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 Post subject: simultaneous air & reel
PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 7:49 am 
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Many years ago I had a Na Fili album and they did a very cool arranging trick, have a whistle play a slow air and later have a fiddle come in playing a reel. I thought the effect was magical.

I found it on YouTube, you can jump to 1:12 to hear the beginning of the air on solo whistle.

At 2:19 the fiddle comes in underneath playing a reel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyFutx1DGog

As nice as this works, I don't think I heard other Irish groups do this.

Fast forward to a few years ago, when a Scottish pipe band did the same thing, actually the reverse, playing a reel then have an air come in joining the reel.

Here, Simon Fraser University Pipe Band. They do some reels to end their set and half the pipers come in playing the air The Braes Of Locheil underneath the last reel.

You can jump to 5:16 for the beginning of the reel, to 5:26 for when the slow air comes in.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xo4jOMdjfRQ

It's now become quite popular for pipe bands to do.

Which brings me to something I've wondered about: yes you can have melody instruments play a reel and air simultaneously, but also in an Irish band you might have backing/accompanying instruments such as guitar and drum.

Have any bands done an arranging thing where the band plays a reel, then the accompanying instruments continue to play the reel backup, but a melody player plays an air over it? So it's not a matter of two simultaneous melodies, just an air being played, perhaps in free time, over a reel backing?

I'm sure people are saying "what nonsense is this?" but it's something I've heard done regularly in another genre, in Bulgarian music.

The band keeps the dance rhythm going- they have to, they're playing for a roomful of dancers- but a musician might take a solo where they play dance tunes in the same dance rhythm, or they might play a slow air. The air, all or in part, might be in free time, having nothing in common with the continuing dance rhythm.

Seems to me that this would work in Irish music too.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 8:32 am 
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pancelticpiper wrote:
Many years ago I had a Na Fili album and they did a very cool arranging trick, have a whistle play a slow air and later have a fiddle come in playing a reel. I thought the effect was magical.

I found it on YouTube, you can jump to 1:12 to hear the beginning of the air on solo whistle.

At 2:19 the fiddle comes in underneath playing a reel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyFutx1DGog


I enjoyed that, and thought it was well done.

Haven't seen or heard anyone else in ITM do it though.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 1:31 pm 
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I don't think I've ever encountered it before, either. Of course it would take a workable if not perfect pairing between air, and dance tune or march. But I think it's a rather nice idea!

I've always enjoyed those song performances where a melody instrument provides one or more brief interludes with a dance tune or something like it. Not the same thing as above, but tangentially related, I suppose.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 7:22 am 
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Is this similar to what Rory Campbell is doing on the whistle under "Huntin the Buntin", https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAEQi4cOwcY?

Myself, I'm a sucker for a nice descant. (Not the same thing, I realize.)


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:36 am 
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I imagine it would be quite hard to find two tunes that work as well as this, but I might keep it in the back of my mind.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:41 am 
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I wonder if you could play the same reel at full speed and half speed? Some reels sound completely different if you play at “slow air” speed.

Pat

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:57 am 
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plunk111 wrote:
I wonder if you could play the same reel at full speed and half speed? Some reels sound completely different if you play at “slow air” speed.

Pat


Éamon De Buitléar and Ceoltóirí Laighean played a really nice arrangement of The Star of Munster reel, where they would start out really slow and air like, then break into it full speed, then go back and forth from slow to fast again. I like it a lot.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlktWrubahY&list=OLAK5uy_n5U3Y9S50mbnpBkXuFx2pYP39BOE79tUg&index=22&t=0s

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 7:21 am 
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Tunborough wrote:
Is this similar to what Rory Campbell is doing on the whistle under "Huntin the Buntin", https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAEQi4cOwcY?

Myself, I'm a sucker for a nice descant. (Not the same thing, I realize.)


That's really cool, it sounds to me like he's playing a reel that works with the song. I don't know if it's a pre-existing reel or if he created the reel to match.

I did a similar thing years ago in a band, I took the song melody and turned it into a reel, so when I came in playing the break, and also in the last verse playing under the singer, I was playing a reel that in reality was the song melody. Sort of double-timed I guess you could say.

I could try to make a video of what I have in mind, if I had a backing track to play while I'm playing whistle.

Do they have Music Minus One for Irish?

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:56 pm 
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An Draighean wrote:
plunk111 wrote:
I wonder if you could play the same reel at full speed and half speed? Some reels sound completely different if you play at “slow air” speed.

Pat


Éamon De Buitléar and Ceoltóirí Laighean played a really nice arrangement of The Star of Munster reel, where they would start out really slow and air like, then break into it full speed, then go back and forth from slow to fast again. I like it a lot.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlktWrubahY&list=OLAK5uy_n5U3Y9S50mbnpBkXuFx2pYP39BOE79tUg&index=22&t=0s


Thanks, but I meant that I wondered if you could play them simultaneously (i.e. at the same time) as was the topic of this discussion...

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 12:41 am 
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pancelticpiper wrote:
At 2:19 the fiddle comes in underneath playing a reel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyFutx1DGog

That isn't a reel. Also, I must admit, I hate it, but that's probably me.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:08 am 
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benhall.1 wrote:
That isn't a reel.


Well it has the same time signature and structure and tempo as a reel. (True the tempo is slow for ITM but it's well within Highland pipe reel norms.)

We Highland pipers are used to spongy definitions, because there are Highland pipe marches that can be, and are, played interchangeably with reels for dancing, and there has arisen in Highland pipe music an idiom we call "hornpipes" but are reels in everything but name.

Reels and hornpipes are sometimes used for marching by pipe bands, further blurring semantic distinctions.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:12 am 
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pancelticpiper wrote:
benhall.1 wrote:
That isn't a reel.


Well it has the same time signature and structure and tempo as a reel.

It doesn't. That tune is a very well known tune. It was discussed recently in this thread. (That was the thread where I got my tempi all wrong. :oops: )

It isn't in the same tempo as a reel. It doesn't have the same rhythm as a reel. It doesn't have the same structure as a reel. As far as I'm concerned, it's a march.

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