On February 23, Good Shepard Episcopal Church was filled with people who were grateful for the simple gifts they were receiving from Linda Littleton and Karen Hirshon, the multi-talented musical duo aptly named, “Simple Gifts.”
Littleton and Hirshon engaged the audience with explanations and demonstrations of how the various instruments worked, as well as by playing Shaker tunes, Irish gigs, Klezmer, Romanian songs and songs from Appalachia. The experience was totally interactive and the intimate setting in Good Shepard, with its wonderful acoustics, was perfect.
The duo has a relaxed easy banter, having played together for 28 years. They played violins, mandolins, hammered dulcimer, bowed psaltery, and spoons among other instruments. The latter two captured the most audience interest and the artists invited the curious at the end of the concert to come up and try some of these instruments.
The bowed psaltery originated about 5,000 years ago in the middle east, probably in Iran. The spoons are ordinary household spoons, made in the United States. They are played as a percussion instrument all over the world, especially in Appalachia.
“Anyone can play the spoons,” Littleton said, ”but when Karen plays them, they sound very special because she has such an amazing sense of rhythm.” Actually, Hirshon played the spoons to a lively tune and showed how by just changing the motion. From striking the on her lap, to striking them against the fingers of her other hand, to moving then in a circle, she could change the sound.
Atendees were generally music lovers, aficionados especially fond of world and folk music - and some were even musicians themselves. The evening concert was an enveloping respite from the cold weather outside and the workaday grind.
Yosef Feigelson thanked the audience for coming and was especially grateful for the audience support and the organization’s sponsors. He also mentioned the support of the Greater Pike Foundation and Kindred Spirit’s many volunteers.
Kindred Spirits is a not-for profit organization and has been contributing to the community since it was founded in 2002 by Feigelson along with Nancy Pinchot, and Amy Litzenberger.
In keeping with the theme of the night, Feigelson said he was thankful for all of their gifts.
The next concert for Kindred Spirits will be March 16 and will feature electric violinist, Alexander Markov. For more information, log onto www.alexandermarkov.com.
Visit www.simplegiftsmusic.com for more about the Simple Gifts Duo. Also check out www.kindredspiritsarts.org for details about 2023 upcoming Kindred Spirits Concerts.