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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 9:14 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2015 7:29 pm
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Location: Michigan
Anyone have examples (video) of how they blend their whistles etc. with modern praise songs or even reworked hymns for church? I'd be interested to see how people mix with electric guitars and percussion. I'm new here so sorry if this topic has already been done to death.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2005 11:06 pm
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Location: Stout's Valley, PA, USA
Sorry for not noticing this sooner.

Without sharing any of my personal recorded/video examples I can say that the whistle fits into contemporary Christian music quite easily. I've hung up my instruments, retired, but I was a praise worship leader for some years. I developed the music and presented it, sometimes live sometimes pre-recorded. The whistle is just another voice, another tool. I've used it as a solo instrument, an incidental voice, a harmony voice, a novelty sound, even played what could be called a whistle choir on occasion with the help of a harmonizer. If you can imagine it you should be able to do it.

Much of today's music is guitar based so you should be able to adapt any style/arrangement of music that you hear in the secular world and adapt it for worship. Just look at how the whistle has infiltrated popular music in the last 20 years or so. Thank you Titanic and Riverdance. I would frequently use the whistle to replace the little hooks or breaks that a guitar might provide in a rock or country style recording.

Of course the popularity of "Celtic" music in the 90's and early 2000's helped with bringing the sound of the whistle and other Irish instruments to church music, You might be familiar with the music of Robin Mark, Days of Elijah as one example, who is in ministry in Belfast Ireland. His music uses whistle frequently. It also provides a nice model to follow for how to apply the instrument. And really it is no different than how the whistle is used in other folk or contemporary secular forms.

Another example would be from Ceili Rain and their song "That's All the Lumber" which is done in a kind of pub band sort of style. Good song. I met the fellow that played the whistle on that one last month. I played that song at least once a year when it would fit the day's Message.

Of course some Hymns are Irish or Scots in their heritage. Be Thou My Vision is an Irish melody. I have performed it with whistle as accompaniment and solo on flute/low whistle. There is a nifty recording of the hymn done by Maire Brennan, Enya's big sister, sung in Irish Gealic. You can hear it in the second half of this video. I pulled that one out when I could. Not too good as a sing-a-long though. Just think of the hymn being sung with a low whistle in between the verses or as a harmony.

And of course instrumental music has its place in worship. There are a lot of very emotional and uplifting melodies in the Irish music repertoire. Those pieces could also be used when appropriate and played on whistle with what ever accompaniment you have.

I have played low whistle to accompany a full choir. That is a really nice experience.

I have played flute and whistle in a dobro/guitar/whistle oldtime/bluegrass trio in worship several times too. Works nicely for outdoor worship in the summer or during a church picnic.

So really, it is whatever you can imagine. I like to think of it is being a form of prayer every time I pick up a whistle in praise. Go for it.

And don't be surprised if you get asked what that instrument is when you get to play it. I always carried a few Sweetones with me to give away to young folk if they were interested. A quick whistle workshop with a youth group can work too. I have had a few adults take up the whistle after hearing it in worship too. Whistle Ministry.

This subject does come up every now and then, usually on the whistle board. You could do a search to find some of the previous threads.

If you have not found them yet, you might want to look into the Praise Whistler's forum. They talk about this kind of stuff and would be happy to share thoughts with you.

Feadoggie

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I've proven who I am so many times, the magnetic strips worn thin.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:31 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2015 7:29 pm
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Location: Michigan
Thanks for your reply. I've got a group that between the five of us plays quite a range of instruments: piano, guitar, accordion, viola, violin, tenor guitar, mandolin, mandocello, bass guitar, stand up bass, ukelele, djembe, cajon, and I'm working on my whistle skills. We've already gotten a bit creative, I put Wild Mountain Thyme with the Wesley hymn Depth of Mercy. I was just curious what other people were doing. I appreciate your suggestions.


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