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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:12 am 
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No doubt you also know the air from Jackie Daly's playing - named after another song (A Ógánaigh An Chúil Chraobhaigh)


I had forgotten that one actually but that is why it sounded familiar in the first place. I just looked up A Ógánaigh An Chúil Chraobhaigh and found Diarmuíd O'S.'s sister singing the same song he sang in that clip. Same song, same air, different name.

I haven't listened to Jackie's recording for a long time. Having him handy and hearing him often will do that, I suppose. Does remind me of a night he brought Seamus C. to Gleeson's when they started playing again. Tom Munnelly told him on the night it was like having the Beatles getting back together. It was a good night.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:08 am 
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Probably doesn't count as a slow air, nor is it traditional, but one of my favorite tunes to listen to and play is "Weeting Fair" by a group called "Straight Furrow". The only version I can find on YouTube is this one, played on viola. The lead instrument in the original version was a recorder, if I'm not mistaken.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLV_12yvQ7U

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:43 am 
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Jackie was at an event here in Aberdeen some years back, playing away in a session, which was just winding down, and he asked to borrow a whistle from me. He played a slow air - may have been "Tir Na Nog", which is another great tune - and played it beautifully.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 6:07 am 
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Peter Duggan wrote:
benhall.1 wrote:
Leaving Lerwick Harbour is nearly a slow march to my ear. Not sure how Willie Hunter thought of it, but to my ear it doesn't fit with the usual class of Irish slow airs. (I guess it wouldn't, thinking about it.)

It's a slow air, and Willie Hunter would have regarded it as such. But not one of vocal origin or fitting the 'usual class of Irish slow airs'. It's from the Scottish/Shetland slow air tradition, as you've effectively acknowledged here.

See what you've made me do, Ben...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNQ6zQxUsVA

[Edit: sorry... same video, new URL.]

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Last edited by Peter Duggan on Sat Apr 15, 2017 7:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 6:27 am 
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I'll listen later ...

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:31 am 
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Peter Duggan wrote:
Peter Duggan wrote:
benhall.1 wrote:
Leaving Lerwick Harbour is nearly a slow march to my ear. Not sure how Willie Hunter thought of it, but to my ear it doesn't fit with the usual class of Irish slow airs. (I guess it wouldn't, thinking about it.)

It's a slow air, and Willie Hunter would have regarded it as such. But not one of vocal origin or fitting the 'usual class of Irish slow airs'. It's from the Scottish/Shetland slow air tradition, as you've effectively acknowledged here.

See what you've made me do, Ben...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jznZJvcfiHo
Nicely done, Peter.

I generally play Leaving Lismore at a moderate pace, with a bit of lift to it. Would it work as a slow air?


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:02 pm 
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Tunborough wrote:
Nicely done, Peter.

I'm still wondering about that bit where I tried to capture the spirit of the double stops... seemed like a good idea at the time, but might be a bit of a 'Marmite' moment?

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I generally play Leaving Lismore at a moderate pace, with a bit of lift to it. Would it work as a slow air?

I think Leaving Lismore needs that bit of a lilt and would be wary of going too slow.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:56 pm 
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Peter Duggan wrote:
See what you've made me do, Ben...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jznZJvcfiHo

Lovely Peter. Beautifully done. :thumbsup:

Still sounds like a slow march to me. :)

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:10 am 
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A little late to the party, but my all-time favourite to play is Cape Clear - although my 'version' may well have drifted quite far from recognisable... Here is an old recording of mine but there are probably better out there

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:09 pm 
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I've told the tale before, but since the subject of Scottish airs came up...

Years ago at a festival there was some workshop/demo thing (I can't remember the topic) but there were four or five of us that were supposed to blather about something or other.

I was on time... the other presenters were late... so I took out my Highland pipes and played some airs, the Gaelic song-airs of which there are a seemingly endless number in the Highland pipe repertoire, to fill the time.

Then the other presenters got there and I stopped and we all sat down and this Scottish harp player (an actual Scot) proceeds to tell everyone that the airs Scottish trad instrumentalists play are purely instrumental compositions, that Scottish traditional music lacks the thing of instrumentalists playing airs from the Gaelic singing tradition such as exists in Irish traditional music.

That guy had a Scottish accent and I don't so anything he says is correct and anything I say is nonsense, so I kept my mouth shut.

I wonder how many people in the audience recollected that I had played a few such airs at the start, and connected the dots...

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 1:55 am 
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Yes, there are many Scottish slow airs of vocal origin and many that are purely instrumental. My point was that Leaving Lerwick Harbour has always been an (instrumental) air and never any kind of march. For sure you could tap your foot and play it with a clockwork beat as slow as you like, but you'd be rather missing the point if you did! It's not just time signature or tempo that defines a march or an air to me, but feel and how you treat it.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 7:08 am 
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I wasn't referencing that tune or any specific tune in particular, just the general idea that the only airs that exist in Scottish traditional music are composed instrumental tunes.

I spent much time in the late 1970s and early 1980s hanging out in the local Scottish fiddle community, during which time I attended many Scottish fiddle concerts, workshops, competitions, parties, dances, and so forth. For sure in that community the airs were strictly instrumental tunes by known composers by William Marshall etc.

I can see somebody in that world, and knowing little about the Highland piping world, thinking that that's all there is.

Thing is, even now there are leading pipers who grew up in Gaelic-speaking communities and will often play Gaelic song-airs on the pipes. Many if not most of these airs haven't appeared in print, but will appear on albums by these players. If one of these players ends up publishing a tune collection some of these might find their way into print.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 8:00 am 
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pancelticpiper wrote:
I wasn't referencing that tune or any specific tune in particular, just the general idea that the only airs that exist in Scottish traditional music are composed instrumental tunes.

Understood. I was just covering myself in case my comments re. 'not one of vocal origin' and 'from the Scottish/Shetland slow air tradition' had been taken together in a way I hadn't meant.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 3:17 pm 
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DrPhill wrote:
A little late to the party, but my all-time favourite to play is Cape Clear - although my 'version' may well have drifted quite far from recognisable... Here is an old recording of mine but there are probably better out there


Absolutely Gorgeous! I have to learn it! What did you play it on?


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 6:43 pm 
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I play Cape Clear but I learned it from a player who may not have been playing it all that accurately- it might be multiple generations removed from anything authentic, so I hesitate to post a recording of me playing it.

His phrasing didn't make any sense to me, sort of a disembodied rambling string of notes, so I learned the notes from him but reworked the phrasing so that it made musical sense to me. It's rather unlikely that what I came up with matches the traditional air.

(I've not heard anyone but that guy play it.)

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Last edited by pancelticpiper on Sun Apr 16, 2017 6:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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