Gwen Tuinman is a novelist, born and raised in rural southern Ontario. Fascinated by the landscape of human tenacity, she writes about people navigating the social restrictions of their era. Her storytelling is influenced by an interest in bygone days. As a mentor, she helps women writers to shed emotional armour so they can reclaim their self-expression, dream bigger and learn to guide themselves through new creative risks. Gwen lives in the Kawartha Lakes region with her husband. Her forthcoming novel will be published in the spring of 2024 by Random House Canada.
March 20, 2016 at 6:06 pm
There’s something about the fiddle that just tugs at the heart strings. The instrument has a soul.
March 20, 2016 at 6:18 pm
It truly does, Cryssa. Sometimes the strings weep, and at other times, the bow yields a foot stomping celebratory tune.
May 8, 2016 at 7:58 am
Gwen, you may already be aware of Smithsonian Folkways as a source for all manner of harder to find music, but if not you might explore the Smithsonian Folkways site. As music is one of my passions, I’ve spent many an afternoon or evening sampling its rich library, including many albums of French Canadian music, including fiddle music.
May 14, 2016 at 2:10 pm
Thanks so much, Brett. I’ll be sure to make my way over there. This music will definitely help conjure the muse for my next novel which will be set in the Ottawa Valley during the 1800s.
March 20, 2016 at 7:01 pm
Definitely says something about the fiddler and the dancers. Nothing defines community more than a fiddle.
March 20, 2016 at 11:57 pm
I’ve often heard that the Irish presence in Quebec affected to the style of fiddle music there. I would like to acquire some French Canadian fiddle music to listen to when I work on my next novel.
April 13, 2016 at 11:54 am
My Grandfather came to Canada in the early 1900’s as a circuit rider to the lumber camps in Northern Ontario. He took his fiddle with him, trekking through the bush by horse, on foot or by rail. I have that fiddle still, though it hasn’t been played in 40 years. From time to time I wonder what I should do with it. It seems a shame to just leave it languishing in a corner.
May 14, 2016 at 2:25 pm
What a wonderful piece of family history. You might like http://www.folkways.si.edu/folkways-recordings/smithsonian as recommended by Brett in an above comment. Thanks so much for sharing. I am quite intrigued by your grandfather’s position as a circuit rider. Very interesting.
May 8, 2016 at 7:54 am
Great images! Because many of the early settlers of Canada and the southern mountains of the U.S. were from Scotland, Ireland and France, fiddle playing in early Canada bears many of the same influences as fiddle playing in the Appalachian South in the U.S. and to some extent in Louisiana Cajun music.
May 14, 2016 at 2:14 pm
A fine tapestry of cultures. You have piqued my curiosity in regards to fiddle music. This will be a new avenue for me to explore. Thanks for sharing, Brett.