Saturday, at the Musical Saw Festival

Saturday, I went with my dad and my nephew to the NYC Musical Saw Festival where they were part of an attempt to enter the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest Musical Saw ensemble.

No, really, I’m not making this up.

The previous record was set in Poland with 27 saw players, or sawists. In Astoria, this weekend they had 53 musical saw players on the stage to play Ave Maria.

Now, before you listen to this, I want you to understand something. To find the note, the saw needs to be ringing slightly or you have to slide into the right note. With that many players, finding the starting pitch quietly wasn’t going to happen, so the first note…well, it’s a doozy. Dad says that the conductor rocked back on his heels like he’d been hit by a basket of lemons.

And as a palette cleanser, here is my Dad playing “Wayfaring Stranger.”

After the initial concert and Guinness attempt, many of the saw players had solos. I sat through Four and A Half HOURS of musical saw. The fascinating thing was the wide, wide range of techniques. Many of these folks had been playing for decades and were really, really good. Not as a novelty mind, but demonstrating genuine musicality and talent.

How was your weekend?

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5 thoughts on “Saturday, at the Musical Saw Festival”

  1. Mine was hectic. The con I love, where I was supposed to do one panel and be random staff-type the rest of the time, turned into a weekend with little to no sleep, far too much Easy Mac for popular nutrition, and my two friends and I asked to cover 13+ new panels two weeks beforehand because someone got upset and wanted to sabotage everything.

    I spent all of last night and today asleep, I tell you what.

    That group video of the saws….holy COW. I only have one video from the weekend, which I’ll post soonish, of the coolest steampunk prop I’ve ever seen. You’d appreciate it.

  2. Yer Dad’s so cool. Thanks for including the vid of just him.

    And boo for those people who thought it was a good idea to stand up in front during the record-setting Ave Maria. Yeesh.

  3. That first note IS a doozy, but after that it is pretty neat. Your dad’s solo was really good. I don’t know how he does it.

    We went car shopping this weekend. Fun stuff!

  4. Hi,

    Just wanted to let you know that I am putting videos/photos/articles from the 7th annual NYC Musical Saw Festival on the festival’s website – There will be a better quality video there of the Guinness attempt.
    Keep checking there if you want – I’ll be adding things slowly over time.

    Thank you for coming to the festival!
    Hope to see you in next year’s festival, too.

    All the best,


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