Monday, February 14, 2011

Tunes from the Vault

In our Tunes from the Vault class last week, we looked at The Ash Plant, a single reel. First we played it a few times to familiarize ourselves with it again, then we listened to the very funky version from Mike McGoldrick's album, 'Fused', and borrowed a few of his ideas and infused our version with them. We played along with his recording, and we played along with a vintage rock rhythm from Garageband, just because its way more fun than a metronome, and it gave us a chance to even out all the beats and not rush any passages.

Meanwhile, Tania was teaching the tune to a group who hadn't learned it the first time round. We had supper (choc cake, of course), then came back together as a group and played the Ash Plant. For people who were still struggling with the newness of the tune, we set up a two-chord rhythm, led by Bec on cello and played on several other instruments including whistle, to create an underlying groove for the tune.

It was fun! After that we had just enough time to have a look at Lannigan's Ball, the jig in Em. So, two Em tunes from the Vault are now much closer to hand when we need them.

This week, Nicole is on tour with Cloudstreet in NSW and going all the way across to Perth on the Indian Pacific, so Cath Ovenden will draw on her vast repertoire to teach a new tune.

And here's the chocolate cake recipe we have been enjoying:

Moist Chocolate Cake for Tunes

Makes a dozen slices.

200g self raising flour
150g brown sugar
40g cocoa
175g butter
2 large eggs
150ml yoghurt
a dash of milk as required

The quick way: put all the ingredients in a food processor and process til smooth and thick.
The next quickest way: Melt butter and sugar in microwave til butter is almost all melted. Don't let it get hot, just melted. Mix together. Add eggs one at a time and beat in to mix.

Measure flour and cocoa together. Thin yoghurt with some milk (about 50ml). Add flour alternating with milk and mix all together.

Pour into a greased and floured tin, cook in preheated oven at 180oC for about 50 mins but test with a thin skewer from around 40mins. When skewer comes out clean cake is done.

Ice, or just sieve some icing sugar over the top.

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