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 Post subject: "Insanely fast"?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:04 pm 
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Watch "Insanely fast tin whistle tunes by Sandy Jasper and the Elf Song band. Red Wing and Soldiers Joy" on YouTube: https://youtu.be/zIqTd5dsAZ

Best wishes,

K.


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 Post subject: Re: "Insanely fast"?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:06 pm 
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keithsandra wrote:
Watch "Insanely fast tin whistle tunes by Sandy Jasper and the Elf Song band. Red Wing and Soldiers Joy" on YouTube: https://youtu.be/zIqTd5dsAZ

Best wishes,

K.

The link doesn't work for me.

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 Post subject: Re: "Insanely fast"?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:10 pm 
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Ah. Got it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIqTd5dsAZk

What was the point you were making keithsandra?

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 Post subject: Re: "Insanely fast"?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:32 pm 
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I was wondering if others thought Sandy Jasper's playing was "insanely" fast, and further opinions.

I was wonderfully surprised how coherent the tunes were at that speed.
Or aren't you impressed?

K.


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 Post subject: Re: "Insanely fast"?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:19 pm 
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If fast is your thing, I’d say that’s not so fast.


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 Post subject: Re: "Insanely fast"?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:01 pm 
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I've played quite a bit for dancers (Highland, Irish, Bulgarian, etc) over the last 40 years and my opinion is that dance tunes don't sound right when played too fast for the dances for which the tunes were intended.

Once dance tunes are played too fast for the purpose for which they were created, what purpose do they serve? To impress people with the dexterity of the player? That's putting the cart before the horse in my opinion. The player serves the music, not the other way round.

Breandan Breathnach gives the tempi below, and comments

"To play the music at a quicker tempo detracts from the melody; to play it somewhat slower can do no harm. It was customary for many of the older musicians when playing for themselves to adopt a slower pace than that demanded by the dancers."

Double jigs: 127
Single jigs: 137
Slip Jigs: 144
Reels: 224 (beating four times per bar, or 112 beating twice per bar)
Hornpipes: 180 (beating four times per bar, or 90 beating twice per bar)

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 Post subject: Re: "Insanely fast"?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:34 pm 
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pancelticpiper wrote:
The player serves the music, not the other way round.

Amen to that.

There is some craic to ramping it up and up like that; got the kids all twirly, at any rate. We did the same thing at a session once, launching the Dingle Regatta to race faster and ever faster, but it was for ourselves; we were simply feeling ridiculous - rumor has it that drink might have been involved - and wanted to see how far we could go before the inevitable trainwreck happened, and we got further with it than I would have thought, probably because of it being a slide. Needless to say the end result could only be called bizarre, but that was the whole point of the exercise, and that's the last time we ever pulled that one out of our butts. Some things are worth doing only once, IMHO.

But back to the vid: Try as I want to, I find myself unable to mince words. My ears found the whole thing very hard to enjoy chiefly because the players weren't in tune, which gave the backup even less lift than it already didn't have, and because the speeds arrived at took away from the music rather than adding something good to it. The whistler's ability to play Soldier's Joy at such speeds speaks for itself well enough - I'm sure she put a lot of practice into it for the purpose - but all things considered, at what price? Mere brute speed is not enough for congratulation.

That said, there's always the legitimate tension between the options of which side to butter your bread: serving the music, or serving the audience as an entertainer first. Depending on your talents and propensities, it's not always easy to balance the two. If the ramped-up Soldier's Joy is a steady part of the act, then there you have it: Entertainment, pure and simple, and nothing more. But fercryinoutloud, then at least show your audience enough respect to tune up, please. It is not an option.

I suppose I should put on my flameproof undies, now.

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 Post subject: Re: "Insanely fast"?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:12 pm 
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I'm not big on the 'speed merchant' thing. When you listen to Micho and Gussie Russel playing for their neighbors, with the sound of of the brogans on the flag stones echoing off the kitchen walls, the steady beat with lift is the genuine sound of ordinary people, the people who kept this genre alive before most of us were a gleam in someone's eye. Floating around on the 'interwebs' is a recording of a once in a lifetime gathering of many legendary players, dubbed 'The Session of the Century'. It starts fast, with the sheer joy of people who either haven't played together before, or not in a long time. And over a six hour or more period of time, it gets faster and more electric. Truly a magical event. But in truth, a bit of a one off. The same can be said for a few sessions I've attended after tionols or feis, where the music went on until the morning light came in through the windows. The energy and magic wasn't in the speed but in the joy of sharing the tunes. And in truth the pulse and speed went up and down.
At my local, sometimes we will try to set a new 'land speed record' with an old war horse or two, with varying success. But really, too much can be too much.

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 Post subject: Re: "Insanely fast"?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:50 am 
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I went to bed last night before responding as to what I thought of that. It's 7:30 in the morning now. I don't need to listen to it again.

I would make very similar points to Nano above. I'd add:

* IMO it never got "insanely fast";
* It was, however, too fast for that particular whistler to play properly; and
* No, I'm not impressed.

The tuning thing is particularly irritating, so I'm probably in agreement with Nano on that. What worried me about that, actually, was that the tuning was way better at the beginning, and also that I had some doubts about the internal tuning of the whistle. Maybe it was because of the speed, and some lack of control creeping in, but it seemed to get sharp at the bottom notes as the thing progressed.

Having said all of that, I don't blame them at all for doing something that panders to the crowd. The crowd seemed to like it and that is, after all, what the band were being paid for (assuming they were being paid).

I ought to add, in all fairness, that there have been plenty of times when, if someone had been recording me playing when I wasn't expecting it, my tuning, timing and anything else might have left much to be desired. Live performance can be like that. So, to an extent, criticism of this sort might be unfair.

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 Post subject: Re: "Insanely fast"?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 12:02 pm 
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I'm curious whether Sandy Jasper is playing one of her own whistles or another brand like a Burke?

The whole outdoor sound seems artificial to my ear, way too much reverb for my taste, and if the tuning is off as has been mentioned, then the whole piece is mush which the speed doesn't enhance nor impress one bit. The Chieftains speed up a march for the entertainment aspect so its been done before.

No, not impressed here.

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 Post subject: Re: "Insanely fast"?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:22 am 
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It was fine for what it was--- a concert for kids designed to get them engaged. So from a crowd engagement point of view it was a success. As for the rest of it--- it was an exercise in speed not nuance. In this case the musicians seem to know their intent. If they didn't all hang together they got the kids going.


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 Post subject: Re: "Insanely fast"?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:33 am 
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ytliek wrote:
I'm curious whether Sandy Jasper is playing one of her own whistles or another brand like a Burke?



It appears to be one of her own handmade whistles.

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 Post subject: Re: "Insanely fast"?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:03 am 
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You know, Redwing is a nice tune. Been used as the melody for a lot of songs. Doesn't sound all that 'irish' to me, however, and not just because the A part is higher than the B part. Was it an old-time reel first?

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 Post subject: Re: "Insanely fast"?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:12 am 
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According to the Fiddler's Companion:
http://www.ibiblio.org/fiddlers/REA_RED.htm

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RED WING. American (originally), English, Canadian, Australian; Air and Two‑Step. USA; Wisconsin, Missouri, western Massachusetts, western New York, Pennsylvania, Arizona. England, East Anglia. Canada, Prince Edward Island. G Major. Standard tuning. AB (Perlman): ABB (): AA'B (Phillips): AA’BB’ (Johnson). “Red Wing” was composed by the prolific songwriter Kerry Mills in the early years of Tin Pan Alley and published in 1907. Jim Kimball explains it was subtitled "An Indian Fable" or "An Indian Intermezzo" and was part of a fad for things Native-American that swept the country in the first decade of the 20th century

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 Post subject: Re: "Insanely fast"?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:52 am 
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Ah. Thank you. So I was right.

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