It is currently Wed Sep 30, 2020 11:29 pm

All times are UTC - 6 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 
Author Message
 
PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 8:51 am 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:21 pm
Posts: 13395
Location: Unimportant island off the great mainland of Europe
It's not really a quote; it's what my inner self tells me. I've been lucky enough to hear, and play with, some fantastic trad musicians in various sessions over the years, most of whom you wouldn't have heard of, unless they're your friends, say. And two thoughts occur to me - related thoughts:

Firstly, none of the very excellent, but unknown, musicians around the place sounds like Irish music on CDs; and secondly, even famous trad musicians who do produce CDs sound completely different in a session context (though admittedly there are a few who do sound the same as on their CD). Both sets of people generally play the tunes differently, even with different notes, than how you'd hear them on CDs, and they even have a subtly different rhythm.

I know I'm not imagining it, but I thought I'd pop this out there and see what people think. I'm interested in the kinds of ways in which session playing is different. Oh, and by the way, this even seems to apply to people playing the occasional solo in a session context.

_________________
"Only connect!"

https://youtu.be/ezbWVysJAOY
https://tapm.bandcamp.com/


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 10:30 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:31 am
Posts: 5495
Location: the Back of Beyond
It would, to me, seem an obvious point. A session is a common denominator (not necessarily the lowest though) where you play in a more general way that everybody shares. There's no point in playing with other people if you're going to play a highly personal way that clashes with the rest of the company left right and centre.

I would be able to think of loads of examples of how that pans out. A few:

About fifteen years ago Tommy Peoples started a weekly residency in Friel's. The first week every musician from miles around was in the house. They sat down and listened (well, there was one who got he fiddle out but was quickly told that the company was there to listen to Peoples, not to her). Peoples rose to the occasion and played a night of lovely and intricate Peoples music. He was flying it. The next week a load of us were at the ready, the McCarthys, Henry Benagh and a bunch more I don't remember. Peoples sounded like a fiddleplayer playing a session.

I also remember Kevin Crawford playing in town with Mick Conneely and Tony Linnane. Before the gig there was a CD on in the bar,I assume it was Lunasa (yes, I know. I lead a sheltered life and don't know their stuff). Warming up Crawford played along. As soon as the gig started he shed the funny rhythm and played the real thing, or maybe more accurately, Tony Linnane's music. Brilliant. Like hearing a different player.

There was also the first reunion of Linnane and Noel Hill in Ennis. Hil did a 20 minute set first, being very Noel Hill (looks at watch, is he done yet?), then Tony came on and di a similar set, intricate, complex and introverted, lovely. After a break they came on together (with Conneely and Brian McGrath who each accompanied one of the previous sets) and off they went on a re-take of their 1978 recording. Lovely, loose, all smiles and sounding like they hadn't a care in the world. knocking sparks off eachother. Very different in many ways and on many levels from their solo bits. They were levitating almost, hard to beat the music they played there.

Playing with other people, in other words, is a matter of finding the common ground, and that's where the you set up camp.

_________________
My brain hurts

Image


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 12:27 pm 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:21 pm
Posts: 13395
Location: Unimportant island off the great mainland of Europe
I think that's all very good stuff, Peter, and also very much to the point. Cutting ones cloth to suit, as it were. But even playing solo, players, well-known or not, play very differently in a pub and/or session situation than the sound heard on trad CDs. To me, it's like we're getting to two separate traditions: the traditional tradition (as it were) and that which produces the style of trad CDs and performances of bands like Lunasa, Danu etc.

_________________
"Only connect!"

https://youtu.be/ezbWVysJAOY
https://tapm.bandcamp.com/


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 12:50 pm 
Offline
Moderatorer
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2002 6:00 pm
Posts: 36002
Location: Among the pixels
benhall.1 wrote:
To me, it's like we're getting to two separate traditions: the traditional tradition (as it were) and that which produces the style of trad CDs and performances of bands like Lunasa, Danu etc.

I see it as more nuanced than that. After all, the session is a relatively recent phenomenon; "cutting the cloth to suit" is to the fore there, and wholly out of necessity. If you want the "traditional tradition", look to the Pure Drop. In contrast to the session, in Pure Drop's representative solo context one is comparatively free to do whatever one pleases according to one's ability and gifts. OTOH, bands built on tight, tasty arrangements bridge the two, in a way: everything's cloth cut to suit, but the exhilarating melody work echoes the possibilities available to the soloist in Pure Drop playing that would be disruptive in a session. So I'm seeing at least three branches to the dance music tradition.

Or maybe it's all just bollocks. :)

_________________
"Time is the wisest counselor of all." - Pericles

"I remain not entirely convinced of it." - Nano


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 1:13 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:31 am
Posts: 5495
Location: the Back of Beyond
Well, bands are a different kettle of fish. And they were not what I was thinking of when you mentioned CDs people put out. Possibly you listen to a different type of CD than I do? If I look at the CDs I have heard over the past few years (not an awful great number) they are pretty good representations of how the people on them play.

_________________
My brain hurts

Image


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 1:20 pm 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:21 pm
Posts: 13395
Location: Unimportant island off the great mainland of Europe
Mr.Gumby wrote:
Well, bands are a different kettle of fish. And they were not what I was thinking of when you mentioned CDs people put out. Possibly you listen to a different type of CD than I do? If I look at the CDs I have heard over the past few years (not an awful great number) they are pretty good representations of how the people on them play.

Actually, no, I think I was thinking of what I take to be the same sort of CDs as you, Peter. But possibly not. I don't really buy bands' CDs, although I was thinking of these as well in my OP.

Part of my difficulty here is that I don't want to 'name names'. I think, to me, the CD sort of stuff seems kind of smooth, wrinkles ironed out, and none of that real 'nyah' that you get in real life.

Honest, it makes sense to me ...

_________________
"Only connect!"

https://youtu.be/ezbWVysJAOY
https://tapm.bandcamp.com/


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 3:01 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2014 10:32 am
Posts: 101
Location: Western Washington State
Being newer on the scene, this is an interesting topic. I recently had an "aha" moment... I was listening to the recordings on this thread at theSession -
http://thesession.org/discussions/34650
And it really is a night and day sort of thing after listening to both studio recordings and live recorded "performances".

Kind of like listening in on a real true Blues jam session. It's something different and more alive because of the sense of connection and community. The sum of the whole being greater than the parts.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 2:00 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 2:04 am
Posts: 1333
Location: Mercia
Could it be that CD's and (some concert performances) are aimed at an audience wider than the musician's companions in a session; wider than, say, and people who would travel for an hour or two to hear Tommy People's play solo ?

Wider than people who would listen repeatedly to the recordings krystlepye referred to - and know not to do that when other people (who would be happy listening to a CD of the same musicians) have to hear it ?

How does the playing in the those videos of solo and duo performances at the Cobbelstone fit in ?


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 6:59 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 3:51 pm
Posts: 500
krystlepye wrote:
I was listening to the recordings on this thread at theSession -
http://thesession.org/discussions/34650


Thanks! I'd never known about these recordings!

_________________
Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur. (Anything is more impressive if you say it in Latin)


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 10:58 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2003 4:17 pm
Posts: 5591
Location: Somewhere Off-Topic, probably
As a stalwart camp- and workshop-goer, I've gotten the chance to play in and observe sessions with a fair number of "leading lights" in our little corner of the music world. What I've observed is that almost every single one of these people puts the music first in a session, not their performance of it. In a session, the greats listen and play to the standard (and standard session-tune settings) they find there. Otherwise you'd have a train wreck, and people who've dedicated their lives to good music certainly wouldn't want that.

From there, as Mr. Gumby said, with luck a noted player lifts the standard a notch (or more) with their energy – and even more important, because everyone's listening to the great player instead of thinking about what they themselves are doing. Since listening to each other seems to be a common key in great ensemble music (as opposed to a group of individuals basically wanking together), shazam. Amazing music happens.

That's what makes so many great players even greater to me -- their generosity when they play in sessions with the hoi polloi, and their dedication to making the OVERALL music better, even when playing with people who aren't even remotely close to their caliber. The greats know that session-playing is not about themselves: they can perform plenty on their own time.

Speaking of, wow. That Tony Linnane is something. I sat behind him in a session once, and the sparks were just flying off him. I quit playing and started listening. He's amazing.

_________________
Deja Fu: The sense that somewhere, somehow, you've been kicked in the head exactly like this before.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 6 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
[ Time : 0.240s | 11 Queries | GZIP : On ]
(dh)