THE MUSICIANS AND THEIR INSTRUMENTS & HOW PIED PUMKIN GOT ITS FUNNY NAME
RICK SCOTT-Dulcimer/ trombone JOE MOCK-Guitar/piano SHARI ULRICH-Violin/mandolinRICK SCOTT, JOE MOCK AND SHARI ULRICH have been singing and making music together since 1975. Rick and Shari live on small islands in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of British Columbia. Joe lives on the Atlantic Ocean in southern France in Europe. Once a year Joe flies to Canada from France so they can make music together. People are often surprised that only three musicians can make such a big sound! These three friends make up all their own songs and have released ten records. Between them they have ten children and six grandchildren and many of their songs are inspired by their families. (Find places in bold face on a map).
RICK SCOTT has 6 children and 7 grandchildren. He has released 6 award winning children’s CDs. He’s been making up songs since he was in kindergarten and he started playing music professionally when he was 15. Rick plays a four-string folk instrument called the dulcimer which comes from the Appalachian Mountains in the eastern USA—Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina. When Rick first saw a dulcimer he was very curious about this strange tear shaped instrument. He picked it up and strummed it like a guitar because he didn’t know that the dulcimer is traditionally played lying across one’s lap, strummed with a feather quill. So he taught himself to play dulcimer upside down and backwards and became known for his unique style of picking and strumming. In Pied Pumkin, the dulcimer creates the beat usually provided by the drums. Rick also loves to plays the trombone which he first played in a school band.
JOE MOCK has played the very same guitar for over 30 years. Back in 1969, before Joe's guitar met Joe, it was broken and a student of guitar repaired it and put it up for sale in a music store in Vancouver. It was very old, probably built around 1930. The woman who ran the store called Joe and said, "You should come and see this small guitar." Joe was skeptical. He had a big Gibson J-50 guitar that he liked a lot. But something special happened when he first played this little guitar. It was like no other guitar he had ever seen or played. It was light and delicate but had a big sound. It required a different touch, a different approach to his playing. There was no name on the guitar other than a small, barely visible stamp inside the sound hole that said "Majestic.” And from that day, the little Majestic became Joe's favorite guitar and traveled with him all over the world. It helped him develop a unique style of playing – in Pied Pumkin it plays the part of both guitar and bass. Joe also loves to play piano.
SHARI ULRICH plays violin, mandolin, guitar, piano, flute and dulcimer. With Pied Pumkin, she mostly plays violin and mandolin. Shari began taking violin classes in Grade 4. In Grade 7 she won an award in a music festival and her Aunt bought Shari her very own violin with a lovely native carving on the tailpiece. She played this until she was grown up and living away from home. But on her way to the first show of her first tour with a band, it was stolen from her car so she had to find a new violin right away. She found one in a little shop in Victoria, BC and they became instant friends. That is the violin she is still playing today, 30 years later. From time to time, she tried playing electronic violins that plug in and do fancy things, but before long she would miss the beautiful sound made by her “real” violin, her old friend, nestled under her chin so close to her ear. Shari started playing mandolin because it is tuned the same as a violin so was easy to learn, and it can be strummed rhythmically like a guitar. Shari has written music for many films and TV shows including Sesame Street.
PIED PUMKIN got its unusual name when a doctor told Joe Mock he should eat more pumpkin to help a pain in his tummy. Rick, Joe and Shari were sitting around eating pumpkin pie and trying to think of a good name for their band. “Pied” means multi-coloured and tells you that they play all kinds of music. They knew the word from the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin whose music enchanted children. They dropped the “p” in the middle of “pumpkin” to make the name different. Some people think “Pumkin” is a spelling mistake, but what it tells you is that this music is original and unlike any other. Pied Pumkin has been called “the most original expressions of west coast culture since Emily Carr.” (Bold face words may serve as keynotes for discussion)
Or they could roll themselves up in a big grey ball
and call themselves a rock
Don't bug me man, I'm a rock!
Oh! Well remember, elephants never forget
But they sing, sing, sing
Swing up on the side of a hide so wide
Take the great grey tide - get junglefied
Go for an elephant ride
Rick Scott wrote ELEPHANT RIDE after riding an elephant in Thailand. The world’s largest four-footed animals, elephants are also known as pachyderms, from the Greek pachys (thick) and derma (skin). Their bodies are sparsely covered in single wire-like hairs.
QUESTIONS BASED ON ELEPHANT RIDE:
1. Find four different metaphors or similes used in the song to describe an elephant.
2. Name three facts about elephants you learned from this song.
3. See what you can find out about elephant feet, then explain "walk on their tiptoes"
ANSWERS TO ELEPHANT RIDE:
1. Over five thousand pounds of grey (metaphor), the world's largest overstuffed chair (metaphor), something as big as your house (simile), the great grey tide (metaphor).
2. Elephants drink 35 gallons of water a day, elephants don't sweat, elephants have good memories, elephants walk on their tiptoes, elephants are good at hiding themselves, considering how large they are.
3. Elephants don't actually have "foot" bones, but walk on their "toes".
Let's go for an elephant ride
Go for an elephant ride
Rumble through the jungle
Going side to side
O-oh, let's go for an elephant ride
by Shari Ulrich
There was a little girl named Annabelle who loved to sing
Of all the toys and games music was her favourite thing
Her family took her to a music festival one day
Annabel was spellbound when she heard the fiddle play
Mama could I have a little fiddle I could play?
I promise I’d look after it and practice every day
Her mother said ‘I think that’s great!’ and found one just her size
But when she raised the bow to play, my, what a surprise!
But to Annabelle the sound she made was music to her ears
She practiced and she practiced and she practiced
No one but her Mom knew how well Annabelle could play
Until the teacher asked her to play at school one day
The kids all covered their ears when they heard the teacher say
“Now Annabelle will play a song for us!”
But when they heard the music they all clapped and danced along
Annabelle loved the fiddle and the fiddle loved Annabelle!
‘Annabelle’s Fiddle’ is the story of learning how to play the violin, a four stringed instrument played with a bow. It takes time and practice to learn to play any musical instrument. Nothing can make you want to dance like the sound of the fiddle! But when you’re learning it can squeak and squeal and sound like a cat screeching. But if you keep practicing, before long it can sound so beautiful it makes your heart soar and your feet dance. Shari’s daughter Julia has been playing violin since she was five years old and she was the inspiration for “Annabelle.” In the song you hear Annabelle go from squeaking out ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ to playing a concerto. Listen for the voices of her mother, her teacher and other children making fun of her for practicing violin instead of coming out to play with them.
QUESTIONS BASED ON ANNABELLE’S FIDDLE
1. What is another name for the instrument known as the “fiddle”? The violin
2. How many voices do your hear in this song? The narrator, Annabelle, her mother, her cat, her dog, her classmates, her teacher
3. Why was Annabelle surprised when she tried to play the fiddle?
Vont se voir à huit heures sept To get together at seven past eight
De mes oreilles sortent des poireaux Onions are coming out of my ears
Ma bouche est remplie d’oiseaux My mouth is full of birds you see
Si on recommençait à zéro If we start again at zero
Nous ferrions une très bonne fête We’ll have such a great party
When Joe Mock moved to France to live with his family, his daughter Amandine was learning to ride a bicycle. One day when they were in the car on a tour of the town, he got the idea that they could write a song in French, but he couldn't speak the language very well. The only two words that he could think of that rhymed were "tête" and “cacahouète".so he put them together and that became the first line of the song. The family helped with the rest. The rhythm is based on the first thing Joe ever learned to say in French class in school in Canada, “J’entre dans la salle de classe.”
QUESTIONS BASED ON AMANDINE
VOCABULARY: What do these words mean? La chambre, la tête, la cacahouète, très bonne fête, le cœur, habiter, sourir, le poisson, la bicyclette, le visage,
la serviette, l”assiette, la crêpe, la fourchette, huit heures sept, les oreilles,
les poireaux, la bouche, les oiseaux, zéro
Can you tell the English meaning of any of these words because the English sounds so much like the French?
This is a nonsense song. Make a list of pairs of English words that rhyme then make up your own nonsense song.
What does each of the French accents tell you about pronunciation?
Dans la chambre de mon cœur In a room inside my heart
Tu habite tous les jours Forever we will never part
Souriant près de la mer avec Smiling there beside the sea
Ton poisson et ta bicyclette With your fish and bicycle