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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2020 2:39 pm 
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Question #7: Do you have any St. Patrick's Day plans that include whistle?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2020 3:14 pm 
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Maddie wrote:
Question #7: Do you have any St. Patrick's Day plans that include whistle?




All St Patrick's Day parades and activities involving large gatherings have been stopped here. Blowing whistles or flutes (and attending production of droplets etc) in public or at gathering would seem less than prudent, given the times we live in. :poke:

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Last edited by Mr.Gumby on Tue Mar 10, 2020 4:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2020 3:16 pm 
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Maddie wrote:
Question #7: Do you have any St. Patrick's Day plans that include whistle?

Not me, I don't do ITM.... :P :wink:

But no doubt I'll play a tune or two on my whistles/flutes/harmonicas anyway. :D :thumbsup:

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 5:17 am 
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psoutowood wrote:

Having come from Highland piping to Scottish smallpipes to Irish whistles I have to agree that the ornamentation sticks with the instrument. When I pick up my smallpipes my brain can't even remember tunes I play on my whistles and my fingers seem to revert to Highland ornamentation. On the whistles I don't even think of playing grips, birls, or taorluaths.


For sure that's true with me. My path was slightly different than yours, though the two paths start and end at the same places:

Highland pipes > uilleann pipes > Irish flute > whistle.

After that portion, my musical path took a number of twists, including Baroque flute, Bulgarian kaval and gaida, Bolivian sikus and kenas, Northumbrian pipes, Spanish gaita, and Cornish doublepipes.

psoutowood wrote:
I love hearing from musicians like Brian Finnegan who utilize ornamentation and style from all over the world.


Style and ornamentation are so culture-specific, and for me almost nothing from my forays has got incorporated into my Irish whistle playing.

When I play slow airs on Low Whistle a couple subtle things from Bulgarian kaval and Native American (North and South) flutes do creep in from time to time.

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Last edited by pancelticpiper on Wed Mar 11, 2020 5:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 5:24 am 
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Maddie wrote:
Question #7: Do you have any St. Patrick's Day plans that include whistle?


Why yes indeed!

Last year I sat in with a local ITM trio on a couple gigs and had to learn 20 or so new reels, jigs, hornpipes, polkas, and songs.

I'm doing a couple gigs with them again this year and just yesterday I worked out a few more of their pieces and reviewed the others.

With them I play whistles in (from low to high) Low D, Low E, F, G, A, Bb, C, and D.

Add to that uilleann pipes in C and D, and Scottish smallpipes in A.

My evening St Pat's gig is the same one I've been doing for 20 years, a small house party where I sit in the corner and play (solo) for a couple hours. It keeps me out of the pubs, and gets me in bed by a decent hour.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:43 am 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
All St Patrick's Day parades and activities involving large gatherings have been stopped here. ...

A lot of people will be in the same situation. Some would have booked their March 17th dates months ago, only to have them cancelled. If this were a "normal" year, what would your typical St. Patrick's Day plans have been?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:56 am 
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pancelticpiper wrote:
... Last year I sat in with a local ITM trio on a couple gigs and had to learn 20 or so new reels, jigs, hornpipes, polkas, and songs.

I'm doing a couple gigs with them again this year and just yesterday I worked out a few more of their pieces and reviewed the others. ...

That sounds like you're figuring out your parts on your own, rather than having trio practice sessions. I'm wondering how that works. Do the players swap recordings with each other? Or do you all have enough experience that you can easily blend your parts when you play together?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:22 pm 
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Quote:
If this were a "normal" year, what would your typical St. Patrick's Day plans have been?


I don't fancy big crowds and pubs heaving with noisy drinkers, these days I tend to avoid the whole thing a much a I can.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 6:47 pm 
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Maddie wrote:
pancelticpiper wrote:
Well the main thing on my 2020 wish list, a great-playing mezzo F whistle, has been sorted. ...

Awesome! I hope you'll report back when that new Goldie arrives and share your first impressions.


Well it came today!

It's superb.

The low notes are powerful, the high note sweet. Plays like a dream.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 7:05 pm 
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pancelticpiper wrote:
Well it came today!

It's superb.

The low notes are powerful, the high note sweet. Plays like a dream.

Awesome! I'm happy for you. :thumbsup:


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2020 5:27 am 
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Maddie wrote:
That sounds like you're figuring out your parts on your own, rather than having trio practice sessions. I'm wondering how that works.


A member of the trio has built a nice recording studio in her home, and the trio has recorded a number of albums.

So I can learn their pieces at home.

Before each gig we have a rehearsal where we run the whole set list.

I need so many whistles, and C and D pipes, because they play songs in a large variety of keys, whatever required to suit their voices.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2020 5:31 am 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:

I don't fancy big crowds and pubs heaving with noisy drinkers, these days I tend to avoid the whole thing a much a I can.


I'm with you entirely.

I've been playing St Pat's gigs for over 40 years. How many late nights playing in pubs jam-packed with drunks? I'm too old for that nonsense now.

So I do a solo gig at a small quiet house-party, play whatever I want, chat, and get paid more than I would playing in a band in a pub.

There are years when that's my only St Pat's gig. There have been years when I've done six or seven gigs that day, play for an hour, travel for an hour, play for an hour from dawn to near midnight.

The most fun St Pat's gigs are the Highland pipe band pub crawls. I played in a Fire Brigade band and we would march in, play a few tunes, pass the boot, and march out, from pub to pub. There's a street here with seems like dozens of pubs in the space of a few city blocks, and on St Pat's all are packed with happy drunks willing to shove money into the boot.

That seems to be contrary to what I said about dealing with crowds and drunks on St Pat's, but in a pipe band you just march in, play for five minutes, and march out. Most of your time is walking outdoors and chatting with your band-mates.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2020 6:03 am 
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pancelticpiper wrote:

I'm with you entirely.



When my son was a little fella we went out to watch the parade, take a few snaps, perhaps play a tune after, and make an exit before things got too rowdy.

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But really, there's no reward or fun in the whole thing, If I want to, I can go out any night of the week and have a more pleasant and quiet tune without the interference or hassle.

Mind you the Taoiseach just made a statement putting the whole country on near lockdown so it's a bit of a moot point. Protocols for social distancing as recommended rule out going in to any pub etc, cultural institutions and tourist sites are being shut down. Concerts etc are being cancelled. We're digging in for the duration.


This is what we're at now:

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This is the new friend:
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2020 3:17 pm 
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Same here!

Our Pipe Band's pub crawls this weekend and on St Pat's were all cancelled.

All of my Irish gigs have been cancelled, except for playing in the Church hall tomorrow night and the small house-party on St Pat's. I'm expecting to hear about these getting cancelled too.

Yesterday at work I was informed that we will be shutting down until further notice. After 30 years I'm suddenly out of work.

My wife works at a tech firm set up for people to work from home, and that's what she's doing starting today.

My daughter's University is telling everyone to stay home. Classes will now be online.

California has banned any gathering larger than 250 people. All sporting events, theme parks, conventions, etc are shut down.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2020 4:16 pm 
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The Late Show with Stephen Colbert played to an empty theater last night. That was eerily surreal, and you could tell that Colbert was a bit off-balance over it. Same thing with sumo (yes, I watch a bit of NHK): During national tournaments the stands are normally jam-packed, but these too were completely empty. It was like a dress rehearsal with injuries.

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