The Hurdy Gurdy

March 29, 2016 | in: Instruments

It all started a couple of years back while watching the title sequence from Black Sails (a Starz show). The sequence was beautifully made, rally well crafted…and then there was the music. There was a sound I couldn’t get my head around. It sounds like bag pipes, but it couldn’t be. Too much noise, clicks, and weird stringy vibratos that did not make sense at all. It sounded great, refreshing, weird and just got struck by the music it made.

Chasing the hurdy gurdy

The show entangled me, and got me hooked to the Black Sails soundtrack by Bear McCreary. I just had to find out what instrument it was. After seeing multiple videos of the hurdy gurdy, i just had to see what this thing was in real life. There is a better explanation on Bear’s site. I really wanted to play one! I wanted to play pirate music, because, pirates are cool!

My quest for this treasure

To start my quest, I had to see if people in The Netherlands actually played this thing. In Dutch, the hurdy gurdy is called a “Draailier”. There are few people who play this instrument, and even less people who make this. The chances of me able to see one in real life was very small.

When I couldn’t find an ability to play one myself, or perhaps even buy a second hand that was affordable (3000 euros, second hand), I gave up my quest.

The treasure is mine

A couple of years later, I still find myself wanting a hurdy gurdy, I decided take a bold move and have one being custom made by Altarwind. I can whole hearty recommend this devoted couple. They guided my in every step and delivered an amazing product to my doorstep.
I now can play the theme song, and play this instrument. It is not as hard as it looks to play, but when you want it to sound nice and tidy, you need to practise a lot. I like the raw sound myself.

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