Musical Saw Players Reactions to the 2008 Festival

Dear Natalia,
It has been 1 1/2 weeks since the saw festival and I’m still excited about having attended it and about participating in the group songs. The day with all its activities was more than I expected. Thank you for putting the festival together. You did an excellent job. Your accompaniment with the vocalist and the musicians in the first part of the program was truly inspiring and is an example of what can be accomplished with the saw. Each of the participants gave me some insight about style of playing and the type of songs that I might attempt to play. I enjoyed talking with other players about their saws, their bows, their cases, their rosins, their books, etc. Each was willing to share information and seemed excited talking about all of that. Although i was unable to stay until the workshop ended, I gained valuable information on how to play better and get improved sound for my saw with using less bow action. Her suggestions for me were useable and have given an immediate positive impact on my playing.
Thank you again for a wonderful day. I will plan to attend again next year.
Best wishes,
Stewart W.
Lebanon, PA


hi Natalia……………this is Paul….met you at the festival and played Jesu Joy of Mans Desiring…………………….thanks for a great experience….i realize i am definitely self-taught……….thank you very much; Natalia. Happy Sawing; my friend,
paul k./northeast PA


BRAVO!!! The Festival was both entertaining and inspiring. What a wonderful atmosphere. The church really expressed the beauty of the saw as a musical instrument.
You really did a wonderful job.
Bob H.
Cinnaminson, NJ


Hey Natalia,
Thanx again for going to all the hard work and effort for putting on this festival. It was so great to finally meet you in person and also be amongst the other saw players. It was a real treat to meet a few like minded players and just talk saw stuff and compare notes with people who have the peculiar interest of the musical saw. I was really impressed at the level of playing by a lot of people and it was cool to see how other people approach it.
I really enjoyed all of your performances especially the collaborations with Scott but I have to admit a weakness for that Satie piece you did. With the handbells it was really enchanting.
I appreciate your kind words about my solo part. I can’t say I’m completely satisfied with what I did but I’m glad I did it. It gave me something to think about.
And thanx also for send the pictures. I guess I need to learn to smile while I’m playing.
We just got home from New York yesterday evening . We drove back by way of friends and relatives in Virginia and North Carolina. After a week and a half of pounding the pavement in New York and sleeping in strange beds followed by three days of driving we were beat. Then I had practice tonight with my band. We have a show this Saturday. So I haven’t had time or energy to download..or is it upload the pictures I took at the fest but they will be coming your way soon.
Thanx once again for the festival,
terry “SawTrouble” b.


Hi Natalia:
It was a work of art. I posted a review in my blog. Here’s part:
“BTW, the Saw Festival was a GAS!!! The audience was relatively large for something like this (and responsive), Natalia Paruz (AND Scott Munson) put on a musically interesting and professional event, and I met a bunch of very interesting, eccentric “Sawists” (but with my head, I’ll never remember their names, so if we talked and you see this, drop me a line.)” BTW, I heard the 5th Annual chorus of saws on Youtube, playing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, and I can’t wait until somebody posts the 6th Annual so I can compare them! I did speak to the guy who was recording the concert and he said that he would give me a copy of my performance. I would gladly reimburse him for a record of my performance, (lame as it was). Happy sawing!!! Talk to ya…. Doc George


Dear Natalia:
This was my first musical saw festival and it was great! It was great because of your super planning and skills of communication. Your directions from Oakland, New Jersey were excellent and I found a parking space only one block from the church. And, the most exciting part was that I met, after 25 years, my first and only musical saw teacher, Moses. Moses looked well and he still plays a great saw. Moses only gave me one lesson but it started me on an enjoyable musical saw past-time. Now, I should take a few lessons from a New Jersey saw player to pick up some sawing techniques. After observing players like Moses , Irving, Nick, and yourself, i am now committed to improving my playing. Again, Natalia, you are to be commended for your effort and coordination in bringing together some great saw players for all of us to enjoy. You and others have encouraged and motivated us to continue playing and improve. Many thanks and God Bless You.
Roger M.
P.S. Your articles and pictures in the Saw Players News has helped me to learn, not only about great saw players throughout the world, but important techniques and hints on how to play. Thanks again.


Dear Natalia,
It was fun to see you again today – thanks again for all you do. I heard some comments similar to what I was thinking last year – that because the saw is mostly a self-taught instrument, an occasion like this is one of the only ways many of us see how other people play and negotiate some of the playing “challenges”. It’s fun and instructive to see how others approach the same situations differently, but successfully.
By the way, I arrived late, so I didn’t hear any “beforehand” comments or instructions (I hope it never takes me 2 1/2 hours to get to Astoria again…), and I forgot to ask later about the status of the e-book you mentioned earlier in the season. How is the progress on that? One more thing: I was asking Francoise about something, and I thought I’d ask you also. I’ve been playing around with trying to minimize bow-noise, and one of the things that works for me sometimes is to bow “at speed” (to do a quick bowstroke on the already-vibrating saw) and also use the edge of the bow hairs. Have you worked on this at all and found success? Francoise was saying that it also helps to “play out” and that this can deaccentuate the bow noise in comparison to the full sound. I also prefer a full sound, like in singing, so maybe that is also helping me at the times I’ve been successful in keeping the noise down. What do you think about it all?
Thanks always,
Gregory N.

Non-Musical Saw Players Participants:

I enjoyed the festival – must say, have never been involved in anything quite like it!
hope yu have a great summer!!!!!
Ilya S.
soprano singer


Natalia and Scott,
    I wanted to thank you again for being such wonderful and supportive colleagues! I had a great time performing with you, and look forward to hearing more performances and more new music.
I hope you’ve been having a wonderful and interesting summer, and that all left arms are back to full working order. I’ll keep an ear out for you, and I wish you all the best.
bariton singer

Reaction of a person in the audience (not a musical saw player):
WFMU Radio DJ Brownwyn’s list of best 10 things of 2008 featured the NYC Musical Saw Festival as number 2!
“The NYC Musical Saw Festival. I’ll say it again: Hearing Satie’s ‘Gymnopedie’ played by a musical saw and a handbell choir was one of the highpoints of my life. Seriously. The piece for musical saw and Japanese music box by Scott R. Munson was outstanding, too. ”