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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:45 am 
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This style included rhythmic and melodic variations not dissimilar to the use of pipes to foster Irish dancing—or playing for shear, individual enjoyment.


Pipers and dancing, I don't think there's one way about this. Some of the older Miltown Malbay people who knew Willie Clancy well used to say 'he would never play for the sets'. Probably along the lines of Garrett Barry who is reported to have said he played 'for the heart, not the feet'. Or the Dorans, I heard it said more than a few times you wanted Johnny for sheer heart, inventiveness, beauty and enjoyment of the music, for dancing though, you'd get Felix.

And there was this, with the elder Ennis : Dancers rehearse, 1928

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:20 am 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
And there was this, with the elder Ennis : Dancers rehearse, 1928

Just what I meant, like in Riverdance :D

Best wishes.

Steve

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:26 am 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
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the native habitat of the uilleann pipes is the pub session. These are the places the music lives and breathes.


No it is not. It may seem so to the casual onlooker who is not part of the traditional music fraternity but the pubsession is only one fragment of what you can call, for brevity, 'the tradition'.

The traditional music community is involved in activities much wider than playing in pubs. Playing in pubs is a social outlet, a source of gigs but it is not (thankfully) the be all, end all of traditional music playing.



Yes I'm an outsider, an American, not part of the Irish traditional music fraternity in Ireland.

So for the preponderance of people in Ireland who play the uilleann pipes in Ireland, what is the range of activities you refer to? Which activities are the most common regular ones?

Never having lived in Ireland, all I know about is the Irish players who have moved here. The ones I've known over the last 40 years regularly attend our local sessions and the session, and playing alone at home, are their primary regular musical activities. The serious session players are always working on new tunes and yes that time is at home.

I've heard many comments from Irish people over the years which have helped create my impressions (wrong though they may be).

For example, many years ago I knew a fiddler, an American guy, who was a very good player. He had visited the local sessions but not found the tunes interesting, so most of his time was playing alone, learning tunes he liked.

He starts dating an Irish girl, fresh from Ireland. They go to the local session and she is dismayed that he's spending nearly all of the time listening and not playing. Afterwards she asks why and he says he doesn't know those tunes. She says "give me your fiddle and I'll go down there and in two months I'll be playing all those tunes!"

Doing paid performances, being part of formal performing bands, seems to be a side thing for most session players I know. This is in stark contrast to the professional jazz musicians I know to whom doing gigs is their primary thing, and rarely take their instrument out of its case unless they're getting paid.

In any case the contrast still exists between mainstream uilleann piping and the mainstream Highland pipe world, unless the uilleann pipers in Ireland regularly dress up in costume and march around together in a field, playing in tight unison, and are being judged for that.

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