I'm sorry if you didn't get the opportunity to meet the magical and creative force named Bruno Louchouarn. I really only got to know the piece of him that had a passion for old and twisty fiddle tunes. And I am thankful that I was blessed with the chance to watch him grow into a strong old-time fiddler in a very short amount of time. I'll regret that I didn't spend more evenings with him working on deceptively complex Kentucky tunes, and I especially regret that I didn't get to hear him play and sing those old French Cajun and Breton pieces more. His basement was a wonderland of folk stringed instruments from around the world that he could play competently. As a musical one-trick-genre pony, I was simply staggered by Bruno's ability to leap between classical, avant garde, (and modern musics I don't know what to call) and various Folk styles, celebrating genres that seem polar to each other. I guess he saw the world as a beautiful soundscape, and I am envious of that gift of vision.
I had been playing Bruno's "Valley Forge" a lot earlier this summer. In fact I couldn't get it out of my head. It kept coming to me every time I picked up the fiddle, even if I was playing in a different key. I hadn't ever "learned" the tune, but Bruno had consistently played it at every jam for a while, and I had followed along. I looked it up, found a few versions, and was disappointed in them. They just didn't have the zest, the passion, or the on-purpose quirk that Bruno brought to the tune. So I just went from memory. My recollection of it is crooked and surprising in it's turns. Maybe I'm getting it "wrong," but Bruno appreciated the simple but squirrely tunes, and I'd rather leave it the way I remember it, as a personal tribute--a tune that will always take me back to the Fiddlin' Fish, where I drank my favorite New England IPA, and swapped tunes with one of my favorite people.