. Hoffman’s imaginative, narrative and earthy approach to composing gives her tunes an inner life and engaging personalities, while grounding them in rhythms and phrasing which traditional dancers enjoy.

Combining a natural warmth and enthusiasm with insightful and creative musicianship, Hope Hoffman & Kittlish trio take old tunes on enchanting, detailed adventures, and bring new tunes to delighted audiences and dancers.

These CD covers are printed with vegetable inks on recycled paper.

CDs of Live Fiddle

* Buy online *

Field Recordings of Maine Contra & Barn Dances

Live CD of New Maine Dance Tunes

Original & Traditional Irish Duets CD

Easy Online Forms


Fiddle Lessons Ages 4 & Up

Booking Form for Event Planners

Tune-of-the-Month e-mails you
notes & audio of new fiddle dance compositions

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