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 Post subject: Kenny's flute recordings
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:44 am 
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There are a lot of them, collected over the years, and they should be worth sharing with anyone with an interest in mainly - but not exclusively - Irish traditional music. I've started putting some up on "Youtube", as "Audio Only" recordings, as most were made in the days before we had cameras on mobile phones. The oldest recordings would have been made on a portable cassette recorder, and the quality will be variable. Some are from obscure or hard-to-find recordings, never released on CD [ let alone "iTunes" or similar ].

Flute recordings posted so far :

Seamus Tansey : https://youtu.be/mDAC6m5JrVo

https://youtu.be/PVYJgjB-_18

https://youtu.be/773SEBNqGxA

https://youtu.be/onsFUSFasxE

Roger Sherlock : https://youtu.be/XN-w5cZ2uhI

P.J. Crotty : https://youtu.be/iplOouRupAk

Peadar Broderick : https://youtu.be/T3qQpUACXqc

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:38 am 
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Interesting recordings and photos Kenny - keep them coming.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:20 am 
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Thank you so much for these!

It's so great to hear these old recordings, especially of those master flute-players of whom there aren't enough recordings. I especially enjoyed listening to P.J. Crotty, who played with such a lovely, flowing, unassuming Clare style. I am lucky because my father was a good friend of P.J.'s, and, as a kid learning the flute 30 years ago, I was encouraged by him and acquired my antique Blee & Co. flute that I still play to this day from him.

These masters set a standard that is difficult to live up to, but all we can do is try!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:48 am 
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Thank you for the above 2 comments.

Here is the second recording by Peadar Broderick at the Willie Clancy Flute / Whistle recital of 1980. He plays his version of "Planxty Davis", by 17th century harp-player Thomas Connellan.

A "Google" for "Peadar Broderick, flute" comes up with nothing at all on the internet. As far as I can tell, this, and the other recording of 2 reels posted, are the only 2 recordings of his playing available anywhere. There may well be recordings of him in private collections in Ireland, and I for one would love to hear more.

These 2 recordings are respectfully posted in memory a great Irish flute player.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:00 am 
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I suppose I'd better add the link ! :oops:

https://youtu.be/XbJoQ4TC2WY

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 3:07 am 
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"I suppose I'd better add the link !"

Heh heh, yeah, that definitely helps!

Now I had a little play with the audio quality (sorry, background in sound and sound preservation, just can't help myself!) and I wondered if people would prefer the original warts'n'all version, or one tidied up a bit.

Of course, in subjective matters, the Devil is in the Detail. Tidied up just how much? So Kenny, others, feel free to let loose. If you don't like it, spit it out. If you do, or if you want to experiment with a bit more of this or a little bit less of that, we can have a play.

All going well, you should be able to hear my version at:

[url]http://www.mcgee-flutes.com/Sounds/Peadar%20Broderick%20[flute]%20Planxty%20Davis%20-%201980.mp3[/url]

Hmmm, odd. The word [flute] in the middle of that URL seems to be bothering Chiff & Fipple. But at least it's giving you the full URL. Just snitch the bit from http.....mp3 and paste it into your browser. Should work!


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:48 am 
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Terry, Use of the brackets in the filename is the problem - probably messes with the board's brackets used for coding (normally brackets hold the commands to turn on/off features such as URL, IMG, QUOTE, etc.). If you used parentheses instead to surround the word "flute", all should be well.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:20 am 
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Hi Terry - if you've the time and the inclination to "tidy up" any of these recordings, please carry on. I wish I had the knowledge to do it myself. I've no doubt that with the technology available today, the quality of these recordings could be improved, it just requires skills that I don't have. The "warts'n all" version will still be available for anyone on the "Youtube" original upload.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:06 pm 
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Hi kkrell

Yeah, I thought the same, and that makes sense. I just used Kenny's file description as the file name, and I'd already uploaded the file to the web, so I had an investment in keeping it!

Who, me, lazy?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:16 pm 
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kenny wrote:
Hi Terry - if you've the time and the inclination to "tidy up" any of these recordings, please carry on. I wish I had the knowledge to do it myself. I've no doubt that with the technology available today, the quality of these recordings could be improved, it just requires skills that I don't have. The "warts'n all" version will still be available for anyone on the "Youtube" original upload.


Let's see if we can encourage readers to listen to both, and comment on whether they prefer the warts'n'all version (which is legitimate) or if they find losing some of the warts lets them focus better on the music.

You're perfectly welcome to snitch back my version if you prefer it.

And yes, you do have the technology available. I just used Audacity, the freely available sound editor. In that example, I trimmed off the two "test notes" at the front, faded out the applause at the end rather than have the sudden cutoff, used a high pass filter to remove the low frequency room resonance and noise, added a little "presence boost" to bring the music slightly more forward and "normalised" it to bring up the level without going into clipping. All done within a few minutes.

Happy to show people how to do it if there's any interest.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:00 am 
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Quote:
Happy to show people how to do it if there's any interest.


Yes please


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:13 am 
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Terry McGee wrote:
... I trimmed off the two "test notes" at the front...
Some of us think they are part of it. The record of the man, not the tune.

Thanks Kenny. That's lovely and will be my 'go to' version for the flute.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:59 am 
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Gromit wrote:
Quote:
Happy to show people how to do it if there's any interest.


Yes please

OK, anybody else?

Mods, this doesn't sound like a Flute thing, maybe more a Trad Tech thing? Confirm?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 3:39 am 
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david_h wrote:
Terry McGee wrote:
... I trimmed off the two "test notes" at the front...
Some of us think they are part of it. The record of the man, not the tune.


Indeed, david_h. I had second thoughts before deciding to take them off. Made the decision to take off because I felt the scope for confusion into whether it was part of the tune was more important than leaving it there to illustrate that thing we probably all do, play a little run of notes to make sure we are in the right place on the instrument. Either would be a legitimate approach depending on your goal.

The whole topic of sound manipulation is laced with ethical dilemmas. In professional sound preservation organisations, it's usual to end up with a number of copies:
- the original, kept as it is the physical original, and in case future technology can pull off a better quality sound than currently possible,
- a straight "preservation" copy of the original, warts'n'all, on whatever medium you feel has the longest guarantee-able longevity (these days usually digital even though we recognise that it has definable limitations),
- a cleaned-up copy for striking user copies from without having to imperil either of the previous, and
- one or more user copies if currently needed in say the access centre or on-line.

It's a bit like the museums that keep old flutes. It's easily arguable that these old flutes are safer if we don't let makers like me measure them. And we certainly don't let anyone play them, even if they are world-leading researchers. So what's the point of keeping them? Tricky....

And all of it is a reminder of how fragile our intangible cultural history is. Kenny may well have some of the best or only extant recoverable recordings of some tunes played by some of these players. That's sobering. We all need to examine our private recordings and wonder if we have a responsibility to have at least some of them returned to the public domain. Good man, Kenny!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:27 am 
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Terry McGee wrote:
Gromit wrote:
Quote:
Happy to show people how to do it if there's any interest.


Yes please

OK, anybody else?

Mods, this doesn't sound like a Flute thing, maybe more a Trad Tech thing? Confirm?


Chiming in here, I think Trad Tech would be a good place for a discussion of audio tech for restoring old recordings, since that could apply to other instruments besides flute. There is info out there on the 'Net about restoration, but maybe some of what you're doing is specific to the environment recordings like this have been made.

FWIW, I'm very familiar with the modern audio recording tech, and have done some work for local artists like demo CD's, video/audio production. But I've never done restoration. That's a whole different area and I'd like to hear how you approach it.


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