Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Dan Worrall

Update On Goings-On, Palestine Concertina Weekend, Mar 27-29

Recommended Posts

A happy New Year to all on this site!

 

Mercifully, this frigid winter cannot last forever. It is only a little over two months before the dogwoods and azaleas will be blooming in the Southland, which means that the Palestine concertina weekend in the east Texas Pineywoods is drawing near! Here is an update on the goings-on, in this our tenth year, on March 27-29.

 

Our big news, as I reported on this forum late last year, is that Clare concertina player Ann Kirrane - Chris Droney's daughter and a splendid old time Irish player - and her friend Gerry Hanley, a button accordion player from Galway, will be with us that weekend. Ann will teach a number of concertina workshops, as well as perform in concert with Gerry. The two will do workshops in Irish song as well. Some of Ann's workshops will of course focus on Irish anglo playing - in the North Clare style of the Droney family - but others will be for general systems and for song accompaniment (and all systems are welcome at all workshops). She has been singing a fair amount of Stephen Foster in the past few years, so there will certainly be some American music tie-ins too.

 

For those with an eye to tradition, some of her workshop tunes go back to the very beginnings of concertina playing in Ireland. As mentioned on my website piece about the 'Mrs O'Dwyer's German concertina project' (of which Ann is a participant; see details at http://angloconcertina.org/), Ann's great-grandfather Michael Droney purchased a German concertina in the early 1850s and was in great demand for house dances at weddings in and around north Clare and the Burren. Her easiest tune at the workshop will be Bellharbour Hills, a waltz that has been carefully handed down in the family from Michael's playing. A polka, Tripping to the Well, she learned from her grandfather Jim Droney, and some reels (The Furrow and the Bellharbour Reel) are from her father Chris's playing. That and more will make this a unique chance for North American players to hear and learn some old tunes in a pre-session days regional Clare style.

 

But there is more. Our Palestine Regulars will have workshops on demand for beginning English and Duet (Crane and Hayden) systems. I'll be happy to sit down with anyone on Kimber-style playing, as well as my latest passion, the South African style playing of the old player Faan Harris. We will of course also have our annual 'Concertina Dinner', where the after dinner entertainment is....you and everyone else. Time for those party pieces!

 

And that is in addition to the main festival itself - the Palestine Old Time Music and Dulcimer Festival - all sorts of old time music workshops, two concerts every day, friendly, approachable old time sessions all day long, and even some Sacred Harp singing! We concertinists are only a small part of the overall festival; here is their website www.oldpalmusic.com

 

Finally, some info on logistics. Check the festival link for accommodations; there are several inexpensive hotels in small-town Palestine, as well as camping. For spouses, besides the festival concerts, the dogwoods and azaleas are in full bloom in nearby Davey Dogwood Park, and there is a wonderful old time steam train ride that runs between Palestine and Rusk. Not to mention the barbecue.

Because we concertinists are a small community, we try to help defray some of the costs of our headliners. We collect an extra $30 from each concertinist, on top of the festival main fee. We collect this 'concertina fee' at the workshops. This year that fee will be especially important, because it is extra expensive to pay for airfare across the Atlantic from Ireland. Please support this concertina workshop....the only one in the south central and southwestern US.

If you plan to come, please drop me a confirming email (via this Forum's private messaging site), so I'll get a count for planning - and let me know what concertina system you play (Anglo, English, Hayden, Crane, etc) and whether you have any specific wishes (ie, for beginning instruction, etc.). For those who confirm attendance beforehand, we will have some pre-mailing of sheet music for Ann's workshop
, so you can get a head start on that material.

See you there!

Dan

Edited by Dan Worrall

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am excited about attending again this year. In past years you have brought in Jody Kruskal, Bertram Levy, Mark Gilston and John Roberts as headliners, as well as other exceptional tutors and members of the community such as Gary Coover, Sean Minnie, Greg Jowaisas and the late Harold Herrington. It will be nice to have a specialist in the music of Clare county this year, as we have little such exposure here in these piney woods.

 

Good job, Dan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for sending the music. I am excited about coming this year. I am hoping you have good opportunities for us English players

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This will be a fine, fine workshop that I am so looking forward to. Last summer, I was on my way to County Clare when I was struck by an 'Irish Plague' virus that laid me up in Westport, County Mayo for three days. Westport's a pretty good place to be stuck for three days, but not when you're sick. Up to that point, had heard some amazing music working my way across the country. It will be a brilliant (the word I heard over and over in Ireland) time at Old Palestine to reconnect with Irish music.

 

I intend to learn the workshop songs on Anglo. So what's so strange about that? Because I've learned my small repertoire of Irish music on Hayden duet. I'll be speaking both languages...should be fun and interesting. Hope to add these new songs to our annual St. Paddy's day guerrilla music pub crawl.

 

And remember....Texas barbecue rules!

 

Rick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stephen, Stephen, and Rick (sounds like a law firm!),

 

Thanks for the kind words, and glad you are coming. Should be fun indeed...some real cross-culturalism that doesn't typically happen at these sorts of events (Co. Clare meets old time American). And Rick, you won't be the only Hayden player with an inner Anglo yen....Stephen Mills is that way, too. Many of the workshops will be good with either, and some have an Anglo focus. And usually we try to do one massed playing of the whole gaggle of concertinas, playing usually an old time waltz just for the fun of it, and the duets are always most welcome for their chording!

 

See you there.

 

Dan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And if we remember our work from last year, careful kruskalizarion of the tune requires a minimalist approach to arranging.

 

I read somewhere, maybe on these pages, that you have a herd of cattle, a flock of geese, and a din.....of concertinas. And we do indeed put together quite a din for the evening concert. I trust Gary Coover will bring that foghorn that substitutes as a bass concertina.

 

RT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the website of Mary MacNamara:

The [E. Clare] style is marked by the sparse use of commonly used ornamentation such as crans, rolls and triplets. A less technical type of ornamentation has developed, for example double octave playing and transmission of rhythm to the bellows through the foot tap in the case of concertina and melodeon players. The style is also marked by the emphasis on rhythm and swing which captures the listener and dancer alike.

 

Dan,

 

Would you say this a fair representation of Ann Kirrane's style or are there other descriptions/distinctions you would make?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the website of Mary MacNamara:

The [E. Clare] style is marked by the sparse use of commonly used ornamentation such as crans, rolls and triplets. A less technical type of ornamentation has developed, for example double octave playing and transmission of rhythm to the bellows through the foot tap in the case of concertina and melodeon players. The style is also marked by the emphasis on rhythm and swing which captures the listener and dancer alike.

 

Dan,

 

Would you say this a fair representation of Ann Kirrane's style or are there other descriptions/distinctions you would make?

 

Hi Stephen,

 

Ann is originally form North Clare, and was heavily influenced by her father, Chris Droney. I'd say that the Droney style is somewhat similar to that you describe, certainly in its relative sparseness of ornamentation. The Droneys use octaves as a frequent ornament, along with (at times) rapid triplets on a single note, and of course a lot of rhythmic drive, as this style was shaped by set dancers. Ann will of course discuss that style and its background in her workshops.

 

Hope this helps. Have you got Chris Droney's The Flowing Tide, from the Clare Set CDs of Free Reed Records? That is the best example of that style.

 

Cheers,

Dan

 

PS. Edited to add that here is a link to a site where you can hear audio samples of that album.

http://www.artistdirect.com/nad/store/artist/album/0,,4435146,00.html

Edited by Dan Worrall

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a note that the 'Mrs O'Dwyer concertina project' mentioned in the first post above (also known as the 'Irish German concertina project') is now complete, with a CD issued by the Oidreacht an Chlair (see post). The offical launch of the CD will be at the Concertina Cruinniu in Miltown Malbay, February 14-16, but the North American launch will be at this Palestine concertina weekend, coinciding with Ann Droney Kirrane's visit with us.

 

Come join us!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m looking forward to meeting Ann Kirrane and hearing her play. When I first started playing here in Texas, it seemed difficult to find concertina players that had actually learned in person from an experienced, actively-playing concertina player. In my opinion, that has been one of the great virtues of the concertina contingent at the Old Pal Festival. Now we have newer players from all over Texas (and even other states) who have heard, seen, learned from and been inspired by other concertina players.

With Ann’s visit, I look forward to being able to take another step up the ladder, learning tunes, sounds, styles, and techniques from someone who actually heard them played on concertina in her own family growing up. Even if we are sometimes seeking a “new sound,” it helps to know where such a popular tradition comes from and to know how to play in that style.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Only a month to go now to our concertina weekend, this year with Ann Kirrane and Gerry Hanley (see first post of this thread). Our weather is starting to warm up, and by time of festival opening the dogwoods and azaleas will be in full bloom. Come join us! We have a good-sized group signed up already.

 

If you send me a confirming email that you will be attending (message me via this forum and leave your email address) I can catch you up on all the details and send you the music for the workshops.

 

See you there,

Dan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just another update; only a week and a half to go before the Palestine (east Texas) Old TIme Music Festival - and Concertina Workshop.

 

In addition to Ann Kirrane and Gerry Hanley (see above post) we will be graced with an impromptu visit by Zak van der Vyver, who is traveling around the States. Zak is a wonderful Boer-style South African player, now living in England. He was recorded on Alan Day's Anglo International project some years back, and I'm sure we'll get a few good tunes out of him.

 

For non-registered late comers, no worries; pay the usual general festival fee at the door when you arrive, and then there is a surcharge for concertina players of $30, as usual (travel costs for instructor), payable at the concertina workshop (Friday and Saturday). Bring a folding chair, as seating is sometimes hard to find.

 

See you there!

 

ps. Happy St Pat's, y'all!

Edited by Dan Worrall

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another great weekend at Palestine with fun music and old and new friends. What a blast!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...