Modern Old-Time Fiddling

After 11 days of shooting spread out through last June – October, and nearly nine months of editing this school year, need I preface any further?

Modern Old-Time Fiddling: A Master’s Project Documentary

This project was produced in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Master of Arts degree from the School of Visual Communication at Ohio University in 2012.

Julie Elman, chair, Rebecca Sell and Terry Eiler

This project is for educational purposes only. Not for resale.

Copyright © 2012 Heather Haynes and Ohio University.

Featuring and special thanks to: The Amundsen Family/Jubal’s Kin, Ammon Bowen, Bob Borcherding, Buck Mountain Band, Shona Carr, Marcy Cochran, Samantha Cooper, Pete Easton, Fox n Hounds, Lynn Garren, Alys Horne, Alan Jabbour, Heather Lewin-Tiarks, The Marchi family, Harold Maurer, Rob O’Connor, Jenny Leigh Obert, Kevin Samuels, Liz Shaw, Roger Sprung, Fred Swedberg, Chris Via, Charlie Walden and Andrew Zinn

Update // This project has been accepted into the Blue Ridge Film and Music Festival, Virginia Film Festival, and 15 Minutes of Fame Festival this fall!

Bar Light

Last night I spoke with the fiddler from Fox n Hounds before their show at Dick’s Den in Columbus. The music was amazing, I got to play with glowing bar light, and was welcomed by more wonderful Southerners.

Before I do any real editing, here’s some tangential photos. This should be the last shoot for my master’s project, and from here it’s all exercises in patience with Final Cut.

Ohio State Fiddling Contest

…held in Stuart’s Opera House in Nelsonville tonight. I stayed for younger and older age categories and kind of skipped out on the my-aged people. It was nice to have a competition indoors (finally) so that windscreens and deadcats weren’t a necessity. The tradeoff was of course having to really search for light.

Galax II

I’m only staying in Galax for two days, enough to get the jist of things without becoming overwhelmed by the crowd this weekend. This just about gets the job done. If I had to chose a single image for the event, or possibly even for the whole project, it would probably be the second image below.

Galax I

When I arrived at the Old Fiddler’s Convention around noon only one fiddler was awake and jamming. I circled the entire park, talked to a few vendors, and was advised to come back around 4pm. Upon my return at 4:30 some audience members were settling in but really I don’t think I managed to shoot until 5:30-6. I only stayed until 10:30 or so, after I photographed all jamming with eligible light and met more cheerful, helpful people than I knew what to do with.

Clifftop III

Let’s get down to the music. The first, Bob Shank leading a slow banjo jam.

Next two, jamming with Gailanne & Roger of Jubal’s Kin, Andrew Zinn on banjo, and two other lovelies.

Last, but in many ways the best: this still from a video portrait of Pete Easton.

I truly cannot give enough thanks to the wonderful people I met at Clifftop and even moreso those with whom I reunited: Gailanne and her entire family, my lovely Sarah (plus mom & Mandy), and the ever level-headed Priscilla.

Clifftop II

I spent my second day of the festival alternately worried that I would 1) overshoot to ruin my school year, and 2) undershoot to ruin my project. While this should have worked toward the perfect amount of footage gathered, I can’t say that was the case. At least there was a wealth of easygoing music to listen to while psyching myself out.

Our first view is from a slow banjo jam I expected to contain mostly youngsters. I was pleasantly surprised to find the room filled mostly with people older than myself sporting the mantra “slow + time = fast.”

Next are the fifth fiddle finalist (I know, right?) and one of her admirers:

Clifftop I

After the first evening of the Appalachian String Band Festival I’m delightfully overwhelmed. Tonight I left the audio/video nonsense in the hotel and tried to remember how to shoot (after my month of reading and beach-ing).

The first photo is from a square dance in the main lodge. The second, from impromptu flatfoot dancing amongst jamming campsites.

Almost there

I’m really trying to push this Kickstarter business and we’re almost done. I’ve asked several fiddle/music blogs for plugs and continue to wait. I send out emails and facebook posts (74 users have “liked” it but only 8 are receiving rewards).

Thank you and much love to everyone who supports me. I just hope someone supports my project without first knowing me.

There’s still a little bit of time: Modern Old-Time Fiddling, a Master’s Project Documentary. Every single dollar helps.


The first leg of my master’s project is complete, and with 3-4 more legs left before this lopsided animal gets off the ground, I’ve turned to crowd-sourcing for help. For those of you who haven’t heard of Kickstarter, it’s an amazing place where artists, tinker-ers, thinkers, and backers get together for mutual rewards. Try it out, look around and see if you like it.