Welcome to the Extras page for Les Marionnettes.
Please click here to view English translations
of the French song lyrics.
The title tune of this CD, Les Marionnettes, is a composition by
the great fiddler Lisa Ornstein. Click
here to listen to a home recording of Lisa playing the tune as she conceived
it. She plays it very fast and accompanies her fiddling with foot tapping.
In the liner notes to earlier pressings of the CD, some text was inadvertently left out of English
version of the commentary on Lisa's tune. (This has been corrected with the latest pressing.) Here is the full text as it should
Fiddler Lisa Ornstein composed this beautiful tune in tribute to Louis
“Pitou” Boudreault (1905-1988), the last of a family dynasty of
great fiddlers. Mr. Boudreault was a carpenter by trade and lived whole life
in and around Chicoutimi, a small city bordering the Saguenay River in Québec.
Lisa spent a great deal of time visiting Pitou during the 1980s, learning
and writing about his music.
In Quebec and the Acadian Maritimes, the "Northern Lights" are
traditionally known as "les marionnettes," perhaps because they
sometimes appear to dance like puppets on an invisible string. There are
several legends about gifted fiddlers magically summoning "les marionnettes"
with their music.
On the fiddle, this tune is played in AEAE tuning,which Mr. Boudreault
customarily used when playing in the key of A. Like several of Mr. Boudreault's
family tunes, it is a three-part tune played in the form AA BB AA CC. At one
point Grey and André play the A and C parts simultaneously. "Les
Marionnettes" is normally played much faster than they play it here,
and is suggestive of the tunes in Boudreault’s repertoire that he played
to accompany the step-dancing of specific individuals and family members.