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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 4:46 pm 
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The year 2013 ended with a flurry of whistle activity for me with new whistles, live concerts, and good listening albums. In my never ending search for ITM whistle specific albums I was pleasantly surprised to find a newly released album from Robbie MacGowran called The Irish Way (2013). Since receiving the album it has stayed atop the pile for weeks as I listen closer and closer. The cover art shows a picture of Robbie playing a generation whistle and if that’s the whistle used during the recording I have renewed confidence with Generations. The liner notes indicate some of Robbie’s tunes are played on Clarke and Clarke Sweetone whistles. Also from the liner notes mention is made about some of the tunes being Galway influenced.

The third track set, waltzes, get the most play here. The tune ‘Miss Kenny’s’ offers nice chirpping and slurring whistle sounds that have an appeal. Maybe I just like waltzes. Once again on track five the jig ‘Kitty O’Heir’s’ delivers that sweet chirping sound. And in the beginning on track fifteen during the reel ‘The girl who broke my heart’ Robbie faintly whistles a kind of “bubbly” sound that blends quite nicely with the rhythm and tempo.

For my listening I find Robbie’s whistling style of play and pace to bear a relaxed confident feeling during tunes. I like Robbie’s style of play a lot. While his style may not be everyone’s cuppa it is mine. Rightway, wrongway, myway… and The Irish Way is Robbie MacGowran’s. Robbie is a Chiffer on the whistle forum and I hope he sees this posting. Nicely done whistle album. And I hope that more whistle albums are forthcoming.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:32 am 
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Aye Mate,
Right nice review of Robbie's recent release!

Cheers,
Cayden

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:15 pm 
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Thanks ytliek for your kind comments. The whistle on the cover is donkeys years old and maybe it's my imagination but I believe these Generation whistles, especially brass, actually sound better after some years of playing and a bit of abuse !
Yes, as you can see in the sleeve notes I did use this particular whistle for some of the tunes and yes you're right, I have been very influenced by my years spent in Galway.
Thanks very much to you ytliek and to all on this forum for your support, I really appreciate it.

By the way, I'd like to just throw the following out and hear yours and others opinion.
Have you ever been in a session, you start up a tune, you are playing away for a minute, quite happy with your own tempo and pace, then other musicians who realize they know the tune join in ( which is great - that's what it's all about ) but they increase the tempo, for whatever reason, maybe to suit their own playing, but now you find yourself playing at a pace completely different from the way you started. I don't know about you, but I think it is only common courtesy that if you start up a tune, those who join in with you should play at your pace. We all have a pace that we feel comfortable playing at and sometimes if you are in a fairly lively session with some musicians who like to tear into the tunes , the only way you think you will get a chance to play a few tunes at your own pace is to start them up yourself but if you get people joining in at a different pace , it kind of f***s that up, dosen't it ?
Robbie.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:57 pm 
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I have experienced that problem too and I think it is not an intentional thing so much as folks just get carried away, or they only hear what they "feel" is the right pace. At the session I go to I am the worst player and struggle to keep up with the madcap pace but I can also see how it is fun to play fast. But overall to me a more relaxed pace suits most tunes and allows better articulation of ornamentation. However I have heard both madcap and relaxed recordings from the last century too, so probably this is just differences of opinion. But I think that any musician worth their salt should respect the tempo and follow your lead. Maybe a comment like "that set got scared and ran away from us" might make people aware of the problem but in a nice way.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:10 am 
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Although I don't play whistle at sessions do to my newbie-ishness, I have attended numerous sessions to observe and listen. What you're mentioning about starting off a tune set at your own pace (or someone else's) and then other people increase the pace to their liking happens all the time. I've observed some players who've been playing for a long time and have no sense of tempo or pace. Then again, there are some sessions here where very well kept tempo is maintained. Usually its certain players who throw the timing off (bodhran, banjo players especially). I always like to ask at the end of the particular tune set if it was intentional that the tempo increased. I've been told to kiss off more than once. :D Of course a few pints doesn't help matters either for timing.

I do think that out of courtesy the pace ought to be maintained by the individual who started the tune. Unwritten rule or otherwise.

The people that I do play whistle with are fairly understanding of my level of play so the pace (mine) is pretty much adhered to. However, for my learning experience I have found that my starting off a tune at my pace (slower) and the other players slowly increase the pace to proper level has also helped with my getting to play the tune correctly. This has worked for me. Others mileage may vary.

BTW tradrocks, I wanted to thank you again for continuing to leave the three free tunes available on CDbaby after the disk CD became available. :thumbsup:


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:13 am 
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tradrocks wrote:
I don't know about you, but I think it is only common courtesy that if you start up a tune, those who join in with you should play at your pace. We all have a pace that we feel comfortable playing at and sometimes if you are in a fairly lively session with some musicians who like to tear into the tunes...


I've never gone to a new session where I didn't know the musicians. There's a huge group of us who tend to play together and move around to different venues, so we're more like a large group or club or music/singing circle type thing. I notice a lot of these people also do not like normal pub sessions where nobody can hear you. We all respect each other's choice of pace for a given tune, or a persons choice of sets, for example, two of us tend to play a particular set of jigs but we'd differ in just one of the tunes and the order would be different and depending on which of us starts them all the others know what to do.

The only cases of the speeding up thing I've experienced was when we couldn't hear each other too well because of a particularly noisy night and the melody makers seated too far apart in between a load of bodhrans. The odd time when none of us can hear each other, someone might accidentally speed up a little, then someone else a little more and before you know we'd be all over the place! But it's certainly never done on purpose. Sometimes as well if a person has just learned a new tune and they start it off, they might start off a little slower and only get into the swing of it after a few bars and then speed up. I think you're playing with the wrong people if they don't respect this basic session etiquette! :)


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:36 am 
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Around here there are various session types to choose from, open, closed, slower/beginner/learner sessions and so forth. For the better sessions an individual wouldn't even consider sitting in unless invited and adhering to the session etiquette. The better sessions also are in the pubs where the music can be heard, rather than the sports games, and the pace of tunes is followed more strictly by the person kickin' it off.

There are also sessions played in venues other than a pub which are a plus in many ways.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 5:01 pm 
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[ Thread revival. ]

tradrocks wrote:
Have you ever been in a session, you start up a tune, you are playing away for a minute, quite happy with your own tempo and pace, then other musicians who realize they know the tune join in ( which is great - that's what it's all about ) but they increase the tempo, for whatever reason, maybe to suit their own playing, but now you find yourself playing at a pace completely different from the way you started.


Yes, that happens at our session as well, probably more due to enthusiasm than a lack of consideration. I have trouble with tempo when playing alone too ... I tend to speed up, especially if I'm feeling out of breath. I really appreciate playing with musicians who are able to maintain a steady, moderate tempo.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:45 pm 
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LisaD wrote:
[ Thread revival. ]

tradrocks wrote:
Have you ever been in a session, you start up a tune, you are playing away for a minute, quite happy with your own tempo and pace, then other musicians who realize they know the tune join in ( which is great - that's what it's all about ) but they increase the tempo, for whatever reason, maybe to suit their own playing, but now you find yourself playing at a pace completely different from the way you started.

I really appreciate playing with musicians who are able to maintain a steady, moderate tempo.

In my listening and learning experience I have found Micho Russell's playing style, rhythm and tempo to be what works best for me. There's just a sense of relaxed confidence throughout the tune pace that appeals to me. I also find that comfortable pace in 'The Irish Way' CD.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:30 am 
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Seems like at our local session there's a mutually agreed upon unspoken tempo that most reels are played at, more or less, and everyone seems to stay in that 'groove'.

There was one kid who was always pushing the tempo...

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 7:52 am 
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Just a general observation on my part (as audience) that two issues usually take place during sessions. 1) some individual will attempt to push the tempo a lot faster, 2) there is always, always someone who plays too loud or brings the loudest (whistles) just to be heard. There is extra effort to be heard above everyone else. OK for outdoors or large group sessions in a noisy establishment, however, on most occasions a little subtlety will do just fine.

Maybe I'm just getting old and prefer the simple or quieter playing styles and whistles. The head banging, strobing, celtic-stomp stuff just doesn't do it for me.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:10 pm 
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I only go to one session regularly now. There are others but they exhibit the insensitivity described. Their attitude, when questioned, is 'that is how we play it here'. So I don't.

At the session I do go to I am almost always the least musically competent, but I am always encouraged to start a tune or two. Whatever tune and tempo I choose is respected. It is a weird feeling to know that you are being listened to, and helped, rather than competed with. Some times I miscount the repeated sections or muddle up the order of sections. I get a horrid sinking feeling then realise that everybody else has just adapted to what I am doing. Humbling really, even though the others find it amusing. That only applies when I start a tune, though, which is fair enough. A shame that session is only once a month. I learn more there than I did going once a week to the 'other sessions'.

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