youngraven: (suffer)
So. Here's how it happened: I was in the middle of a gig when a circular patch in my drum's head went slack - never mind that the outer rim of the head surrounding that patch was alarmingly (as in 'take cover, she's going to blow') taut.

I did what any staid and stoic semi pro would do: I panicked. At the break, I raced behind the pub to phone Albert and gibber like a scared wee thing whose drum has just gone thmok when it should have gone something near to a G.

Silently, I did lament to myself how it seems I end up with a drum with a fouled head (although, in honesty Caitrín may have a fine head; I simply don't like the tone she produces). Got to be player error somehow. I'd got used to plastic drum heads that don't require the care and feeding of natural heads.

Since Albert's convinced it can't be a dodgy skin, there are two possibilities that come to my mind barring the skin being wonky:
  • I've been too hard on the head
  • It could be the weather
(I heart bullets, don't you?) 

If I've ballsed up the head. it's for lack of a crossbrace (this is my first ever drum without one, so I could have done). Over the years, I built my playing style round using that crossbrace for leverage. I'd use a crossbrace, 'cos till recently, most drums were too large for me to control without one - I've explained this many's the time before, so. Only I never felt myself pushing that hard, and Albert (who's seen me since then) has never said 'AAAAHWhatAreYouDoing1111!!11Eleven!!BBQ!11' And he would do. In fact, that would be a direct quote, barbecue and all. 

(Sings) Oh, god - could it be the weather? It could be, in fact, the weather. Albert's the first to say that his drums favour a certain level of humidity, and there's still rather a drought. A few times when I fetched her out, it required me using both hands to work the tuning keys. It startled me once; I feared the head would split, and so I began the practise of downtuning her after a night's play. Apparently, that's the very thing Albert had told me not to do for at least six months. I've no recollexion of this, but in my haste to get my hands on her, I could have spaced on that one. I do know, now, without a doubt that I'm bonding to this drum: I was reluctant to have her back to Albert for repair. I mean, I had to make myself hand over the drum, and then I felt weird watching him leave with her. 

I may well see him tonight - whether he's got Bríd all sorted out...I doubt it. I suppose I'll bring Caitrín to the 'work seisiún' and we'll see what I get out of her. Sigh. Or I could bring Grainne - never mind the plastic head and the fact that she doesn't much like me, she still sounds better than Caitrín. 

I'm exing digits. I want my Bríd back. 

Addendum: Albert's just after phoning, and I will have her back tonight. He's not thrilled with the sound she's giving, so it may well be that she goes back home with him tonight for a new head. I really want this drum to be The One, so I'm actually a bit tense about it.  
youngraven: (Default)
 My friend Mark is re-releasing his bodhrán CD. I highly recommend it if you fancy learning to play.
Click me:
kck.st/wk3PNJ
youngraven: (Off-centre)
Now that's been almost three weekends...

Saturday
We left in the morning to minimal fanfare. Alright, there wasn't fanfare at all. There were two brief stops - one for breakfast for us and another for breakfast for the car. Otherwise...it was a drive down to Austin. I suppose I should take in more of the scenery now that it's become so costly as to render such jaunts a bit infrequent. I did, as we passed them, remark at which trees were turning colours. So I wasn't completely switched off. :D

We arrived in Austin, paused to check into the hotel (where I realised that I must have left my driver's licence at the polls the night before), and after that had been sorted out, we drove to the festival. Amberhawke were still playing when we found their stage, so we sat to listen for a while. The last several festivals I've attended, I've been playing and Shaddow's been running a sound board. It made for a pleasant change to have nothing to do but wander about, browse the vendors, and decide which bands we wanted to see. And drink beer. We did that too. :D

We saw:
Andy M. Stewart (that one, yeh) and Gerry O'Bierne
Amberhawke (this is in no order, really)
Gilmer and Moore (who we know from THSP)
And...I think that was all for that day - oh, and a bit of Ed Miller (an Austin mainstay)

Mark was there - completely bedecked in UT colours. He and his wife (also done up in burnt orange and white cow heads) had planned an evening of Indian food and college football. He was at the festival teaching a workshop, but if he played with Heather and Jeff, he must have done before their later set (which we saw). My feelings concerning Mark can be summarised thusly: if he were to call me 'Grasshopper', I would reach for the pebble. We crossed paths a few times that day - in one of them, I saw him and recognised the shape of him before Shaddow (who'd turned his head to look at the stage) did. Mark played at trying to trip him up, and because Shaddow's attention was elsewhere, he nearly succeeded, much to his surprise. Fortunately, nobody lost an eye or too much face. :D

We met up with Amberhawke (sans Candy and Toar, who'd gone out for the evening with friends), and we all decided that Mark's glowing report of the Clay Pit was too tempting to pass up, so we went there as well. The place was rammed with people, and at first, it seemed as though we'd have quite the weight till they found a place to put us all. In the end , it was perhaps a quarter of an hour before we were ushered to a table in the corner.

I was and wasn't surprised when our path led us past Candy and Toar - of course they'd choose that place. We waved, chatted briefly, and then assumed our Table in the Corner. At some point, during the course of the evening, they Had an Idea. Toar tells it better We called her over afterwards to give her a round of applause. Good times.

We all drove back to the hotel for the usual festival seisiunna (which, I'll admit, was one of the primary reasons I wanted to go). Heather and told me there would be a song seisiun. For the last...Jesus, how long ago was it the Celtic Quill gave up the ghost? 1999? Nine years, I think. For the last nine years, I've mostly avoided song seisiunna. Others may identify me as a singer, but I identify myself as a bodhranaí first and a singer second. 'S how it worked out, really. I've been going to more song seisiunna (admittedly, they're quite rare) of recent, so I decided to go to this one.

We had present:
Myself
Lisa (who I'd met at O'Flaherty a couple of years ago)
Lisa's fellow (I'm sure he's got a name, but I don't know it)
Linda
Jeff
Heather
Deanna
Mairtín (briefly)
Two other people whose names I never knew
One tenor guitar, which only Lisa could play.

We went round in a circle for a few times, but as we were all mostly fagged out, the seisiun sort of degenerated into filthy limericks. None of which I intend to repeat, but you can ask Jeff. :D Sniggering ensued. In all, I stayed in that seisiun longer than I'd planned I'd do - even though the choonz being played in the other room were making me fidget. By the time I gave in, I was too flat to do anything but Make Noise. Liz Carroll and John Cunningham were there, and it was grand just to listen to them. Ken took the room that the singers had been using for his own little seisiun a bit later on, but that was well after I'd decided I'd no more to offer and was likely catching cold (residual O'Flaherty exhaustion; it happens), so I went to my room. :D

And speaking of that room - it had a little balcony! And it was within sight of the pool! And if it had been warmer... :D I was really pleased.

Sunday
I was feeling more like hammered shite and less like a refreshing burst of sunlight. I'd go for a little while, and then I'd sort of stop going. We heard a few more bands, talked with Mark for a while (thanking him profusely for the restaurant recommendation - I could have wallowed in the korma), and I bought Irish language books. Actually, Shaddow bought them for me. :D I've got screeds of work to do between now and April, so... it's time I got to it, eh? Afterwards, we bought some sort of Food on a Stick (likeyado), sat beneath a tree, and listened to Needfire for a while before heading for home.
youngraven: (whack-fol-lol-de-ra)
Since nobody's going to remember my life but myself (cue laughter). :D

D'you ever get the feeling you're being watched? )

Jesus, what happened Saturday )

Lather, rinse, repeat? )

Thus ended another brilliant O'Flaherty weekend. Monday was spent in Recovery. Shaddow and I went into the local Indian grocers (which we'd never before done) and bought tea and biscuits. Later, I went off for a massage, and after that we began to plan for the next weekend in Austin.
youngraven: (mise mi fein)
The verdict? I don't like the setting. That wee plinkity-plinkity Bm chord is refusing to be anything but paltry and sparse. I want something fuller. I still fancy setting it in D, but I think I'll have to resort to using a capo. If I set it in C, I can place the capo in the second box, and it should be in D. Second or third, sort of thing. I'll work it out. If that fails to please, I'll go in search of open chordings up the fingerboard somewhere. As long as I get the low end I'm wanting. That's what it's missing.
youngraven: (mise mi fein)
Mu Phi Epsilon / Dallas Public Library Series

You are cordially invited to attend a free recital


DEAR HARP OF MY COUNTRY

Irish Ballads for Harp & Soloists

Sunday, 28 September 2008

3.00 PM

Lisa Huffaker, Suzanne Solomon, Gypsy Youngraven, Kyle Hancock & Friends

featuring Harpist Carolyn Carson

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

J. Erik Jonsson Library Auditorium, 1515 Young St., Dallas, Texas

http://dallaslibrary.org/directions.htm

We look forward to seeing you!

A letter

Aug. 25th, 2008 01:01 pm
youngraven: (mini-me)
Dear [livejournal.com profile] redwing,

What a time we had yesterday! I met with Kyle, Lisa, and the harper Carolyn at the Alexander Mansion (which is fantastic, by the bye - if I'd known about this place ten years ago when I was planning my wedding, I'd have wanted to have it there) for a preliminary rehearsal. Kyle has put together some really fantastic material. It'll be grand to see how it all comes out. We spoke of you often and fondly (we even pretended to be you when we ran through 'Carrickfergus' - so if you felt suddenly that you were somewhere else in spirit, it was likely in the mansion's library).

We had a blast going through everything - the poetry readings went well, the songs were fantastic, and I left with the sense that I truly did have something meaningful to bring to the endeavour. As you know, I was concerned that my sean-nos style and the classical styles mightn't like each other well, but I was clearly mistaken. Oh! And Kyle has been 'experimenting' a bit with sean-nos. He offered up 'She Moved Thro' the Fair' in a fluid, sean-nos style, and it was amazing. He then said to the harper that the two of them could work out an arrangement for accompaniment, and Lisa and I said 'No, no! Leave it just as it is, it's perfect'. No offence to the harper, of course, and she never took it that way.

In short, we got an amazing amount done, and I'm really looking forward to when you can be here to rehearse with us - it's going to be astounding, I know it.

I'm sure there will be more updates as I remember things and as we all meet again, but I thought you'd like to hear what's gone on thus far.

Cheers,
G.
youngraven: (och)
Today has been My Special Day for eejity miscommunications. Last night, I played with Casey and Shaddow again at the Plaza Pub, and it went rather swimmingly. It ended (of course) late, which meant we were (well) late returning home. Knowing that I had another gig this afternoon, I checked the THSP timetable, 'cos something in the depths of my wee brain was telling me 'hrm...something's different? Well...today (for another fifty minutes, at least) is 17 August. Clearly, it's stated that today's seisiun will be occurring one hour later than the usual time.

What is that you used to say to people, [livejournal.com profile] aquila_dominus? If you are early, you are on time. If you are on time, you are late. If you are late, you are dead? Sort of thing, yeh? I was nigh unto an hour late this afternoon. I wanted to curl up into a tiny ball (roughly the size that would fit within my bodhran, curiously enough) and cease to exist. This is something that I Do Not Do. In my defence...the timetable was incorrect - I mean, janeymac you can see for yourselves it Ain't Right. And...frankly, I don't know that at two o-clock in the morning I'd have noticed that June's timetable had the same two Sundays starting at that time (which is whence this timetable was copied). In everybody elses' defence today: oh, we never look at that site.

Arrrrgh.

I'm sure it's no harm done. I hope Ken drops round to Gilligans Tuesday night so that I can explain to him why I went mad, and to point out to him that his timetable's off for the 24th as well, and he's got a chap coming in from Portland, and that's a mess waiting to happen. The timing, rather, not the fellow from Portland - he's a stunning player. :D

When I got home, still in the Mighty Throes of Performer Angst, I learn that there's been rather a profound miscommunication regarding our availability for the Jackson festival early next month.

I had to be talked off a bit of a ledge.

I think it's all sorted now. I'm going to tell myself that so as to avoid hours of staring at the dark and wondering did it all get sorted out? I tell you, I could win a fucking prize.

In other news, here's a Welsh comedian with more problems than me:
youngraven: (whack-fol-lol-de-ra)
Hallo everybody!

I'll be playing at Conlon's Pub this Saturday night with John Burleson (one of the region's best Irish guitarists and Mimi Rogers (a brilliant Irish/Old time fiddle player). We go on at 9pm, and we'd love to see you.



Here are the details:
Saturday, 21 June 2008
9pm - 12am



Conlon's Pub
2528 White Settlement Rd
Fort Worth, TX 76107
(817) 698-9777


Here's a map:

View Larger Map


Cheers,
G.

Sprig sez

May. 23rd, 2008 04:41 pm
youngraven: (sprig)
On 24 May, Spriggan will be back at the Plaza Pub in Arlington for our last do before we go on hiatus. Come out, listen, and have a drink with us.

24 May 2008
8.00 PM - Midnight
The Plaza Pub
1605 New York (near Park Row Dr.)
Arlington, TX 76010
817.377.0202

Here's a map:
Click me

If you've got a Google calendar (which I believe anybody who's got a Google account will have), you can click this link to add this event to said calendar. Brilliant.


Peace out, slán go foill, and wish Chris well on the impending birth of his daughter,
G.
youngraven: (sprig)
Many of you have asked me about this, and at last I can tell you: Spriggan's CD, 'Mind the Gap', is up and available on CD Baby. Obviously, we'd love it if you bought one. Looky, here's a linky. :D

Buy the CD
SPRIGGAN: Mind the Gap
click to order


Cheers,
G.

Choonz

Mar. 6th, 2008 10:19 pm
youngraven: (Default)
I've not finished up the NTIF bit. I'll do that...eventually. Once I've got my thoughts in order and...hrm. Once I've got my thoughts in order. :D

Recently, it occurred to me to copy down all of the tunes that I can (at the very least) play through. This isn't to say that I don't at times require the sheet music, get lost once or twice, and/or have to play them very slowly but at least a go is had, right?

So. Here they are (in no particular order):
Spootiskerry
Coz Teahan's (although I think I play it in a dodgy key)
Crested Hens
The Butterfly
Dans en Dro (at times known as 'The Wren')
The Banshee
Scalloway Lasses (although it's been some while)
The Road to Lisdoonvarna
O'Keefe's
Crowley's
The Maids of Mitchelstown
Jim Ward's
Star Above the Garter
The Boys of Ballisodare
The Foxhunters (slip)
Rocky Road to Dublin
Ships Are Sailling (as of tonight)
Far From Home (as of the weekend)
Charlie Lennon's (Buttermilk Mary)
The Musical Priest
Julia Delaney's
Canyon Moonrise
The Wind That Shakes the Barley
Sidhe Bheag Sidhe Mhor
Kesh (sort of, we're all of us half sick of the Kesh Jig, so)

I think I'm leaving a few out. Likely the only one of the lot that I can play through cradle to grave without having to start some part of it over is 'The Maids of Mitchelstown'. I've placed that one in a set with 'Crowley's', which I can't play through to its end without falling into a triplet. I suppose I'll place them in some sort of order, divide them into smallish groups, and spend my time playing each group till I'm dreaming in quavers and demi quavers.

I suppose I'll also have to unearth the metronome; as much as the thought of its red winking light offends me, I think it must be done.
youngraven: (Boingy!)
I can't think of a title at the moment. Perhaps as I'm writing this, one will come to me that dazzles my senses, brings about world peace, and forces me to delete this entire poxy opening. O, that this thing would come to pass.

I would much rather prefer writing this entry out via my clever LJ client; however, it's banjaxed somehow and carks it whenever I try to log in. That sentence is mostly in English, yes. Speaking of things mostly in English, I found this lot today. Sure, I'm the last to have heard of it, I know. It's amazing what people will do with words.

So, it's been my intent to write about Sprig's bit at the Plaza Pub erm...a handful of days ago. It was the 3rd, I think. This is what happens when I don't write it down immediately. The night went really well - especially well for a new venue. I'm always a bit nervous going into a new venue, and especially one with an established clientele. I've got the sense that we've got to win them over and, well, that fills me with an urge to climb into my bodhran case. Who wants to lay me bets that I'll fit?

In a few ways, the place reminded me of MacHenry's (part the second), although this place has been done up a bit more. Candles would be a pleasant addition, providing people don't use them to do each other a mischief. Perhaps we'll bring a few when we we're next there (which will likely be in mid January). At any rate, there's a large square of a bar at the centre of the place billiards to the left of that, and over to the right hand side are little table and chairs. The stage is smaller than the one at O'Dwyer's (and who can remember that place anymore?) and it's oddly shaped. So Candace and myself were on the floor before the stage, and Michael and Chris were looming slightly above and behind us on the stage. It made for an interesting dynamic.

Speaking of interesting dynamics...it isn't as though we filled the place and that I found odd. 'Cos it isn't odd, we've done it before, filled a place. Only that the people seated at the aforementioned little tables were reacting to us in much the way that festival audiences do. It's entirely different from a pub audience - festival audiences sit still and remain mostly quiet - whereas pub audiences carry on with the ol agus craic and if we entertain them whilst they're at that, more's the better. I'm used to pub audiences ignoring whatsoever any of us may say into our mics, which gives us a bit of an out if something unfortunate slips past the censors.

I've mentioned that we had rather a fine turn out, yes. [livejournal.com profile] amalleigh, [livejournal.com profile] turtliewings, [livejournal.com profile] unclesiko, (my kingdom for a bleeding working LJ client - argh, sez I), [livejournal.com profile] missingworlds, [livejournal.com profile] darthcynthia, [livejournal.com profile] cgronlund, my sister, erm.... and two other ones who I know have got LJs, only whose names I can't recall*. Shite. I'd a point in mind when I began this paragraph, and it's gone right out of my head. Whoosh. So... go raibh maith agat, a chairde. We fear the gnomes (there are always gnomes - always) less when we can look out on familiar faces.

There was one. slight. mishap, and at least I had the luck that it happened towards the middle of the third set - so we were nearly done for the night. Otherwise, it would have been a drag. Whilst thoroughly entrenched in a set of reels ('cos evidently it's much like trench warfare, right?), I moved my head in the Bad Way. This happens to me - I move my head in the Bad Way, and the world falls off at an angle. That isn't actually merely a whimsical way to describe my vertigo - I do literally perceive (for a second - but it's enough) everything being tilted or warped or moving or however my eyes decide to fuck with my odd wee brain. I'd been standing (rather stiffly as I'd soon discover) with my head tilted back a bit and my eyes shut - not the best of combinations. So, I opened my eyes, the world fell off to the left a bit, and I thought 'yargh'. Unless it's rather a nasty bout, I can shake it off quickly, and no-one's ever the wiser. Only I'd adopted a posture that I'd been warned against doing in all of my nigh unto twenty years of performing, hadn't I? As I shook my head to clear it, I unlocked my knees and down I went. I never stopped playing; however, I'm reasonably sure I was actually unconscious for about a millisecond.

I do know better, yes. And this is the last time (at least it bloody better had be) that I tell this story.

I spent the rest of the night trying to clear my head.

Ooh shite. It's late, and I really don't want to end this with 'she's no fun, she fell right over'.

So, grand night, all told and...we won the hearts of the usual clientele - hurrah that. And I'm keen to go back there.

I'll write about the rest of the month tomorrow. Perhaps. ;D

Slan go foill,
G.

* Right, youse, so if you forget where you were that night, then it was out with us. 'Cos otherwise I've likely worn out your names. ;)
youngraven: (whack-fol-lol-de-ra)
...in fifteen minutes or less.

Now that it's been an entire month since the retreat, it occurs to me to write a bit about it down. Next year, I'll write about the holidays, various and sundry other things that are happening at the moment, and fish (I needed something to end the list).

Due to overwhelming enthusiasm (which sounds a bit like bollocks, but in fact it's true), the retreat was lengthened by an entire day. Thus, [livejournal.com profile] shaddowshoes and I scarpered out to the Sallie Army camp Thursday night in order not to miss anything Friday morning. Earlier in the week, Ken had phoned to ask [livejournal.com profile] shaddowshoes whether he wouldn't mind helping out with the sound, so being to everything a bit early became important.

We pitched our tent in the dark (we've become skilled at this) in a pleasant spot by the pond. This year, unlike last year, there was no wind. Not even a zephyr. It was cold, but with the lack of wind, the tent kept most of it out. We'd bought colder weather sleeping bags (after last year, in which I froze), and in them we were rather cosy.

The next morning, we drove to the office to register (sure, it seems moronic to drive everywhere, but the fact is that the camp is too large to cross in a quarter hour's time when one's laden with instruments. Last year, we'd vowed to bring our bicycles this year. Which we didn't do, 'cos suddenly that seemed to make very little sense. Now we've worked out how having them there could make sense, so likely we'll have them next year. I'd go into the particulars of that, but my time is rapidly fleeing.

So. I don't exactly recall what I did Friday beyond going to my classes, eating, and searching for a seisiun. Only I don't think I actually went to one Friday night...no, I didn't. I had to practise with Andrea and John for our breakfast do the next morning. By the time we'd gone through everything that we had to go through, I was falling over. So, no seisiun for me. I think [livejournal.com profile] shaddowshoes had decided upon an early night as well.

The short performance the next morning went over reasonably well for it being 8.30. I've made a moan before about the madness of having musicians do things other than sleep when the sun's only just coming up. Nobody's listening, it would seem. Blah blah blah. I could have refused, but I didn't. So. Afterwards there were more classes...I was jumping out of my skull because I was sure that the man teaching the bodhrán class had marked my name down in his mind on a list entitled 'Desperate'.

'I was half asleep' I wanted to cry out in protest. Well, never mind what came of that - I've already written about it, so.

Saturday night, there were concerts, and...a reception for the SCMA, and...a suddenly necessity for painkillers. As I hadn't any of my own, I borrowed half of rather a strong one from [livejournal.com profile] typsygypsy. In half an hour, I was almost useless - but I did make my own entertainment. Sensing this would be so, I went to the choonz seisiun first so's to avoid making a potential arse of myself. I'd decided I was skilled enough for the advanced seisiun, and the last thing I needed was to go there and then drool over my bodhrán (it's happened - what?). Mostly, however, I knew all of them there, and they'd likely not have noticed anything wrong.

I'm a quirky wee bitch.

From the choonz seisiun, I went with Jeff (master of all things golf cart - it's grand to know People) to the song seisiun. I think I sang. I also know I could hardly hold my own head up (eh, it was better than being curlled into a whimpering ball - infer). We didn't stay terribly long.

Sunday...was the last of classes, and then the student performances. I'd signed up for one, but I'll not do that again. Not that it was a bad experience at all. I met rather pleasant people, actually. I think I'd rather serve as a guide, though. Is that arrogant of me? Possibly, but I have been performing for a little while, so perhaps it's not too outlandish a thing to consider. Fifteen years, I've been doing this. I've just counted. I suppose I could have learnt something useful in that space of time.

Argh. Awkward. Moving on...

The last of the instructor concerts was really quite grand. In theory, there's a recording of it someplace. There was a seisiun that night, only [livejournal.com profile] shaddowshoes and I couldn't stay for it. I hear it was grand - [livejournal.com profile] typsygypsy and [livejournal.com profile] toarthos got engaged that night. :D

So, there's the O'Flaherty post that has been waiting an entire month to be written.

Slán go foill agus siochain,
G.
youngraven: (sprig)
[livejournal.com profile] mishajames found these videos on YouTube (shot by 'ryleh') of us at CelticFest this year. I thought I'd share them round. They were all shot at our acoustic set. We didn't realise going into it that we'd have an acoustic set, and thus we were a bit startled.

Well, I was startled.

The sound quality isn't the best ever, and my bodhrán had decided to spend most of the festival in a loose and floppy state (it's rather humid in Jackson, MS - where the festival was held). Thus it sounds a bit weird.

Have a look. )

Agus ta se asin.
youngraven: (sprig)
On 1 December, Spriggan will be at the Plaza Pub in Arlington This is a relatively new pub, and the proprietor has just started having bands in to play. Since so many Irish bars in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area are Irish in name only, it's fantastic to have another pub in the vicinity that supports Celtic music. As you can guess, we're rather looking forward to our first show there. So, we're asking all of you lot to come out not only to hear us, but to show support for this new venue!

1 December 2007
8.00 PM - Midnight
The Plaza Pub
1605 New York (near Park Row Dr.)
Arlington, TX 76010
817.377.0202

Here's a map:
Click me

If you've got a Google calendar (which I believe anybody who's got a Google account will have), you can click this link to add this event to said calendar. Fantastic, innit?


Cheers,
G.

Night Out

Nov. 14th, 2007 01:58 pm
youngraven: (Default)
Next tuesday, [livejournal.com profile] shaddowshoes and I will not be at seisiun. Rather, we'll be dressing ourselves smartly, and going out to see Anúna at Bass Hall. It's been a while since we've had Night Out, and it's the first time we've ever been to Bass Hall. We've been to the studio concert room associated with it, but never to Bass Hall proper, so that will be grand.

I'll be sure to write and spill about how fantastic they are. :D

Tara Road

Nov. 4th, 2007 02:19 am
youngraven: (Default)
I'd made mention in a past entry that I should make some mention of Tara Road.

Tara road was a curious experience for at least two reasons that I can cough up at this ungodly hour. Firstly, it was a curious experience as it consisted of two fiddles ([livejournal.com profile] typsygypsy and another one) and myself (meaning I had to play something other than my crutch bodhran); and secondly, it was a curious experience in that it was a 'pick-up band' that we had to give an actual name to.

Pick-up bands are for the most part temporary. I've played in pick-up bands before in which I didn't actually know some of the people I'd be playing with. And come to that, I still don't know them. Alright, for the sake of honesty, I should mention that the one I play the most often with is the TIMES band (which is composed of the Trinity Hall Session Players) - and it has got a monicker after a fashion.

I don't know what I'm on about, really, only that it made the three of us (at least it's my thinking it did) feel a bit odd choosing a name for something that would be done as quickly as it began, sort of thing.

We chose 'Tara Road' after the Maeve Binchy novel of the same name. The performance itself went reasonably well, all things considered (those things being hastily learning a repertoire in the midst of working with our own respective bands, playing seisiunna, and what have you). Sure, there were a few wee problems - the woman who hired us billed us on the web as 'Toad Road' due to an enthusiastic spell checker. I can think about it now without laughing, but at first whenever it would cross my mind I'd end up in paroyxisms. Hrm. There really should be another sentence before this one, but there isn't. Shame, that. The people we played for were impressed and have said they'll have us back next year.

I wondered at the time (and I still do, a bit), whether Tara Road couldn't be something of a concept. A bit like the TIMES Band, in that there's a rotation, but the players involved would all be women. Not that it's rare to have female players, only that the people who hired us were asking specifically for women.

It's a thought, at any rate. I'd something else entirely in mind when I reminded myself I should write about this a fortnight ago. I wonder what that might have been?

It'll be interesting to see what comes of it all next year - if anything.
youngraven: (sprig)
In theory, I'm supposed to be erasing Lucy Liu's cleavage from a poster that's to be printed tonight. Sure, it's to that depth which I've sunk. Ah, the cleverness of me. I've seen nothing of this poster yet, and I'm beginning to believe that somebody else got booked to work on it. Not that I'm complaining, really.

'Cos in the meanwhile (as I'm pissing the rest of my day away), it gives me a chance to write about the festival a mere day after it happened rather than two bloody months.

They gave us a set on the main stage this year at CHF (I should provide youse a link - remind me to do that, eh?), and I'm content to believe it's because we're that frigging grand. We filled it, so. And it all went well. The only sort of scary moments happened when Chris's concertina made some sort of odd feedback which sounded much like a jet was about to land upon us and smash us all flat.

We laughed it off. No rocks fell, nobody died. Ha. Which reminds me that I've said nothing of Tara Road. In which one rock did fall and it did hit me square on the head. But that's another story (never mind, anyway).

So...Saturday was grand...we did our bit for the cause, I didn't blurt out something eejity or stare off into space with that horrified expression I often get when I realise that I really should be Saying Something, yet I've Got Nothing. I do this to myself, you see, I'd got it in mind that I should be something other than the small and quirky one who's likely unhinged. The trouble is, when I try for anything else, I make a pig's breakfast of it. So...I suppose this is to tell my mates (who read here) that...you're stuck with the aforementioned description. Sort of thing.

Back me up, then? 'Cos...

Right. Blah blah blah. My head is...elsewhere.

So, Saturday...running jumping climbing trees. Caught you haha flag. That sort of thing, yeh. It went really well. Sure I've said that five times by now.

We played, and then had a bit of a seisiun, and then [livejournal.com profile] shaddowshoes and Casey played, and after that [livejournal.com profile] shaddowshoes and [livejournal.com profile] unclesiko and myself went off for Mexican and beer. See, there's no drink allowed at this particular festival, so by the end of it...right. Good craic, nonetheless.

Sunday also went well. We sold most of the past product that we'd brought, and got the card of a girl who'd missed out. She seemed very earnest that she be able to buy this particular one, so. She shall have it. You know, that's the thing about everything going well - I'm really tempted to leave it at that. It was grand. Hurrah. This is why I'm not a writer. Innit.

Well, cheers to everybody who came out. It really is a pleasant festival, and the rumour thus far has been that the closing numbers were good. So here's to its continuance.

Peace out, slán go foill, and eek a spider,
G.
youngraven: (cuppa)
The priest
This past saturday, Spriggan played an early morning (for us, at any rate) set at the Holy Spirit Fall Festival. It went reasonably well, despite the fact that I was a bit late (sure, we started on time, but I'd arrived with moments to spare - thus I was late). It's Irish time, what? Usually (and never mind how I may have been in the past, eh?), I arrive to a show with more than enough time to sort myself out. I was due a rake in the face, I suppose.

The set went well enough, all things considered. The weather was fantastic. When we played this festival last year, it pissed, pelted, and gushed with rain, and the tarpaulin over the stage leaked. We and our cables were dodging puddles that crept round behind us. Fortunately, nothing blew or shocked any of us to death. That would have been inconvenient, to say the very least. So, we'd grand weather and a reasonably responsive audience (it was a bit early yet). I did lob a cipín during a tune set, but I covered for it well. I did banjax an arrangement to a song...and I'm still not entirely sure of it. So that'll need a bit of work. It's odd - this is one of our standards, we've had it on the playlist for at least a year now. The arrangement stood, made a little bow, and walked out of my head. What do you do? It happens. To everybody, yes. Regardless of how many times it's been practised.

There, have I made my point? Should I sharpen it a bit?

Moving along...

The bodhránaí
Later on saturday evening, we played a benefit for the O'Flaherty Irish Music Retreat. I'd shirts made for Candace and myself to wear. One side read 'I love O'Flaherty' (only 'love' was actually a heart - I don't know how to make that symbol in html; you'll have to imagine it), and the other side read 'Irish babes drinking team'. They served a multipartite purpose, the shirts: to make people ogle Candace and myself (although she's never lacking in favourable notice); to draw attention to the retreat; to take the mickey out of this fellow (in a kindly, jovial way).

We arrived to the pub early, and the two of us didn't change our shirts till nearly time to go on. He saw us before we saw him, so the initial expression on his face was lost, but he thought it was great fun. He snapped many photos of us; I've asked him for copies.

Again, our set went reasonably well - barring bolloxing the arrangement of the song I'd had difficulty with during the morning set. I suppose I'd set myself up for it, really. Ah well, it'll get sorted.

The psychologist
Afterwards, [livejournal.com profile] shaddowshoes drove myself and [livejournal.com profile] typsygypsy to our mate's birthday soiree. He's the psychologist. We'd had quite the day, and I spent most of the party lying on a blanket in the grass under the stars. This being infinitely better craic than lying on a blanket in the grass under an elephant.

Not that his has ever happened to me. I'm sure it's happened to somebody.

We laughed, we drank, we talked of...various and sundry things - none of which I can recall now.

The mixing board
Sunday was spent at the studio mixing down bits of 'Mind the Gap'. I think we've got the worst of it over, and the rest of it should breeze by. Now it's a matter of getting licences - which is what [livejournal.com profile] mishajames is doing at this very moment. No lie, he's had a slow day at the office, and has spent a goodly lot of it at the Harry Fox Agency's web site.

Here's a bit of how that's going:

sprigchik: i'm for declaring a moratorium on people writing new tunes.
sprigchik: henceforth, it's forbidden.
sprigchik: never mind the 'any tradition that doesn't change dies' tossycock.
sprigchik: it creates too much of a pissing headache.
sprigchik: :)
sprigchik: erm...well, i suppose we'll have to do as suggested by HFA. if we get letters back to the effect of 'why are you bothering me - go to harry fox', more's the better.
Michael James: Heh. Well, that tunes that we've recorded that either definately have a copyright or might not be in Public Domain include
Brenda Stubbert's
Cooley's Reel
Duncan Johnstone
The Earl's Chair
Glass of Beer
Golden Keyboard
Spootiskerry
Tamlin
Michael James: Oops forgot Paddy Fahey's No. 1
Songs include:
The Foggy Dew (words)
Lancashire Lads (music)
Step It Out, Mary
Michael James: Considering there are a total 38 works, I suppose that's really not too bad.
sprigchik: not really, no.

Gripping, innit?

The punchline
Ooh...it's tea time. Slán.

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