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

  1. #51

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Bren View Post
    Thanks Aidan.

    I'm a fan of the BP podcast and noticed you were due on it. Haven't listened yet, but will do soon.

    It's funny how the loudest instrument at home isn't always the one that stands up best in a pub session.
    Sorry I haven't replied sooner, Bren. Can't keep up with life at the moment! I'd strap in if you're going to give the podcast a listen - it's a lengthy ramble! But do please let me know what you think if you do get around to it!

    Very best.

    Aidan

  2. #52

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Cowham View Post
    Hi Aidan,
    I've just listened to you on the Blarney Pilgrim's podcast, I wasn't aware of this podcast before - so thanks!

    I also really enjoyed hearing you talk and play the mandolin. Long in-depth discussions appeal to me and make a nice change from the brevity of much communication on the internet.

    My parents-in-law live in South East London, so once things have eased on the covid front and I'm down there, perhaps we could hook up and play a tune together at a session or similar?
    cheers,
    Paul
    Hi Paul...

    Apologies for not replying sooner.

    As chance would have it, my son lives in Manchester at the minute where he's studying and so - in non Covid times (remember them? even vaguely?) - I find myself there two or three times a year. So when travel becomes a possibility again it would be great to share a few tunes either in SE London or in Manchester.

    Take care and keep in touch.

    Aidan

  3. #53
    Registered User Paul Cowham's Avatar
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    Default Re: Update on "The Irish Mandolin" - and other stories

    Hi Aidan,
    No need to apologise! I hope your son is enjoying life in Manchester, albeit in these difficult times. A tune in either SE London or Manchester would be great once things start to get back to some kind of normal. I do have many fond memories of fun and craic at sessions pre lockdown... There were loads of sessions in Manchester, something that I took for granted back then. That said, we had our second (and last) baby last September, so having a baby and "toddler" in the house would have tempered my freedom to explore the rich musical life of Manchester anyway, although I'm not complaining.

    cheers Paul

    PS, on listening to your podcast, I was impressed with your mandolin playing, especially given that you seemed to start comparatively late in life with no teaching, at least compared to the "virtuosi", who all seem to start young (in any genre or on any instrument).
    Last edited by Paul Cowham; Feb-13-2021 at 8:49pm.

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  5. #54

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

    Hi Paul... He is, indeed, enjoying life in Manchester. Even though he's in lockdown, he at least has the ability there to socialise with the people in his house. so he feels less lonely than he would do if he was back in London. And he's looking forward to the lifting of restrictions so he can get back into all that Manchester has to offer (i.e. a lot!).

    Thanks for the kind comments about my playing. I'm reconciled to the fact that I'm never going to be a virtuoso. And indeed in recognition of that I've made a conscious decision to try to keep my playing as simple and unadorned as possible. When I started playing, I used to think that speed and technical flourishes were "the thing". But the pursuit of those false idols* held me back from enjoying the music. I realise now that for me - others may disagree and they're perfectly entitled to! - the enjoyment comes from being able to play the tune at a pace I'm comfortable with and playing "the tune" rather than "the mandolin". Once I recognised that, and started playing to suit myself rather than chasing some pipedream I found that my passion for the tunes and the mandolin rekindled...

    Cheers...

    Aidan

    *I can be a pretentious eejit sometimes!

  6. #55

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

    Well said Aidan. The music is for all of us, not just the weirdly gifted. Relax, enjoy a stride not a gallop.
    John

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  8. #56

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

    Moderator edit: Please refrain from commerce in the Forum, as per Guidelines. The Classifieds section is more appropriate.
    Last edited by Ted Eschliman; Mar-14-2021 at 8:15am.

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  10. #57

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

    Jill McAuley has very graciously allowed me to use one of the tunes she's played on her excellent YouTube channel (from which I get much inspiration!) to enable she and I to play a "virtual duet". One of my very favourite hornpipes - The Showman's Fancy. Jill on banjo and yours truly on Mike Gregory's hand-built and truly superb "G&O #34". I hope you enjoy ... https://youtu.be/BRPBvWjtiIw

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  12. #58
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    Default Re: Update on "The Irish Mandolin" - and other stories

    I learned The Showman's Fancy in C, after hearing played in that key by Pat O'Connor on a compilation called Music and Song from East Clare, which I picked up on cassette in Scarriff one August. After perhaps 20 years of playing it in C, I have only just realised that he has the fiddle tuned down a tone! (The tune he follows it with, Cronin's Hornpipe, is in F and he plays it an octave down, going right down to F below the open G.) I have proabably had to play it in D before when it's come up in a session, but I like playing it in C on my own – call it 'two for the price of one'.

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  14. #59

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

    Wow... I tried transposing The Showman's Fancy into C and it turned from being a tune which is so mando-friendly that it practically plays itself into a rubik's cube of a tune. Fair play to you for getting your head around it in C! You've got a fine musical brain...

  15. #60

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

    A while ago, in another thread, I recommended Jon Antonsson's website which is aimed at Irish flute players but which contains a number of tools such as drones in a variety of keys and a "bodhrán metronome" which have appeal to players of just about any instrument. Jon's website is here - and it's well worth a visit! https://www.tunesandtools.com/

    I don't know about you, but I find it very difficult to play alongside standard metronomes - either the old-fashioned "pendulum" types or the computerised click/pulse types. But I find it a lot easier to play alongside Jon's bodhran metronome and it's a great help to keep a tune grounded (like many people I have a tendency if left completely to my own devices to speed up way beyond my intended pace).

    I decided today to record a set of reels and a set of jigs to illustrate how the metronome can be used as a practice aid. The set of reels - Miss Monaghan/The Monaghan Twig - is played alongside Jon's reel metronome set at 80bpm. The set of jigs - Junior Crehan's/Willie Clancy's Secret Jig - is played alongside Jon's jig metronome set at 110bpm. Both are available to listen to at this page of The Irish Mandolin website https://theirishmandolin.com/traditi...aidan-crossey/

    Or you can listen to them directly via the following links:

    https://crosseyirishmandolin.files.w...pm-g-and-o.mp3

    https://crosseyirishmandolin.files.w...pm-g-and-o.mp3

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  17. #61

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

    A lot of my efforts in recent days - as well as the usual focus on traditional Irish tunes - have been on original compositions.

    I've been delighted to be able to share four polkas written by Michael Gregory - The Tettegouche Polkas Number 1 and 2 and The Castle Danger Polkas Number 1 and 2. You can hear Michael playing the tunes at this page https://theirishmandolin.com/exponen...rish-mandolin/ and he has kindly allowed me to create tune learning resources which can be found at this page https://theirishmandolin.com/learn-some-tunes/

    In the past few weeks, inspired by some truly lovely playing by Jill McAuley on her new Frank Tate tenor guitar, I have also got my hands on a tenor guitar (which I jokingly call "an maindilín mór"). It's a pretty basic, bottom of the range Ashbury AT-40 and despite some shortcomings (notably a rather chunkier neck than ideal) it's got some sterling qualities. For one thing, it's inspired a little wave of creativity. There's something about adjusting to a new tone palette and navigating a different scale length which has given me a bit of a jolt. And so in the past few days I've written a few tunes which I'm feeling quite pleased with. A mazurka called The Kindness Of Strangers (in tribute to the many strangers who have been so supportive of my efforts since I first started my website and associated other web endeavours). A jig called Miss Benson's Fancy (dedicated to my partner's long-time best friend who has been something of a cheerleader for my music; thank you Miss Benson!). And finally, hot off the press today, a hornpipe which I'm particularly pleased with which I call The Seven Derries. (The name is explained in some detail.) All of these can be found at the "original tunes" page https://theirishmandolin.com/origina...aidan-crossey/ )

    And finally, while I'm here, I've started work on compiling volume 2 of The Irish Mandolin Tunebook. I hope to be able to say more about this in a little while, once it's ready to roll.

    In the meantime, many thanks to all for your continued support. Much appreciated.

    Aidan
    Last edited by Aidan Crossey; May-05-2021 at 5:59am. Reason: grammar

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  19. #62
    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Update on "The Irish Mandolin" - and other stories

    What a lovely bunch of tunes - I particularly like the B part of The Seven Derries hornpipe!
    2018 Girouard Concert oval A
    2015 JP "Whitechapel" tenor banjo
    2018 Frank Tate tenor guitar
    1969 Martin 00-18




    my Youtube channel

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  21. #63

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

    GRMMA, Jill. That's really kind of you to say. Part 1 of The Seven Derries kind of wrote itself but I spent quite a bit of time on part 2. It was going nowhere until I hit on the "GBdg BedB" sequence in bar 2 and then I saw how to give the turn some shape. Anyway I'm really pleased you like it. And, ahem, if you ever feel like giving it a go, I'd be really pleased to hear the results! Aidan

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  23. #64

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

    Volume 2 of the Irish Mandolin Tunebook is now complete...

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  25. #65

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

    I'm an awful geek sometimes. Not just about Irish Traditional Music. Not just about mandolinery. I've drawn up some stats about the YouTube channel which complements/quasi-mirrors The Irish Mandolin website. Current as at 19 May 2021 and I think I might be tempted to update this every 6 months or so...


    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Aidan Crossey; May-19-2021 at 1:13am. Reason: layout

  26. #66

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

    And something similar relating to my website.

    Click image for larger version. 

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