Jump to content
Maestronet Forums


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Recent Profile Visitors

4121 profile views

mayofiddler6's Achievements

Senior Member

Senior Member (4/5)

  1. Ha ha! Rantings, yes I guess they are. But they are meant with good intent I do have digital versions of that tape. Peter Horan died very recently. He was a good friend. I know he was ever generous with his music and his CDs and even the vinyl he had left from their first LP. I'll post a track here later if my internet connection allows it, the download bandwidth is fine but upload is pathetic and things often time out. I know Peter wouldn't have minded at all otherwise I wouldn't do it. He always encouraged people to record his playing so that they could learn his style and versions of tunes. He was even more of a ranter than me Sean McGuire. I have to confess I don't like northern fiddling styles and I particularly don't like classically trained fiddlers trying to shoehorn Irish music into western classical notation and ideas. I abhor with absolute venom any type of fusion music being sold as traditional just to make money for the artist, to the disservice of the music. I think if you read this you will guess which side of the fence I would be on. http://www.irishfiddle.com/mcguireinterview.html
  2. Ah, there's some great stuff there I understand it's probably a bit hard on the ear if you're not used to listening to that old stuff. But if you were to maybe start off with some of the slightly more modern players you could work your way backwards. I don't think you'd be far off the mark if you listened to John Vesey, a superb South Sligo style fiddler. There is a double CD out with some great versions of the Coleman and Killoran stuff on it and much easier to listen to. Also there is Bobby Casey (casey In The Cowhouse) or Vincent Griffin both great Clare fiddlers, although pretty individualistic (is there such a word?). The Kane sisters play some nice Paddy Fahey (Galway) tunes which are modern but he writes well within the tradition. Paddy In The Smoke is a seminal recording of Irish players living/working in London, lots of the great names on it. They are fairly rough and noisy field recordings made in London pubs but great music all the same. If you can get the old Peter Horan and Fred Finn cassette from Comhaltas you will hear a Sligo fiddle and flute duet from heaven. A lot of it was re-released on CD recently but the old tape is better IMHO if you have the means to play it. There's lots out there. Listen to a few county styles and see what you like, then dig into the really old stuff and incorporate the "lost" ornaments and little tricks that many modern players have forgotten or never heard because they don't have the patience to listen properly.
  3. Phew! Where to start? As you say, gotta start somewhere but unfortunately that guy is not the place. His style is boring, repetitive, he uses vibrato (a big no-no in Irish music), sounds bluegrass and also classically trained (although the last may just be his terribly smooth bowing). The tunes are remarked on below. I did a quick search for him and the first vids that turned up were all O'Carolan compositions. O'Carolan was highly influenced by Italian classical composers despite also having a traditional harping background. Unhappily many Americans and Brits start by playing his tunes as they crop up in "easy" tune books as the first tunes to learn. Then those same hopeful learners turn up in sessions here during their holidays and wonder why people get up to go to the bar or the toilet every time they start playing. It's not elitism, it's just that they aren't the tunes that people would play in sessions here and so they don't have much interest in them. They'll politely applaud one or two of them but the migrations to the bar will begin if more get played. If you persist in playing them and the other musicians get fed up and want to play themselves, they will either talk through every tune you play until you give up or just start other tunes over the top of you. Every social setting has its dynamics and this is how problems in sessions are generally worked out. Anyway, sorry for the diversion into session etiquette! As I'm at it I may as well say that every session has a respected and unofficial leader and he/she starts the majority of tunes or asks others to start some. Don't ever walk into a session, take a seat without making sure it isn't used by one of the regulars, and then blast into every gap in the playing with your own tunes. You will become more unpopular than...a very unpopular thing. Many of O'carolan's tunes are simple and melodic but structured completely differently to - and in different modes to - trad dance music. This isn't the place for a history lesson so it's probably better to ask "Do you want to play trad dance music or trad/classical airs and songs?" In other words, do you like players like Coleman or Killoran? Or do you prefer semi-classical stuff as performed by The Chieftains? If you like trad dance music all of my earlier comments in this thread apply. If you like semi-classical harp music then I can't help as I don't play it or have any interest in it. But most of all, if I have to say it a thousand times, don't learn from Americans or Brits. What's the point of copying someone who is trying to copy the original? Why not go to the source straight away? It makes sense in most things. If you were going to make a violin you wouldn't copy a Chinese copy of a Stradivari. You'd get the plans for a Strad.
  4. Actually it's experience not ignorance that drives my comments. Nearly 60 years growing up and playing this music. And racist is obviously an angry response by someone from the UK who feels slighted by my comments, so I'll ignore it. If you can point me to one American or UK player that sounds Irish I'll retract my words. However I know from recordings and innumerable sessions throughout my life you won't be able to do that. There are plenty of brilliant technicians from either country but none of them have the right feel or sound. I have heard some absolutely brilliant Japanese flute and Uilleann pipe players though, so it's it's a cultural thing. You guys can't hear it. I don't know why the Japanese can, maybe it's so alien to them at first that they hear it in a more analytical way. American Irish music is strongly influenced by Scottish music, you can easily hear it and also to a lesser extent what to me (in wholly admitted ignorance of the various genres) is "generic" American old timey or bluegrass sound. English Irish music is influenced by the rumpety-tump of English folk fiddle and a kind of sterile pretentiousness. It's hard to put into words but it's prissy. That's just the way it is. If you come and live in Ireland for 20 years with an open mind to the music instead of ideas of racist tendencies amongst us, you may just start to understand. Summer holidays in the false atmosphere at festivals or at sessions in the Dublin tourist pubs won't cut it. You need to live here and absorb it for many years to clear the clutter out of your head. In the meantime don't dismiss the experience of others who have done that and more, just because your feelings are hurt. It won't help your music.
  5. Oh god, I'm going to get in trouble here as usual. However I feel strongly enough about the music to throw in my tuppence worth. There is no such thing as an "Irish fiddle method". The first thing you have to do is decide the style you like. This will vary from county to county even in this day and age. If you listen to young bland fiddle players from Dublin or the majority of Comhaltas fiddlers you may indeed think there *is* a generic Irish style. You will find lots of Americans, Brits etc. who think this but they sound as traditional as <put your favourite heavy metal guitarist here>. So - pick your county style. Get CDs, preferably old re-releases of 78 rpm records from the 1920s or 30s. Most of those will be Sligo style. If you don't like the Sligo style (IMHO you would have to be insane if you didn't like Michael Coleman or Paddy Killoran) then get the oldest recordings you can find of the county style that grabs you. Then learn by ear exclusively. Never learn Irish trad music from a book. If you have absolutely no other way of finding out then maybe you can look at the fundamental forms of ornaments in a book. Then throw the book in the bin immediately and listen to how those ornaments are played by good, old-fashioned traditional Irish players. Do not listen to recordings of Brit or American fiddlers, they have no clue. Do not listen to modern CDs of bands, they play traditional tunes but not in a trad way. Get solo players who play in a correct old style. If you learn from a book you will end up sounding like a sewing machine, your bowing technique will be monotonous and boring. It doesn't matter who wrote the book. Nobody uses the same bowing patterns for each style of tune or even three times through the same tune. If you want to end up sounding like any American fiddler playing Irish music then go ahead and buy books. If you want to sound like a genuine Irish fiddler learn by ear, but not from the "famous" names of the 80s and 90s onwards, as most of those player were in the entertainment market not the trad market. The CDs that came out in the 60s were not made by the musicians to make a fortune, so they are more reliable (many of them were more in the way of field recordings than commercial recordings). And I beg you - don't learn from CDs of American-Irish players. They have their own style which is so recognisably American I cringe when I hear it. It's fine if you accept it for what it is, but not as Irish trad music. Good luck.
  6. Does the ash make the violin stink of cigarettes? I ask because anything a ciggy comes near (houses, clothes, hair, the smoker etc.) always reek of them. I can't imagine how a violin would not smell the same. I have a terrible memory of one time back in the early 70s when I used to smoke ciggies and various other substances. I used to keep a can of coke (the cola kind not the sniffing kind) by the bed in case I woke up thirsty in the night. Of course one night I had brought this girl back and we'd lain in bed smoking and stubbing out the ciggies in the half-empty can. Yes, you've guessed it. I woke up half-asleep in the morning and took two large gulps before I realised I was drinking a thick lava-like cigarette-ash glue. Let me tell you that "mineral ground" isn't good for the stomach. Good way to stop you smoking though.
  7. Haven't been on for a while so missed most of this. I was going to say that the back looked vaguely French but the front didn't belong to the fiddle. Nothing about it matched the look of the back. Now that I know the whole thing was made from different designs from different countries and the ffs are your own, that explains all :-) PS You had me fooled about the age after a first quick scan of the pics. I thought it was a bit older than it is.
  8. I don't know what that means, but Amarone is my favourite wine, nothing comes close :-) 2001 a great year!
  9. Been busy so just throwing in a late comment. C & J book is the best IMO, I have all the others somewhere and rarely (if ever) look at them. I don't use the C & J book much any more, but if I forget something that's the first place I go. I second the opinion of the poster that said get the Peter Prier vids if you can afford them. I assume you can't as you were struggling over whether to buy the C & J book. But the vids will reveal an enormous amount to a newcomer, even though there is a lot of tedious and repetitive stuff in them. If you ever come into a few shekels try to get them as early in your new career as possible. Also, for some free reading that will waste enormous amounts of your time but be highly entertaining, go to The Internet Archive and search for violin or violin making under the texts section. There are a large number of out of copyright Victorian and later books that will tell you a lot about how we have arrived at our current opinions about violins and violin making. And this all from the guys who were around when all our current beliefs and predjudices were being set in stone. It's amusing to see now famous names sniping at each other. But it's also highly instructive to read the experiments that were done to prove or disprove things we still argue about, and all the contraptions they came up with to do so.
  10. Yep, mine folow a similar pattern. Big change after two days, another big change after two weeks, then a milder change at about 3 months and again at 18 months. After that they don't seem to change much in sound. If I replace the soundpost or bridge they seem to go through the first two stages again and then just hop back to the final settled sound. I wonder how much of that is just getting used to the sound? I use oil over mineral ground. After a couple of years the varnish visually seems to have dried all the way through and looks like old violin varnish rather than some shiny-ish semi-matt stuff. But this doesn't seem to have any noticeable effect on the sound.
  11. As an aside to Fellow's earlier question, this month's Strad mag has the "usual" generic workflow for identifying violins. At least, the one that is most published.
  12. Thanks folks. Not sure about Mr. Burkard's though, his business might go down the pan. Or perhaps it's a Chinese layout, suitable for producing a lot of cr*p Don, I like the area for practising mediaeval torture on primates.
  13. I seem to remember a thread a year or so ago about designs for workshops. Tried a search but couldn't find it. Does anybody remember the thread (maybe the person that started it)? I'm thinking of building a bigger place but don't want to re-start a topic if it's already been covered in another thread. Many thanks.
  14. Nice, gave me a laugh. I think that answers the other thread about ebay violins :-)
  15. I said "I have to be dead first" and you said Ouch! Take that knife out of my back
  • Create New...