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Lawrence Reeves

Florence Fahy

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Just trying to get back to a normal week after the Southeast Tionól in Atlanta this past weekend. Florence Fahy was a true pleasure to work with. Upon her arrival to our orientation session, she was sitting down and playing. She plays a lovely yet unusual Wheatestone raised metal ended instrument from the late teens. It was an instrument that her father purchased while living in England for work. Her playing is solid, and she plays with a very danceable rhythm at all times. Her use of tight rolls, in combination with double row octave and chords is enjoyable both solo, or in a group. During the Saturday morning class, she taught us three jigs from around her area of Clare. She offered up written music, but I found it easy enough to pick them up by ear. This has a lot to do with her ability to concisely break the tunes down. After our lunch break we learned 2 reels. The first was the Southwest wind, which I was already familiar with, but her use of very precise ornaments and chords made her way of playing it very concertina friendly. The second reel she called the Honeymoon. It is a two part reel in G with lovely phrases. It allowed her to show a new way of tackling a three or four repeated notes without the use of a roll. We alternated the Gs between the two rows. A very subtle effect, and one that I have heard from John Kelly's playing, and also in the playing of Jacqueline and Tommy McCarthy. Florence told us that she had learned most of her music from her father, and also next door neighbor Chris Droney. At the recital, she played with a fine local guitarist named Davy Mathias, and included in her set of tunes two waltzes that she said her father played in the dance halls of London when was younger. The first had a very continental sound, and the second was a unique waltz setting of Danny Boy. She later joined the other instructors to conclude the recital with a blast of tunes. A session that started at 10 PM, and ended when they locked the doors on us at 3 AM, was also a great experience. Sunday, we tackled two barndances and three hornpipes. I strongly urge any interested in playing Irish dance music on the concertina, and specially those looking for a teacher able to break down the techniques being played to sign up for a class with Florence if she is teaching in your area. I will follow up this thread with a report about the concertina maintenance and repair workshop held by Greg Jowaisas.

Edited by Lawrence Reeves

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We heard the Danny Boy waltz version at Friday Harbor as well. Sounds like a good set of classes. Florence offers lessons in the Phoenix area if anyone gets out that way.

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We heard the Danny Boy waltz version at Friday Harbor as well. Sounds like a good set of classes. Florence offers lessons in the Phoenix area if anyone gets out that way.

 

hi....

 

what are "tight rolls"?

 

[re alternating G notes]: yes, mary macnamara uses and teaches this, and gearoid also teaches it by saying that mary uses & teaches it....you can hear martin o'brien doing it a lot on his tunes-from-tuamgraney-east-clare cd....

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Well, I suppose I am comparing to a very efficient method, very much like tight piping. Her Low D roll, is precise ( not taking over from the melody), and really works to emphasize the melody. It does not "replace" the long note, it enhances it.

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The SE Tionol was well organized, had great instructors and performers, was a very good value for the money and lots of fun. It was my first but won't be my last. Hat's off to Gary White and team for a great weekend. And Florence was a very well prepared and delightful teacher - plus an excellent player with very nice tunes. I hope they invite her back again next year. Can you tell I enjoyed myself??

 

Try it, you'll like it!

 

Ross Schlabach

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A fine time! Highly recommended!

 

Gary white and company were prepared and well organized and ran a very nice event. Thanks to my contact and friend Lawrence Reeves who was responsible for booking Florence Fahy and in charge of the concertina happenings.

 

Florence Fahy was a powerful player and delightful instructor. She was patient in her teaching and explanations of the how and why of her playing.

 

Thank you, Florence and Southeast Tionol.

 

Greg

Edited by Greg Jowaisas

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