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Chatty concertinist

Chatty concertinist (4/6)

  1. Yes, that's what I'm reflecting on - the difference between what is regarded as traditional and popular music. Except that this popular music is not what you'd call 'popular' music now - commercial rock & pop etc. It's an older popular music but one that pulls in many strands of previous musical fashions that moved across Ireland. I write above of the south east of the country but as far I've observed in my travels, it's common enough across most of rural Ireland, a type of rural entertainment that just survives, like a stubborn 'weed' - not regarded as fashionable or culturally sexy or anything like that. It's a bit like the language, there are parts of Ireland where there are Gaeltachts and where Irish is spoken fairly freely as part of normal day to day life - outside of these areas, you'd have to seek out other Irish speakers if you want to practice your Gaeilge as everyone speaks English or Polish! Likewise with 'real Irish traditional music', outside of certain regions, you'd have to seek out other musicians - it's a minority interest. But the other type of 'popular Irish music' with it's varied repertoire is more widely understood - in many ways it is I think the real local cultural music of rural Ireland. How long it will survive, I don't know - maybe the current generation of iPod ers will sweep it all away, even in rural areas. Anyway, it'll be interesting to see what comes out of your project and I look forward to hearing the music recorded on it in due course.
  2. Ah yes, Peter but you're quoting established musicians there and they might well have more 'refined' views on what they want to play and hear etc. But take your rural Irish neighbours down around Miltown generally, how many of them would actively seek out a session of reels and jigs? I'd be guessing there are some but that the majority might have an eye for a night where things are a bit more mixed.
  3. Hi Dan, I certainly wouldn't wish to labour the point about pre famine repertoire as it's not that relevant to your project. I do think though that early collections by Bunting, Petrie, Joyce and even O'Neill etc, do show a large variety of different types of tunes and song airs. Of all these collections, surely O'Neill's 'Dance Music of Ireland' was the most influential and reels, jigs and hornpipes predominate in this. I also think it's fair to say that CCE have had a substantial impact on repertoire in the same way that their competitions have had an impact on style. Francis O'Neill himself was born immediately after the famine, as far as I know, and I'd guess most of his contributors also but it's fair to say that the repertoire they played must have been in use in the pre famine decades. His books were published some 50 years after the famine in Ireland. I was interested in the comments from Mary MacNamara & Chris Droney etc., re the older types of tunes that their fathers etc. played - more polkas, waltzes, barndances as well as reels and jigs. I'd guess they'd be talking of the 1920s, 30s and 40s - that sort of time period. Supposedly a period of stagnation in Irish trad music, before the 'great revival' but I think it was just there and largely ignored, unobserved. But this older tradition is not entirely dead as I mentioned above. I live in the SE of Ireland and would go along to two distinct types of 'sessions' - the more regular pub session where reels, jigs and hornpipes are the norm and then the 'rambling house' type session where you'll hear great variety, these latter sometimes called 'Irish nights'. These rambling house type sessions in Wexford and south Wicklow are in themselves a revival of a tradition where people met in neighbours kitchens and would take turns to play a tune, sing a song, tell a story etc. Nowadays tend to be more formalised and held in community halls and lounge bars etc - run by a fear an tí, who'll call out people to play or sing. You'd be as likely to hear someone singing or playing Brendan Shine type 'Do you want your lobby washed down' songs as much as local traditional ballads and songs and then sets of polkas, marches, waltzes as well as a few reels and so on. There'd be the odd bit of dancing, a few waltzes, a bit of a set - taking into account that people are often elderly. The thing is that in many ways, these gatherings are far truer to the real local cultural tradition of the area, local people would be attending these who wouldn't take much interest at all in the 'reel, jig, hornpipe' type pub session. Some people associated with Irish trad music might well look down on these sort of gatherings as too loose and 'not very traditional' but I don't think that would occur to the participants - they just regard it as an 'Irish night'. As regards concertinas, not that many to be seen around here and mainly young people playing them in the 'modern style', so part of the anglo concertina revival. Boxes are different though, I know a few that play B/C accordions and would mostly play in C, along the row. Saw a fine one row melodeon player recently, great rhythm and style. Piano accordions also evident, something you'd rarely see in a 'standard session'.
  4. I'm not quite sure what the pre-famine era repertoire was - don't think anyone really is, apart from a few early collections which may or may not have been reflective of what the ordinary people played. I do perceive though the modern view of traditional music in Ireland is very much driven by reels, jigs and hornpipes - polkas are a thing they play down in Cork & Kerry and maybe a few barndances in Clare & Sligo/ Leitrim etc. That's kinda the 'received wisdom'. Probably all sorts of reasons for this but I also know from my own experiences of older local people and what they think of 'Irish music' in the south east of Ireland, that the above definition is very limited. Sure you'll have a few sets of reels and jigs but there's a surprising amount of other tune types played; waltzes, quicksteps, polkas, marches etc. never mind the song & recitation tradition - all sorts of odds and ends in fact. The difference between being in a session of 'modern players' and 'older people' is very noticeable in terms of variety. I wouldn't say that this is necessarily a reflection of a very old tradition, more a continuation of a process of acquiring repertoire that is always changing. For myself, I'm trying to play more with these older folk and acquire some of these tunes.
  5. I read through your pages on this project, well worth it and fair dues to you for making the effort. It would be so easy to just hold onto the instrument as a collector but you've done the right thing. Interesting to read about the nature of the old sets and the prevalence of the polka & barn dances etc. We tend to forget this when we think of the homogenising of style in recent decades. I think CCE may have done good for traditional music in some respects and a disservice in others, through the promotion of the fleadhs and competitions and the like.
  6. Reminds me of a story on the radio here a while back, it was true but typical of many 'urban legends', I'm sure. Irish chap had his new smart phone (not that common a few years ago) lifted whilst on holidays in London. He had installed an app or software that reported back the position via the GPS chip when requested. So, he acquires the position when he gets back to Ireland, enters it in Google Earth and zooms in on some house in Wales where his phone is now residing. Phones the local bobbies, gives them the phone number and address of the house. They pop along, phone the number and ring the bell. Yer man comes out to answer the door carrying his ill gotten goods etc.!!
  7. Coronation Street ain't on all day, is it. So why not just agree on some division of time?
  8. Excuse me for asking and please don't take any offence, but curious as to why you wouldn't be using it, if you are busking and playing to make a few bob??
  9. Well I've had a few run ins with our dog regarding shoes and headphones etc. - expensive creatures although they make up for it other ways. So tend to be very careful where I put musical instruments down, particularly where dogs and young children are involved! I've a friend who has a lovely crack in the barrel of his flute after his one year old got it and thought it was a drumstick..
  10. tombilly

    Use Tax

    Maybe justifying the tax in this manner is just to make it palatable to the public, even if that's not really what the law says in the first place - which is of course, dishonest. You'd have to read the fine print to be sure and then make up your mind. In relation to sales tax in Europe, I've paid Value Added Tax on new items imported from the States etc. But I've sucessfully argued against it, where the goods were secondhand, as the sales tax had already been collected in the States. In this case, I paid the tax in order to receive the goods, and then appealed sending photos showing wear & tear etc. and suggesting they might like to call & inspect at their lesiure etc. I got a refund.
  11. 30 button Lachenal in C/G for sale below - if you change your mind! http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=14654
  12. tombilly

    Use Tax

    Reads like a sound argument - go on, take them on and argue your case on that basis. I reckon a lot of public officials make things up as they go along and they need to be challenged when there's a reasonable case that they're applying a law unfairly. Just paying them to avoid hassle encourages them.. So challenge it and see what happens
  13. tombilly

    Use Tax

    I see, so it's like buying something from outside the European Union and paying import tax etc. Doesn't the sales tax part depend on whether the vendor normally charges sales tax in their country of taxation?
  14. I guess the market is a little limited? You're looking for someone who wants a 'high end' concertina and who is not on a waiting list somewhere. Combined with the fact that many people are under a bit of financial pressure these days.
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