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Fiddler Pascal Gemme, of Genticorum

Performing Podorythmie

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Podorythmie is an integral part of traditional Quebecois fiddling. The fiddler taps along with his or her feet, nonstop, as they play each tune.
Pascal Gemme of Genticorum Performs Podorythmie at Festival International de Louisiane, 2009

Pascal Gemme of Genticorum Performs Podorythmie at Festival International de Louisiane, 2009

(c) Megan Romer, 2009
Imagine patting your head and rubbing your belly at the same time. Now imagine that you have to perform a pair of complimentary rhythms in both places while you do it. Sounds tough, right? Well, imagine playing a fast traditional gigue (jig) on the fiddle while essentially performing a full-fledged rhythmic dance with your feet. It's definitely not an easy task, but it's an important part of the Quebecois fiddle tradition. The part with the tapping feet is called podorythmie (pod- is a Latin root meaning "foot" - "podiatrist" and "tripod" both come from the same root; and "rythmie" is obviously related to "rhythm"), and Pascal Gemme, of the band Genticorum, is particularly fun to watch as he performs... he's got a special knack for making it look easy and effortless.
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