Originally from Ireland, Charlie McCarthy is a Hobart based violinist/fiddler who has performed with pit orchestras, chamber ensembles, jazz combos, bluegrass and Irish bands as well as a session musician/soloist for movie soundtracks, audio recordings and everything in between. Currently he is Head of Strings at St Michael’s Collegiate, Hobart, where he oversees a comprehensive string program. Charlie is an active performer on the local and national scene and as an artist constantly refining his own pedagogical philosophy, students benefit from his genuine love of music and his ability to kindle artistry as well as sequencing practical technique. Most of all, Charlie McCarthy just loves playing the violin and having a great time sharing his knowledge of music with others. Most recently Charlie has performed at the Ozmanouche Gypsy Jazz Festival(Qld), Fairbridge Festival(WA) and closer to home at Dark MOFO, A Festival Called Panama, the Taste of Tasmania, Clarence Jazz Festival, Hobart Hot August Jazz and the Longford and Devonport Jazz Festivals. He has also co-created and performed in a series of sell out independent shows at the Salamanca Arts Centre.
In 2020 Charlie is offering an opportunity for professionals, competent amateurs and university level players who are keen to upskill their post-classical playing. If you want to be a more effective contributor in a folk group at a music festival or know how to work well with a jazz combo at a club, lead an original composition project or just jam with friends, then this is for you. Lessons are tailored to the student and are systemic, sequential and progressive. If you want to develop mastery of tonal improvisation in folk/Celtic/jazz/non-classical/bluegrass/singer songwriter styles and become creatively self-expressed by internalising harmony, then Charlie can teach you this creative playing system. Lessons range from weekly 1 hour sessions to monthly 1 to 3 hour blocks and they include warm up exercises and a jam at the end to apply all of the material covered in the session. All resources are provided and group classes are also available. Including a brief audition process minimum standard is approximately AMEB grade 7+ Suzuki book 8 or professional level playing.
Previous students have gone on to form their own bands, tour the country and engage in successful independent musical careers. Others have been colleagues: music teachers who just want to expand their toolbox and teach this material to their own students as a way to broaden their horizons as a contemporary player.
Subject matter includes:
• Playing outside and inside tonal centers
• Use of whole tone & semitone movement
• Echoing & dialogue
• Harmonisations with chordioids, pitch clusters and partial stacks
• Constructing cohesive solos
• Thematic construction and dynamic development
• Accompaniment, rhythm violin and fills
• Phrasing through punctuation
• Everything you need to know about amplifying your instrument
• Using micro theme & variation as a form of improvisation
• Good taste and appropriate use of extended technique
Extended natural fiddle techniques with practical applications include chopping, scrapes, triple-stop rhythm-bowing, guiro chewing, shuffling, violin body percussion, chord stacks triple stop inversions, sub-harmonics, double harmonics, forced harmonics, distortion, Helmholtz motion, bow-gliss, tapping, hammers, pull-offs and general groove percussion.