September the Fourth

  1. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Happy July 4th, guys, gents, ladies!

    ...changed the link because the sync was wrong...

    Had to change it again, the fourth time! But I included the guitar accompaniment as a bonus. Sorry Guys!

  2. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    strange little tune, Simon. What is it?
    Unconventional rhythm section - have you ever played that bodhran that way in the presence of other bodhran players?
  3. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Strange? Bertram. You mean the title that’s 2 months late or the B part with the fireworks that I managed to emulate? Took me quite a while to get that right.
  4. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    An interesting tune, Simon. Is it an original? Your use of the bodhran with attachment is very innovative and fits in well with the tune. I can just see the reaction, as Bertram hints at, if you appeared in a session armed with this combination!
  5. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Thanks John I found it on TheSession while searching for a suitable July 4th tune. (My search results have be a bit lopsided just recently.) Apparently written by a group called The Hunter’s Moon Morris which no longer exists.
    I agree, I don’t think this would ever work in a session. I was thinking more of an OldTime sort of band that plays well and uses some homemade instruments.
  6. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    The concept of homemade rhythm is at home in Skiffle music. You'll have to get a washboard and thimbles, and a bass made out of a chest, a broomstick and piece of clothes line (with a Scottish tune, I guess this would be called a cornkist bass, I guess).
  7. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    I can just imagine a future video from Simon in which he has his octave, the bodhran (with accessories), a pair of cymbals or a tambourine strapped to his knees and maybe a harmonica or Kazoo in a holder around his neck, delivering an amazing one-man-band performance out in that wooded glade he frequents. One word of caution though, Simon: do not sit down for the video as you may be unable to get up again unaided!

    Bertram, I love the idea of the cornkist bass - in skiffle days we called them tea-chest basses, but I love your Scottish version! As you know, there is a huge body of comic and often scurrilous songs known as Cornkisters linked to the Bothy Ballads of the north-east of Scotland. The corn kist (Scots for corn chest) was the big storage box in which the corn was kept and around which, in the bothies, the folk would gather to have their ceilidhs after a hard day's work on the farms. I believe a few drams might well have been taken during this social gathering. Here endeth today's lesson!
  8. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Talking about going out for a dram John, here’s a fake Samuel Pepys quote -he didn’t write it, but in friendly company he may have said it:

    The taverns are fair full of gadabouts making merry this eve. And though I may press my face against the window like an urchin at a confectioner’s, I am tempted not by the sweetmeats within. A dram in exchange for the pox is an ill bargain indeed.
  9. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    Really well played Simon. Is the bodhran new? You know you play it with a tipper, right? But you are the most innovative with your go forth and multiply. (but beware the pox)
  10. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Yay Ginny!

    It’s the pubs that opened, I think this morning or maybe Saturday morning and all the brave folk who abstained for so long will be circulating. I think the fake quote is making a comparison between the pox and Covid-19 though they’re quite different.

    The drum is about a year old now, haven’t strapped it on in quite a while now.
  11. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    One of the main problems with bodhrans (and any other members of the percussion family) is that they are seen as a way in to playing music for all those who do not play any instrument or are likely to take one up. This is based this on the assumption that anyone can simply hit a drum and make a noise, and if it is not in time with the tune or in sympathy with the other players then that is not really a problem! Drummers and percussionists are very highly-skilled musicians and can be the very core of any band.

    Over the many years I have played in different bands, from traditional, ceilidh, New Orleans Jazz (played bass in one of those for a few years) and straight dance band formats it is always to the drummer that the slightly enebriated punters go to ask if they might "get a shot on the drums". The other instruments are generally mercifully free from this approach, as they require some perceived skills before they can be played, whereas with the drums you just hit them! And if there is a full kit with snare, bass drum, high hat, toms and cymbals then this becomes the prime target for the seeker after his/her moment of glory. The other approach is the well-known "My mate is a really good singer and he is standing over there. Can he come up and give you a couple of songs?"

    I loved your phrase " even though the guy’s timing was... independent you could say," Simon! That captures the feeling so succinctly.
  12. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    What’s the difference between a good bodhran player and a professional bodhran player?

    You tell a good bodhran player that because there are dancers tonight you want to play the set all the way through at 88 bpm. Can you do that? ‘Yeh, sure I can’
    So he does, off on his own, 88 bpm. And it’s absolute chaos, the dancers are listening to ‘the pulse’ of the fiddlers, the fiddlers are asking why the bodhran is getting faster, the banjo asks why there isn’t the hesitation before each B part, the mandolinists are... etc.....

    You tell the professional bodhran player that you want to play it all the way through at 88 bpm, and he says, ‘yeh, sure you do’ !

    (I’ve put a technique warning on this vid)
  13. Gelsenbury
    The accompaniment was in time and helped drive the tune along to good effect, which I think is what matters. I like this tune and the way you play it. If John asked whether it's an original, that's because you've made it your own.

    I've used my son's toy bodhran on a recording before (I think it was The Wren). No idea how to play the thing properly, but it worked.
  14. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Yes it’s an interesting debate, I actually agree with John and this idea of tradition and standards and each group of instruments having ‘quality’ and even economic value to support the community of local instrument builders and even give a sort of identity to each social group.

    And I also like the idea of freedom especially for the young to just let it out, sing, dance, beat a rhythm on just something.
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