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Thread: Update on "The Irish Mandolin" - and other stories

  1. #1

    Default Update on "The Irish Mandolin" - and other stories

    Hi all...

    I hope everyone is staying safe and sane in these disrupting and troubling times.

    I thought I'd take the opportunity to give an update on The Irish Mandolin, the website I started to put together towards the back end of last year.

    The regular visitor to the site will notice that I haven't posted a lot of new tunes in the "learn some tunes" section of the site lately. You'll not be surprised to learn that this is mainly down to the current virus crisis. For quite a few weeks now both myself and my partner have been largely preoccupied with domestic matters, ensuring that our parents and my son are safe and providing reassurance and whatever practical help we can to get them (and ourselves) through this in one piece with their (and our) physical and mental health intact. And, of course, we've both been pretty much confined to base - for 24 hours a day more or less for the past couple of weeks.

    It makes recording difficult. We don't have a massive flat and I've tended to record stuff only when I'm alone because a) it's a bit unfair to inflict endless takes of tunes on my long-suffering partner (what? you thought all those recordings were one-takers? I wish!) and b) because that minimises the risk of unexpected sounds (a tap running, a toilet flushing, a phone ringing) intruding on a take that otherwise might have been good to go.

    But I haven't forgotten the project. Not by a long way. As we settle into our lockdown routine, I'm sure I'll find a way of carving out an hour or so each day to set aside for recording some more tunes.

    The enforced confinement to base in London hasn't only impacted on my recording tunes for the website, it's also interfered with a resurrected friendship with an old friend of mine who drifted off-radar for a time. He's a superb flute-player and whistle-player and a fund of amazing tunes. Since the start of the year we've been meeting up once a week for tunes in his kitchen - sessions which have gone on into the early hours. I really miss those long nights of tunes, familiar and novel. I always came away with one or two tunes that I simply *had* to learn before we next got together. Here's to more of these kitchen sessions to come when the veil lifts...

    Mind you, a very similar experience happened recently in virtual space. Michael O'Meara from Dublin sent me a solo recording of himself playing "The Nightingale" by Sean Ryan. As soon as I heard it I was itching to learn it. It's a superb A Dorian jig which just seems to fit the fingers instinctively. You can hear Michael play the tune here https://crosseyirishmandolin.files.w...ightingale.mp3

    Which leads me to suggest that if any fellow mandolinists have recordings of tunes or tune sets which you'd like to see featured in the "notable players" section, please feel free to get in touch. I'd be delighted to showcase some fine Irish traditional mandolinery (or mandolin versions of tunes from neighbouring traditions) in an effort to inspire and to delight the ear. Let's maybe use some of the time spent at home to create some lovely recordings for the benefit of our fellow traditional mandoliners!

    Many thanks to everyone who has visited the site and especially to all those who have made a small donation to help keep it afloat and to those who have made helpful comments since its inception.

    Stay well and there'll be some almighty tuneathons when we eventually get the all-clear to emerge from our dugouts.


  2. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Aidan Crossey For This Useful Post:

  3. #2

    Default Re: Update on "The Irish Mandolin" - and other stories

    Hi Aidan,
    I was unaware of your website until this morning. What an absolutely fantastic and well-needed resource in the community. Thank you for taking the initiative and embarking on this project!

  4. #3

    Default Re: Update on "The Irish Mandolin" - and other stories

    Hi Thomas. Thanks for the words of encouragement. Much appreciated. Aidan

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