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Elizabeth

New video of Simon Thoumire playing English concertina

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And by "perfect", I mean that he's getting exactly what he wants.

I'll bet he can hear more mistakes than both of us put together.

Especially if
he
is listening to
my
playing.
:D

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"Dislike intensely," you say. Does it make you uncomfortable?

 

Not uncomfortable particularly. More it leaves me cold - though I can admire the technical proficiency

 

I think some of us have been thinking that you have been trained, perhaps by yourself, to dislike that sort of music, but another possibility has just occurred to me: Could it be something more innate, like the fact that some folks truly can't seem to come to grips with the in-out of an anglo concertina, while others can't handle the ping-pong alternation of the English? What also comes to mind is a couple of folks I know, one of whom plays baritone concertina because he totally can't hear the upper notes of a treble, and the other finds most music with heavy bass inadequate, because she can't hear the bass notes, even when her body can feel their impact.

 

Note that even if that is the case, I'm not calling it a deficiency, just a difference, like folks with longer or shorter fingers. I, for one, can't appreciate music that is extremely loud.

 

I have been groping, I think not very successfully, to analyse what specifically it is I don't like about that particular performance. Maybe I should just accept that it is more of a gut reaction on an emotional level - perhaps in the same way you don't like music that's really loud. It's not just this particular performance but this kind of very fast playing in general that I don't really enjoy and I do genuinely feel that in playing very fast like that, something gets lost.

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I have been groping, I think not very successfully, to analyse what specifically it is I don't like about that particular performance. Maybe I should just accept that it is more of a gut reaction on an emotional level - perhaps in the same way you don't like music that's really loud. It's not just this particular performance but this kind of very fast playing in general that I don't really enjoy and I do genuinely feel that in playing very fast like that, something gets lost.

(Tootler)

 

 

I am with you on that Tootler !

 

For me it is just too much technique and not enough MUSIC.

 

Fast playing can sound rushed, in fact sometimes music played at a slower pace can also sound hurried. I prefer a more laid-back approach so that notes do not arrive at my ear before my brain expects them. This can be done at almost any speed.

For dancing there is a need to set an exact pace and much time is given over during our local band practices to ensure that we are playing at a good dance tempo by several musicians dancing around the kitchen whilst we play.

 

For playing dance music for listening purposes I think a slower speed is nicer.

 

I am not saying that this video sounds hurried, more that the music sounds crowded and I would hope that people will not see this as a goal to work to, as THE way to play.

 

A good modern example (amongst others) of slower playing, that I like, is the almost perfect CD 'Tracin' by Gearoid O'Hallmhurain and Patrick Ourceau.

Edited by Geoff Wooff

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Pat Mitchell, in his article 'Rhythm and Structure in Irish Dance music' uses a quote from Daniel Corkery that describes this quite well:

 

“… it was never simple-hearted enough to speak plainly, and so, intensely. It therefore

dazzles us rather than moves us.

 

0206bbc6d3b49ddefdb43dd3a9bb61b3.gif

Edited by Peter Laban

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Because these 'Traditional' or 'Folk' musics are usually learned ( or passed on) oraly it is vitally important to listen to GOOD playing. It is often said that learning in this way should involve 75% ( or some similar figure) listening time and 25% practicing time. This then involves listening to the very best source material(AND ONLY THAT), of a style that one wants to learn, that can be found. The old players usually have the best, unadulterated,music.

There is little point in listening to the 'modern' bands that proliferate today, unless you already know and understand the music of the most ancient recorded musicians. Many of us started our interest in these traditional musics after hearing those modern bands of the 1970's, in Irish music that means the likes of Planxy and the Bothy Band. It was only when we got to look behind these musicians, to see where their music was coming from, that we discovered a wealth of great music that was played in a fashion which might not be considered "presentable" for the general public but was the heart and bones and the starting block.... something to really study.

 

So, for me, this meant that within a year of first hearing "Planxty" I was sitting next to Packie Russell in Doolin, trying to figure out the how's and what's of his music.

 

So this video is for the big stage, for the TV watching audience... it is not Musicians music.

Edited by Geoff Wooff

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There is a difference in my opinion to playing for a watching audience and playing strict tempo for dancing. This argument will roll on for ever on this site (and others) as some prefer strict tempo music and others are happy for faster or even slower tempo music that that which the tune was originally written for.Simon has come under a lot of scrutiny here and if I received this lot I doubt if I would record again. The difference I suppose is that He is getting money for his performance and I am not. I do however agree that some highly technical playing leaves me cold. I appreciate the ability of the player (s) to create very fast, highly ornamented playing but I would not enjoy an evening of it or even a CD that consisted of it. There is one French player of the melodeon who is technically better than anyone I have ever heard, but after a minute or two of his playing I reach for the off button.

Al

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So this video is for the big stage, for the TV watching audience... it is not Musicians music.

 

You seem to have taken it upon yourself to define "music" of all genres in such a way that it excludes everyone apart from a tiny, insignificant (in proportion to the world's musicians) number of people who play "Irish Traditional Music" in exactly the way you like it.

 

The world would be an infinitely sadder place if all music - Bach, Shostakovich, Klezmer, Folk, Heavy Metal, Minimalist (blah blah) - was played as you are advocating. Isn't it better to celebrate the diversity which allows everybody to find music that they enjoy, rather than looking down with scorn on everything that doesn't fit into one chosen niche?

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So this video is for the big stage, for the TV watching audience... it is not Musicians music.

 

You seem to have taken it upon yourself to define "music" of all genres in such a way that it excludes everyone apart from a tiny, insignificant (in proportion to the world's musicians) number of people who play "Irish Traditional Music" in exactly the way you like it.

 

The world would be an infinitely sadder place if all music - Bach, Shostakovich, Klezmer, Folk, Heavy Metal, Minimalist (blah blah) - was played as you are advocating. Isn't it better to celebrate the diversity which allows everybody to find music that they enjoy, rather than looking down with scorn on everything that doesn't fit into one chosen niche?

 

 

Hmmm, do I really include all genres of music in this statement? I certainly would not presume to do such a thing.I am only speaking of one genre, ITM, of which a lot of people who are involved with it have very strong views regarding style and taste. I was trying to address my point to those, like Fernando who is on a quest to play this particular musical genre on the EC, in a style that will convince the non believers that it is valid to do so. Fernando says, further up this topic, that wow this is the way forward, this is the way Irish music can be played on the EC, or words to that effect. I am trying to say, look behind a perfomance like this. Yes take on some of Simon Thoumire's techniques but look long and hard at the old players too.Mr. Thoumire did not start from here either.

 

When one makes a recording for Television/ Radio or is interviewed for a Newspaper, one has to sign a release form, which means "they" can do with the material whatsoever they fancy to.If then the "material" is not to your liking there is little you can do to stop "them" from using it.

 

When watching an acrobat performing on a bicycle it is possible to imagine that it might inspire someone to start riding but would you use the performance as instructional material for cycle training ?

Edited by Geoff Wooff

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Hmmm, do I really include all genres of music in this statement?...

 

Yes (in spite of your denial!!). Simon isn't trying to play ITM, he's not even trying to play Scottish TM. He's just playing music, with a lot of passion, skill and fun, in a way that gives a lot of people pleasure. I don't see what people can reasonably have against that, even if they don't personally enjoy the result.

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Hmmm, do I really include all genres of music in this statement?...

 

Yes (in spite of your denial!!). Simon isn't trying to play ITM, he's not even trying to play Scottish TM. He's just playing music, with a lot of passion, skill and fun, in a way that gives a lot of people pleasure. I don't see what people can reasonably have against that, even if they don't personally enjoy the result.

 

I did not say he was playing ITM or STM but that some might ( and do) see it that way as he is playing "traditional" type tunes. I feel that although it may appear that I am being critical of this performance, other that to say it is not my cup of tea,I am only concerned by some of the reactions given here.

Edited by Geoff Wooff

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Hmmm, do I really include all genres of music in this statement?...

 

Yes (in spite of your denial!!). Simon isn't trying to play ITM, he's not even trying to play Scottish TM. He's just playing music, with a lot of passion, skill and fun, in a way that gives a lot of people pleasure. I don't see what people can reasonably have against that, even if they don't personally enjoy the result.

 

I did not say he was playing ITM or STM but that some might ( and do) see it that way as he is playing "traditional" type tunes. I feel that although it may appear that I am being critical of this performance, other that to say it is not my cup of tea,I am only concerned by some of the reactions given here.

 

No doubt Simon enjoys his music and may well not give a damn what the rest of you think !

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I did not say he was playing ITM or STM but that some might ( and do) see it that way as he is playing "traditional" type tunes.

The BBC is calling the show "Travelling Folk," under the "Celtic Connections" label, after all.

 

But to be clear: My comments don't have anything to do with whether or not Mr. Thoumire is playing traditional tunes, or in a traditional style. I'll also add that I like the part where he does a little run up to the very high notes on the concertina, it made me smile. People often call those notes useless, I think they have their place, if you know how to use them.

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Hi guys, thanks for taking the time to discuss my video - I do really appreciate it. Everyone makes valid points here. There are little mistakes in the performance. I believe in going for it in a performance - taking a few chances and see where it takes me. This is the way we learn. I do understand that trad music is for dancing though I don't play for dancing just performance which has a different outlook. I love the buzz of a live gig and yes dont we all get carried away at times. I think that the two mistakes mentioned in this thread were totally worked out in advance and could be called technical tricks!

 

I love playing slow and midpaced material as this kind of music really shows of the beauty of the English concertina. (far more than the Anglo!) There are 3 more videos from that concert that will hopefully go up at some point that will show that.

 

Re Irish or Scottish music I play music that I like. No point in holding yourself to one tradition there's. So much out there to enjoy :)

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I appreciate the ability of the player (s) to create very fast, highly ornamented playing but I would not enjoy an evening of it or even a CD that consisted of it.

Al

 

I agree Alan that variety is the spice of life & just as I wouldn't particularly like to listen to a full CD on which every track was fast & furious, neither would I particularly enjoy a CD on which every track was slow, pondering & deliberate.

 

I'd just like to say that the Simon Thoumire CDs that I have, show a wonderful musical diversity, with huge variety & although I have no actual desire to play music on my EC exactly as he does, preferring as I do to play in a more traditional style & pace, I still thoroughly enjoy listening to his excellent music ... played brilliantly.

 

I also love listening to Jazz Funk & Classical Music but I also have absolutely no desire to play any of that stuff, either.

 

If we remember the context, I think this was probably just what the Doctor ordered. Also, I'd like to bet that he either followed this set with a slow air or perhaps a set of jigs at a more traditional pace & style. B)

 

Cheers

Dick

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thanks Simon , it's nice to see the generous rejoinder :) Any time you are in Sheffield come for a jam we are very eclectic ( and accoustic too)!

Edited by michael sam wild

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I love playing slow and midpaced material as this kind of music really shows of the beauty of the English concertina. (far more than the Anglo!) There are 3 more videos from that concert that will hopefully go up at some point that will show that.

 

Looking forward to them - keep up the good work Simon!

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I love playing slow and midpaced material as this kind of music really shows of the beauty of the English concertina. (far more than the Anglo!) There are 3 more videos from that concert that will hopefully go up at some point that will show that.

 

Looking forward to them - keep up the good work Simon!

 

I'll second that. However I will take issue over the comments about the Anglo. Perhaps because I play one - however clumsily.

 

Re Irish or Scottish music I play music that I like. No point in holding yourself to one tradition there's. So much out there to enjoy

 

Good point. Tunes travel very widely & we certainly play tunes that originated in a variety of places (because we like them), but I would suggest in a local style.

Edited by Tootler

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Here's some videos of Simon and Ian Carr. The clips just went up on YouTube today.

 

Simon Thoumire - Ian Carr Set of Jigs : Jigs - Inspector Donald Campbell/Charles O'Connor/Blue Bonnets/Rory MacLeods (all trad)

http://www.youtube.com/simonthoumire1#p/u/3/ydsKWgD01X8

 

Simon Thoumire - Ian Carr Itchy Fingers: Itchy Fingers (Pipe Major Rab Pinkman)/Tam Bain's Lum (Pipe Major Donald Shaw Ramsay)/Blackberry Blossom (trad)

http://www.youtube.com/simonthoumire1#p/u/2/zEzvoMAA9KA

 

Simon Thoumire - Ian Carr hornpipe and march : Granton Fish Bowl (Simon Thoumire)/Prince Charles's Welcome to Simon Thoumire's Concertina (Simon Thoumire)

http://www.youtube.com/simonthoumire1#p/u/1/kQbvrGL9zUA

 

Simon Thoumire - Ian Carr - Reels and air: Baby I Love You (Ian Carr) / Henninglaten (trad) / Irish Reel (trad)

http://www.youtube.com/simonthoumire1#p/u/4/0UeLNiSMS_g

 

Simon Thoumire - Ian Carr - Strathspey and Reelish: The Brocken Spectre (Ian Carr)/3 Piece Suite (Simon Thoumire)

http://www.youtube.com/simonthoumire1#p/u/0/XM-3RJHaxlM

 

Simon Thoumire - Ian Carr play Shetland tunes: 3 tunes Da Fashion O'Da Delting Lassies (trad)/ Christmas Day in the Morning (trad)/Arizona Mood (Ian Carr).

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