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PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2020 8:58 am 
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TG4 is running a new series of Sé Mo Laoch, next sunday Patsy Hanly will be the subject. One not to miss (link goes to the trailer, after Sunday go to Sé Mo Laoch for the new series and episodes so far plus a few from the previous season).

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2020 6:26 pm 
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That was very enjoyable. What a gracious and kindly seeming man. And what fine playing

I especially loved the blue electrical tape on the flute

Like seeing Conal o Grada as well. The man can honk like a very musical goose


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:36 am 
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Catherine McEvoy saying 'it's real fluteplaying, not playing tinwhistle on the flute' :thumbsup:

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Like seeing Conal o Grada as well. The man can honk like a very musical goose


'Half man, half steam engine' as I heard Gary Hastings describe him once.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:53 pm 
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That was a lovely program. I especially liked the scenes from his younger days when he was
playing an old flute with missing keys and mismatched head and body, all held together with
half a roll of blue electrician's tape. He produced a fabulous sound from that flute. I couldn't tell
what it was, but it seemed to have very small tone holes and a pretty slender body, which made
the sound he produced even more surprising. Does anyone here know what that flute was?

He also played a lovely little tune on a flute that looked like it had been made from a hollowed out
branch.

I like his style and was interested to hear several comments about how he values a more straightforward
approach to the tunes rather than packing in as much virtuosity as possible. I think there is something to
be said for a style of playing that facilitates the sharing of tunes rather than hinders it. It is clear that he
had no shortage of skills, but he had nice taste in how and where to use them.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:04 pm 
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paddler wrote:
He also played a lovely little tune on a flute that looked like it had been made from a hollowed out
branch.
.


The tune is the Factory Girl, a version Seán Potts got from O'Riada. Potts was in the photo just before it was played, with the Hanly daughter who died.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 3:29 pm 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
Catherine McEvoy saying 'it's real fluteplaying, not playing tinwhistle on the flute' :thumbsup:


I've been trying to think of a good way of describing a certain very popular modern way of playing, and of course she hits the nail on the head! The huff and puff and tone of the flute is such an underutilized tool, now so many people seem to just play long flowing lines with lots of finger fireworks. Sounds cool, but it'd be great o have more variety...


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:44 pm 
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The link in the OP takes me to the TG4 site, but I get an error message when I try play the vid (“VIDEO_CLOUD_ERR_UNPLAYABLE”). Anyone else getting this?

Steve B


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:02 am 
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I went back to review part of the program again today only to discover that the link I used to
view it last night no longer works and that the episode no longer seems to be listed on the website. :-?

On the plus side, though, I did discover another lovely episode about Matt Molloy that I had not previously seen.
I've given the link below, since our URL feature doesn't seem to want to let me include it as a direct link in this post.
Hopefully, you can just copy and paste this into your browser.

https://tg4.tv/en/player/categories/iri ... y&series=Sé%20Mo%20Laoch%20&genre=Ceol&pcode=063128

So thanks to Mr Grumpy I've just spent two very enjoyable hours!
Hopefully, the Patsy Hanly episode will reappear soon!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:18 am 
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Strange. the Patsy Hanly episode is no longer on the website. Any ideas?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 3:07 am 
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It's up here: 'Sé Mo Laoch Patsy Hanly

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Last edited by Mr.Gumby on Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 4:41 am 
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I don't know if it comes across on the program but Patsy is brilliant company as well as being a fantastic flute player.

When sitting in a session with him he exudes vitality and happiness; like someone who is engaged in his most favorite thing in the world.

He has a razor sharp wit and is prone to the most madcap ideas. I was playing in a session with him, in a hotel, in the early eighties and he managed to get the whole session to decamp and to start up again in the disco that was going on in the basement of the hotel. He had everyone convinced that this was a great idea.

Cheers

John


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:24 am 
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I'm in no danger whatsoever of playing flute like a tin whistle! Huffing and puffing to the fore.

I had a class with John Skelton and he observed that flute players are lucky, because they have to take breaths, and so they can avoid the tendency to just never stop playing.

Hanley's personality comes through really clearly in that film.


In all those TG4 films, which I love, I'm always struck by the historical footage. The audience always looks grimly serious, like their parents made them attend. The playing is usually great, but they didn't understand how to present it. It's just completely decontextualized. The "Hup" series is a little better because it embeds the musicians in community, in a pub or store or hall.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 6:59 am 
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The old RTE programs were pretty much a concert setting, probably because it was not feasible, financially or otherwise, to travel around the country at the time. The put people in a performance situation that wasn't heir natural environment. . I am not so sure the modern approach of plunking people down in a pub or a shop is much better. To me it feels no less contrived. But in fairness, I don't think having a camera crew filming will ever give a natural and relaxed setting. It's still a performance situation that not always sits well.

I think the current run of Sé Mo Laoch is doing very well, there was, to my mind, a bit of a dip after Nuala O Connor and Breanndán Ó'Beaglaíich stopped being in charge but the current crop is very well done. Fleadh tv is probably the worst of the lot, I can't watch that hype. Last september I met a very fine piper/neighbour (John will know who I mean) at the Aldi in Ennistymon. He asked 'did you see Fleadh tv, after watching that I really think music (bleep) now, (bleep)'. We did end up considering the possibility we had become old men giving out about how things have turned out, but he wasn't really off the mark to begin with, in that context anyway.

(I see I ran foul of the board's censoring software. As they used to say. 'Duck is a four letter bird')

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 8:58 am 
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Yes it's always going to be artificial to varying degrees unless you record people secretly. But the question of how to present this music is interesting. I mean some forms of music are born for the stage. ITM is not one of them. It would certainly have been no more expensive to stage the performances differently. The "concert treatment" was an understandable conscious choice, no? I suspect the lingering influence of O Riada.


I like these Sé Mo Laoch films a lot--they are really enjoyable and for me very evocative of the Ireland I imagine living in but sadly never will. They tend to always be exactly the same thing though. Films of the subject now and back in the day, and excerpts from various contemporaries telling us how great they are. Generally they will be described as completely unique, and then the next film will describe the next person as completely unique and then you get to that point where if everyone is unique no one is unique. There will be very effective footage shot from drones.

It's interesting to watch these as an example of how Ireland's sense of itself changes. In the old style footage the audiences often look like they're getting a stiff dose of medicine that's good for them--however much they may or may not being enjoying the music, they clearly seem to see themselves under some sort of formal pressure to take everything very seriously.

Sé Mo Laoch is very loving, just like the Hup series--loving not just the person, but the world they're in. I just watched the Frankie Gavin one and enjoyed it partly because I'm not that fond of his music and he made some more loaded statements about the nature of the music, like when he insisted it should be fast and equated fast with happy. And they filmed him more at odds with the world. I liked that, it was less gentle veneration of a legend and a little more peppery


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 9:39 am 
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I have had the Sé Mo Laoch crew filming in the house and elsewhere, at the time we had to play each set of tunes three or four times so they could get different angles. Hard to look spontaneous after the first go. But they do a good job at representing what their subject is about. It was perhaps one of my objections against some previous runs where they did bring some 'celebrity' names I wouldn't necessarily have immediately associated with the subject, it seemed they were pooling people across the series so they could film comments and friendly words on several subjects in one go. The present series pools participants a bit but seems to be closer to each subject, both the Steve Cooney and Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin editions were (also) outstanding.

Irish music and concerts are to an extend strange bedfellows, especially the tendency of wanting to put on everybody who turns up. A concert with thirty people who each play one or two sets of tunes and get turfed off the stage before they have warmed up is not necessarily the best thing to do, I often think so anyway. But there are small setting formats that work well enough.

Quote:
I just watched the Frankie Gavin one and enjoyed it partly because I'm not that fond of his music


I liked when Patsy Hanly was talking about Coleman and what he took away from his music and Morrison and then threw in the little 'but he was trying to sound like Frankie Gavin all the time'. Which I took as a little play on the old joke where some musician dies, goes to heaven where he meets Peter at the gate only to hear fiddle playing from inside that is unmistakably sounding like Gavin's. When he asks after it ('I didn't know Frankie was dead') Peter says' ah no, that God, he thinks he's Frankie Gavin'. :P

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