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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2020 3:03 am 
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pancelticpiper wrote:
Onstage shows are a different matter. What an instrument looks like, and what you look like, are part of the show.



I was mulling that one over for a bit. I suppose it depends on context but in traditional music I don't think that's much of an issue at all. OK, there Ceili bands who seem to have that thing for uniforms that seems to have a grounding in competition more than anything else (I have seen the Tulla and others turn up in their civvies without giving it a second thought) and some youngfellas that have done the performance course in UCL seem to have a thing for black shirts but the vast majority of musicians turn up as they are and they bring the instruments they always play.

I was commissioned recently to do a video, when I tried to deflect it by saying I was more than my usual scruffy in lockdown (I hate filming myself and having videos put up) I was told that was no issue at all. They did go on a bit in their blurb about the 'lovely set of pipes' was playing but that's all I have and I wouldn't mention that (make of instruments) ever.

Same for instruments. I was at a concert recently where an accordion was played that I could smell at a distance, an evocation of damp and mouldy old houses. Nobody got up and left, they enjoyed the music instead and immensely so. And I have yet to see anyone being told off at concert for playing a Generation whistle that cost less than the price of entry. Now, years ago I saw someone told to make more of an effort and be seen with an expensive whistle by a Comhaltas judge. In fact that young woman was playing a plain looking but lovely sounding Humphrey whistle I had lent her for the occasion, which only emphasised how superficial that need for appearances and looks is.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:06 am 
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They complained about a Humphrey whistle? Ignorants!


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:15 am 
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Ignorants!


It was actually a very wellknown and well liked flute player who did the adjudicating. Point is, she went by appearances only, not by the sound of it. And I suspect the comment was in the CCE playbook as I have heard the same comment given on other occasions. If it doesn't look like a Sindt but rather like a generic brass with black head instrument, you'll get the advice to up your game and be seen to make a commitment to whistle playing. FWIW, I heard the performance and it was just fine (the girl in question was one of my piping students at the time).

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:18 am 
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Kind of ironic, really, because I think Gary Humphrey intentionally designed his whistles to look like any old Generation or the likes.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:19 am 
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I wonder what they'd think of my flutes :D :
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2020 8:50 am 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
Now, years ago I saw someone told to make more of an effort and be seen with an expensive whistle by a Comhaltas judge. In fact that young woman was playing a plain looking but lovely sounding Humphrey whistle I had lent her for the occasion, which only emphasised how superficial that need for appearances and looks is.


A friend of mine took 2nd in an All-Ireland competition (not on the whistle) and their comments essentially told them to get a "better" instrument. Their instrument actually sounded lovely, I honestly preferred the tone of it to the guy who won, but it was older and featured some unsightly (taped-up) repairs. Ah, well.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2020 11:02 am 
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So I ordered a Tilbury. I really needed to stop over researching and the only way was to buy something. Besides that I've read a lot of good stuff about them and like the sound clips I've heard, I emailed Chuck the other day asking if its possible to do head with multiple body combos in the future and he responded really quickly and said yes (I can do a D + Eb), so that was a nice +. Also, its sold from USA so I shouldn't need to worry about it taking forever to come in, like my shirt I bought last month from the UK (probobly taking extra long thanks to covid...). It checks my "support the less popular maker" box. And it is the all metal style body I've always thought is cool from looking at low whistles I couldnt afford when I first started haha.

This ruins my plan of "If I like shearwater I can get others when I get low whistles and save $", but this gives me an excuse to get the other different ones I wanted in the future :D

When it comes in I'll prob post in this thread with an update on what I think for if anyone is doing search function research and finds this thread and is wondering what the final verdics was. Whenever I was searching I'd always find a thread where the guy buys it but then never says if it was worth it or not haha.

Also @Sedi I fully respect that flute. The end caps are cool and the giant thumb screw adds a lot of character haha.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2020 1:49 pm 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
pancelticpiper wrote:
Onstage shows are a different matter. What an instrument looks like, and what you look like, are part of the show.



Now, years ago I saw someone told to make more of an effort and be seen with an expensive whistle by a Comhaltas judge. In fact that young woman was playing a plain looking but lovely sounding Humphrey whistle I had lent her for the occasion, which only emphasised how superficial that need for appearances and looks is.


That's really unfortunate. I feel sorry for any musician at any age who gets caught in a "please the judges" sort of thing, if it's not a Gong Show just for fun and drinks. If the judges aren't wearing funny hats, you're in the wrong building! When the focus stops being on the music, and shifts into "try to please the Russian Ice Skating Judges with the dour faces", some kind of general malaise descends like a plague.

Play to raise the sunrise.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:07 am 
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Judges should not judge on appearance, but that is human nature - they should turn their backs to the player to make their assessment, & give their opinions, then turn around to address the participant.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2020 1:27 pm 
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I hope your Tilbury performs as you hope. I've gone through a fair amount of "mid-range" whistles and found, by maker, some characteristics:

Dixon: well-balanced, in tune, easy-blowing, not much back pressure, good all-rounder
Shearwater: Very sweet, VERY quiet, and required loads of air. Good for recordings but not for live performances
Susato: Bright/edgy tone, perfect tuning, loud
Kerry Optima: Warm airy tone, medium- to medium-high air requirements, wonderful playability and volume, EXCELLENT performance for the price
Killarney: extremely low air requirements, bright bird-like tone, thin sound and low volume better suited to recordings, can easily be overblown

Interestingly it seems the performance on Shearwater varies much more than, say, Susato, which makes sense given it's a handmade instrument versus one pressed in a mold. Your playing and performance requirements are going to point you towards one maker. And if you find one that does well in all keys, let us know!

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2020 2:02 pm 
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I have one of the older Tilbury whistles and it's excellent. Haven't tried the new design though.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2020 6:18 pm 
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I too hope I like it haha. Over time I'll understand more what I want and then will prob buy into a specific brand. Until then i need to just try stuff out. I'm hoping I get to be one of the people who say the upgrade was well worth it, but if I'm not than bare minimum I have something that I know isnt the problem. With the $10 whistles as a novice it can be really tricky to know whats wrong when my whistle didn't even come slightly in tune.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2020 7:26 pm 
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You might well never need another one. The Tilbury I have is really top-notch. He modelled his design after a Pat O'Riordan whistle. They are easy to control, have a lovely sound, the tuning is great, as is the workmanship. He could charge a lot more IMO. They'd still be a good buy at double the price -- he strikes me as a modest fellow, who maybe thinks they should be even better before he charges more. I also learned a thing or two from him for my own whistles as he gave me some helpful advice on tuning for example.
The slightly larger bore is more forgiving than your average Generation, Feadóg or similar "trad"-style whistle (plastic head and brass tube), which need some refined breath control to play them without getting scratchy or having some notes "break".
I think he nowadays only uses brass, mine is from aluminium. But he claims the new design is even better than the old one. I am inclined to believe it and might well get another one.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2020 10:20 pm 
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Ya if I like mine when it comes in, which is very likely, I prob wont be getting another C whistle. At least for a very long time. By getting others I mainly mean other keys. And then from getting those I'd realize what I like the most. And maybe then could get a new C if what I wanted was that much different than the one I already have. But theres way too many cool things for me to buy to need multiple high end whistles of the same key haha.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:03 am 
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Sedi wrote:
I wonder what they'd think of my flutes :D :
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This will probably be something you already know. From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vincent_B ... _(musician)
Quote:
In 1953 he won the All-Ireland flute competition performing one of his own compositions, and playing a copper-pipe flute that he had made himself.


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