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Concertinists Next Generation.


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#109 hjcjones

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 11:36 AM

I still wouldn't agree with that notion. The likes of Noel Hill didn't exactly pick it up off the ditches. I said above the 'professionals' seek out people to learn from, they don't exist in a vacuum, quite the contrary.


I'm not suggesting they do. What I'm saying is that having sought out people to learn from, professionals then develop it and disseminate it to the rest of us. People all over the world learn from Noel Hill, but only a minority of his pupils will be in a position to seek out the traditional sources which influenced him, especially if they haven't recorded and are playing only within a relatively confined community.

#110 Guest_Peter Laban_*

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 12:25 PM

The majority of Noel Hill's pupils is more likely to be in Ireland and most certainly not isolated from the living tradition.

I don't really get the notion of professionals 'developing' existing styles and taking them to a higher level. You could successfully argue Noel Hill 'developed' the style invented by Paddy Murphy but I don't think it would apply to all 'professionals', they're traditional musicians: part of the community and not necessarily 'higher developed' than some not wearing the 'pro' tag or those with a lesser urge for venturing out into the world.

And I apologise for going on about this but I really feel this is not a music of 'professionals'. There is such a number of wonderful players who are mad for it and play lovely music without all that hooha and hype.

Edited by Peter Laban, 07 December 2008 - 02:59 PM.


#111 hjcjones

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 04:12 AM

The majority of Noel Hill's pupils is more likely to be in Ireland and most certainly not isolated from the living tradition.

I don't really get the notion of professionals 'developing' existing styles and taking them to a higher level. You could successfully argue Noel Hill 'developed' the style invented by Paddy Murphy but I don't think it would apply to all 'professionals', they're traditional musicians: part of the community and not necessarily 'higher developed' than some not wearing the 'pro' tag or those with a lesser urge for venturing out into the world.

And I apologise for going on about this but I really feel this is not a music of 'professionals'. There is such a number of wonderful players who are mad for it and play lovely music without all that hooha and hype.


I entirely agree with your final paragraph. One of the things I value about folk music is that sense of involvement at all levels, and that there are so many wonderful musicians. I also value that the majority of the well-known players, professional or not, remain rooted in the tradition and that both amateur and professional players find it quite natural to be playing alongside one another.

Ireland is undoubtedly fortunate in having a strong living tradition and developing players are not isolated from this. But Noel Hill, for example, give classes all around the world, and many of his pupils outside Ireland will not have the same opportunity.

For myself, I had been involved in folk music for more than 10 years before I came across a "source" musician. I had unthinkingly bought into the widespread assumption that the English tradition had more or less died out at the time of Cecil Sharp. All my early influences were revival musicians, with the sole exception of the William Kimber LP. Now I have much greater access to traditional sources, both recorded and live, but the professionals remain my biggest influences, especially regarding instrumental technique.

There is a small group of people who have chosen to make a living, or part of it, from folk music. There is a much wider group of equally competent musicians who for various reasons have chosen to make their livings in other ways. I'm not saying the latter are any less important, simply that their sphere of influence is smaller - they play to fewer people and are geographically more restricted.

#112 tombilly

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 04:39 AM

I find these two views interesting because whilst they are opposed, they are also correct at the same time!

Peter is speaking from a context where 'community music' is still alive and where there are many good young and old musicians who play just for the fun of it. Though for how long in these constantly changing times remains a question.

HJC is speaking from a context where that 'community music' appears to have withered and in the abscence of 'source' musicians, then 'professionals' who record, travel to teach and lecture etc. - have a much bigger influence. This is probably true for most visitors to Cnet as folks here tend to live at a distance and use it as a connecting point - a sort of virtual community.

Which context do you live in?

#113 michael sam wild

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 04:51 AM

I think both nourish each other. The session scene or kitchen scene feeds the pros and vice versa.
As I understand it Paddy Murphy and friends listened avidly to 78s and learned tunes from those who could read O'Nell's and so it goes on.
I know alot of professionals who started as amateurs and learned from whatever sources and now feed back via performance, records and teaching

'The music goes round and round and it comes out here!'

#114 hjcjones

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 07:48 AM

I find these two views interesting because whilst they are opposed, they are also correct at the same time!

I'm not even sure they are as opposed as seems to be coming across. What I'm talking about is influence, which is entirely different from whether or not they are better musicians.

I'm not saying that the players Peter is talking about are any less deserving of attention than the professionals. But unless they are travelling, recording or broadcasting widely their influence is unlikely to extend much beyond their local communities - and if they are doing these things, the chances are they are being paid for it at least some of the time.

What makes the professionals different is that their influence does extend much further beyond their local communities. It is therefore especially interesting to look at the emerging professionals in particular. Who will be the next Noel Hill, John Kirkpatrick or Alistair Anderson? I don't know. However I do know it's unlikely to be someone who plays only in their local community for the love of it. That's not a value judgement, it's simple reality.

#115 tombilly

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 08:21 AM

Who will be the next Noel Hill, John Kirkpatrick or Alistair Anderson?


Ah! but that's telling - these are all men!. As apparent from the names bandied around above, most are young women and this is no happenstance as there are and as far as I know, always have been many more women playing concertina in Ireland than men. But women have traditionally been less likely to record and be 'professional' in that sense. And that is partly Peter's point - it is a little invidious and misleading to pick out these particular women as up & coming pros as there are many more of similar standard in the community. BTW, in Ireland the most likely way of making some income from trad music, lies in giving lessons rather than recording or doing gigs etc.

#116 Guest_Peter Laban_*

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 08:42 AM

. But unless they are travelling, recording or broadcasting widely their influence is unlikely to extend much beyond their local communities -


Yet there's the example of Paddy Murphy. Most (Irish) concertina players are now playing the style he developed. And that's what I mean when I say 'the pro's didn't pick it up off the ditches': the influence of local players will eventually seep through.

I could name another man I used to visit often: Martin Rochford, piper and fiddler from Bodyke. Martin in his old age didn't travel far, he liked to sleep in his own bed. Yet Martin Hayes built a world career on the sound Rochford carried. Mary Mac spent a lot of time in the farmhouse outside Bodyke as well, as did many others and so a local style is passed on around the world. Traditional music doesn't depend on professionals for it's development.

#117 hjcjones

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 09:09 AM

I could name another man I used to visit often: Martin Rochford, piper and fiddler from Bodyke. Martin in his old age didn't travel far, he liked to sleep in his own bed. Yet Martin Hayes built a world career on the sound Rochford carried.

That's my point - how many people ever heard Martin Rochford play? It took a professional, Martin Hayes, to carry that sound to the world

Traditional music doesn't depend on professionals for it's development.

True, and no doubt I expressed myself badly. The point I was trying to make is that professionals often develop a distinctive personal style which is then copied by others. Of course that's not to say an amateur won't develop a personal style, but it's unlikely to be widely copied, unless a professional takes it up and disseminates it.

Perhaps this is less true of Irish music, where I get the impression (it's not really my field) that a high value is placed on authenticity of style. In English music, instrumental styles on both concertina and melodeon have moved a long way from the traditional styles. The developments in technique and raising of standards generally have been driven largely by the professional and semi-professional players.

Whether this is a good or bad thing is open to discussion, but perhaps not here!

#118 Guest_Peter Laban_*

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 09:41 AM

I'll stop after this

The point I was trying to make is that professionals often develop a distinctive personal style which is then copied by others. Of course that's not to say an amateur won't develop a personal style, but it's unlikely to be widely copied, unless a professional takes it up and disseminates it.



I think maybe you underestimate how many players seek out good players, Kevin Burke, Paddy Keenan, Martin Hayes, Mary Mac etc weren't the only ones seeking out Rochford to learn music off him. His music is present in the playing of many. And my case is that the influence of people like him is very far reaching indeed. But at this point we can go in circles until the cows come home about the need for 'professionals' to further distribute it. Which is probably not useful. I do think you probably underestimate the community and living tradition that exists in parts of Ireland and the way music is passed on within the community, with modern recording methods and the internet things travel faster and more widely than they ever did before. I also think I probably think from within while your viewpoint is more from without. Which leads to further confusion.

Edited by Peter Laban, 08 December 2008 - 09:55 AM.


#119 michael sam wild

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 01:51 PM

I'll stop after this

[ I also think I probably think from within while your viewpoint is more from without. Which leads to further confusion.


Peter
I'm not being critical, but when did you become an 'insider' and start playing within the box and become accepted as a 'local'?
Mike

#120 Guest_Peter Laban_*

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 01:58 PM

I have been seriously at this for close on thirty years. I think I can make observations of what I see around me and describe the perspective as I did, surrounded as I am by traditional musicians.

Edited by Peter Laban, 08 December 2008 - 02:03 PM.


#121 hjcjones

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 02:33 PM

Having re-read what I've written today, perhaps I've come across as more dogmatic than I intended to be - in my defence I was snatching moments at work and probably hadn't composed my thoughts as carefully as I should have done - always a mistake.

I don't doubt Peter's knowledge and experience of the situation in Ireland and I'm more than happy to defer to him on this. I also agree with him that the heart of traditional music lies in the community - professional traditional music is (for me at least) a welcome addition, but the music could function and thrive perfectly well without it.

However Ireland is in a somewhat privileged position, and for those of us who don't have such an active tradition around us (including possibly ITM outside Ireland where musicians aren't in direct contact with the traditional sources) the professionals do have a bigger part to play. Professionals are not the only influences, perhaps in some cases they are not even the major influences, and they are not always the best musicians. Nevertheless, they do reach more people than most of the rest of us, and in that respect their influence cannot be ignored. That is why in my opinion it is interesting to look at the emerging professionals - that's not to say that other musicians are not worth of consideration as well.

#122 michael sam wild

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 02:11 PM

Peter

I have been seriously at this for close on thirty years. I think I can make observations of what I see around me and describe the perspective as I did, surrounded as I am by traditional musicians.



All I meant was - how long did it take you to be accepted as a 'local' Over here if you're not born in the community you are always a 'comer in'. I moved thirty miles from Lancashire to Yorkshire in 1959 and I'm still suspect and I'm 69 next week!

Having said that, I played for many years in The Dog and Partridge, The Red House and Fagan's in ' The Irish Triangle where a man can go missing for weeks' from the early 60s with immigrant Irishmen ( mainly Clare and Mayo) who were working on the buildings and the motorways and never had any problem cos we were all in the same boat and the music was under threat and the crack was great.

Then it all got a bit 'precious' after the 70s 'revival' and later Riverdance etc and new rules were applied like 'Where do you come from etc'

Edited by michael sam wild, 09 December 2008 - 02:13 PM.


#123 david_boveri

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 04:14 PM

I still wouldn't agree with that notion. The likes of Noel Hill didn't exactly pick it up off the ditches. I said above the 'professionals' seek out people to learn from, they don't exist in a vacuum, quite the contrary.


I'm not suggesting they do. What I'm saying is that having sought out people to learn from, professionals then develop it and disseminate it to the rest of us. People all over the world learn from Noel Hill, but only a minority of his pupils will be in a position to seek out the traditional sources which influenced him, especially if they haven't recorded and are playing only within a relatively confined community.


i dont know... noel speaks very highly and very frequently of those who influenced him. the only reason i bought a willie clancy cd or elizabeth crotty is because he speaks very highly of them. in fact, the reason i have so many old recordings is because of all the stories he tells about the old musicians, and his passion for preserving the old music. once, i along with many others watched come west along the road with him, and he was involved in producing/creating a great number of the videos on the tape, and besides had stories about many more of the people on the screen. noel is very keen on making the tradition come alive, and whenever i've seen him play live, one of my favorite parts of his performances is the stories he has about the people who have made the music the way it is today.

#124 ceemonster

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 11:36 PM

actually, there is a beautiful set of reels played by lorraine o'brien on this week's archived clare fm show for monday december 8. eoin o'neill is sub-hosting for joan hanrahan. the set occurs somewhere around 1:27......wonderful stuff. she and kate mcnamara are two of my faves among the younger players i've gotten to hear. apparently owen o'neill has a sunday show that is not archived, where he often plays tapes he's made of traditional players he likes, and he sometimes shares some of these clips when he guests on the archived shows....

#125 Guest_Peter Laban_*

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 04:46 AM

Eoin's programme on Sundaymorning goes out live if you want to catch it. It's usually quite the eclectic mix and he tends to indulge his fancy for Nana Mouskouri and Dolly Parton. You never know though if he's going to play local players recorded at home. He often does but not always.

In the past he has played some lovely tracks of Yvonne Griffin's playing. Maybe a case in point, one of today's very finest concertina players and teachers but little known outside her own area.

#126 ceemonster

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 10:42 PM

i really like eoin and his taste, dolly & all. ha, i was thinking about yvonne griffin while reading this thread and while listening to the lorraine o'brien clip since i'd heard in clare this summer that eoin has recorded her and i have yet to hear her. i had thought i'd finally hear/see her in kilrush and was disappointed on that score....




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