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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:04 am 
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I have been perusing through the Sean-Nós archives on TG4 ( http://old.tg4.ie/en/programmes/archive.html ) and it has some great examples of people singing Slow Airs, but I would love to hear/see some examples of people playing them on the flute.

Do you know of any great examples of people playing Slow Airs on a flute? Links to Audio/Video would be much appreciated.
Thank you

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:50 am 
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You can hear Blayne Chastain playing slow airs on a couple of my flutes (key of D and Eflat). Here are some links:

https://soundcloud.com/earth-tone-flutes/d-amhran-na-leabhar
https://soundcloud.com/earth-tone-flutes/blayne-chastain-plays-eb-inis-oirr-key-of-eflat

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:55 am 
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Conor Byrne - "Emigrant's Farewell"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cy21E2tp3Ek

Matt Molloy - "Easter Snow"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rp2UuTx2EUo

Matt Molloy - "The Parting of Friends"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiBUPFBi8Tc

Marcus Hernon - "Siolla Den Ghaoth"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEhW3-chHG4

John Skelton - "The Fire in the Hearth"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SToifQZWQNY

Brian Owens - "Sé Fáth Mo Bhuartha"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXNSQ9DXrRc

Desi Wilkinson - "My Lagan Love"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4idZWBHbh0

Jem Hammond - "Sliabh geal gua na Feile"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4d-Ex_JfxZg

Turlach Boylan - "The Maid of Coolmore"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvXEWnOlwNA

Steffen Gabriel - "An Buachaillín Bán"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_s-RbwsjUA

Stephen Doherty - "Cailín na Gruaige Doinne"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMX60aibY9Q

Síofra Ní Mhóráin - "An Feocháin"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPq8mBMkgXk

Louise Mulcahy - "Port na bPúcaí"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8zg1ZGVWIE

Mathilde Feat - "Amhran na Leabha"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jepqlMPJBOw

Trudy O'Donnell - "The Spailpín's Lament"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQe2PhR9Z6Q

A few nice ones or other renditions on the Wooden Flute Obsession CDs, including Mick O'Brien, Mick Hand, Christy Barry, Marcus Hernon, Paul McGrattan, Eoghan MacAogáin, Peter Woodley, Zac Leger, Christine Dowling, Peg McGrath, Ronan Browne, Davy Maguire, Tim Britton

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:00 pm 
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Gosh, there are so many examples it's hard to know where to begin.

But a few notes might be useful:

There are song airs and "slow airs." They aren't always the same. Many slow airs are the airs to songs, and some people believe that you should play them as they are sung, with the words in mind and with similar phrasing, no vibrato or dynamics. Essentially you're a singer singing through your instrument. Some great sean nós singers are also flute players and their playing of song airs probably comes closest to achieving this ideal. But other people disagree with this approach: once you detach an air from its words, it just becomes an air (and in fact some airs have multiple songs attached to them) and you are free to interpret it as you like.

Some airs are composed strictly as airs, laments, etc., and don't have any words.

When I first started playing Irish music, I thought airs were the easiest thing to learn, because they weren't very complicated and were slow. But now that I know better and have been playing for over 40 years, I would say that airs are actually the hardest thing to play well.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:35 pm 
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bradhurley wrote:
When I first started playing Irish music, I thought airs were the easiest thing to learn, because they weren't very complicated and were slow. But now that I know better and have been playing for over 40 years, I would say that airs are actually the hardest thing to play well.

I read somewhere a comment by an Irish trad player, saying he didn't play slow airs because he wasn't yet old enough. Or it might have been not enough years listening to the music, same idea.

I'm either not old enough, or haven't been playing this music enough to attempt a slow air on flute. And they don't really work at all on mandolin, my other instrument. I do play "slow reels," the metered slow tunes you can slowly tap your foot to, like the Molloy/Bothy Band version of "Maids of Mitchelstown" or the Frankie Kennedy version of "The Sunset." Those are relatively easy, compared to the amount of expression and familiarity with the music it takes to play a slow air.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:36 pm 
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The late Paul Davies (a.k.a Davis) playing Caoineadh na dTri Maire (the Lament of the Three Marys):

http://www.mcgee-flutes.com/Sounds/Lame ... 0Marys.mp3

More about Paul at http://www.mcgee-flutes.com/Davies.htm


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:26 am 
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And speaking of airs, is anyone familiar with "The Strayaway Child" as an air? (Not to be confused with the 6 part jig of the same name.) I learned it from hearing it played by Michael Hand at a workshop on Irish music run by Declan Affley in Sydney in about 1970 but have never come across it since. I'm wondering if it's known under another name.

Tunepal throws up suggestions such as "The bear dance" and "She's sweetest when she is naked", but all with low confidence figures. It has some in common with the general theme of the 6-part jig (though in Am rather than Em), so I'm wondering if it is related in some way.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 8:10 am 
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Terry McGee wrote:
And speaking of airs, is anyone familiar with "The Strayaway Child" as an air? (Not to be confused with the 6 part jig of the same name.) ... It has some in common with the general theme of the 6-part jig (though in Am rather than Em), so I'm wondering if it is related in some way.


The jig is generally credited to Margaret Barry, so you might look in her body of tunes.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:34 am 
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[quote=The Stray away Child - The jig is generally credited to Margaret Barry, so you might look in her body of tunes.[/quote]

Not M Barry but Michael Gorman.

H

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:49 am 
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Quote:
Not M Barry but Michael Gorman


It was certainly attributed to him, possibly as the male half of the couple. There seems consensus these days it was Barry who actually put it together. Possibly it was a joint effort? Certainly Gorman's Mountain Road originally had an excessive number of parts, not unlike the Strayaway.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:27 am 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
- It was certainly attributed to him, possibly as the male half of the couple. There seems consensus these days it was Barry who actually put it together. Possibly it was a joint effort? Certainly Gorman's Mountain Road originally had an excessive number of parts, not unlike the Strayaway.


From Mudcat regarding Mgt Barry "Unusually, there is some highlighting of her musical, as opposed to vocal, ability. Breakdown is an instrumental, Photo by Peter Kennedy which is interesting if only because her solo banjo playing was rarely heard, and also because so many have so derided it. To me as a firm non-musician, this is inextricably part of the phenomenon that is Margaret Barry. It is surely not to be listened to as a solo instrument (as this track will demonstrate), but it seems to have always been an essential accompaniment to the songs. 'And there's music coming into my head' is an interview track play Sound Clip where she explains how the jig The Strayaway Child (sound clip) formed in her mind; her lilting of the tune fades into a fine recording of Michael Gorman playing it."

I've only played it for over forty years (not continuously) I always understood The Strayaway Child to be Gormans's composition but it looks like I'm wrong. As Gorman was the 'tunester' and most accomplished melody player of the couple I'd suspect he added a lot in his interpretation but maybe that's being unkind to the undoubted musicality of Barry herself.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:41 pm 
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I've listened to an interview where Gorman talks about Barry composing it and makes it pretty clear he didn't feel like he had done any composing of it.

It is interesting that so many people assume it was Gorman, and unfortunately there are also those who insist, despite evidence, that it wasn't Barry. There's probably prejudice involved there, sadly.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 2:05 am 
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An Cailin Rua by T Mc on a Bb (Wilkes).

https://youtu.be/alsxmrTizGk

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 5:44 am 
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Holmes wrote:
An Cailin Rua by T Mc on a Bb (Wilkes).

https://youtu.be/alsxmrTizGk

That's a good one, thanks for posting the link.

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