Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

This is actually a serious question, I note a lot of frivilous threads have just been removed.

I’ve played in a number of countries, and via youtube seen sessions in the States, Canada, Australia and such, and note the enthusiasm shown by the non Irish contributers to this site, be they from Poland, Italy, Germany, Spain, France or where ever.

In Ireland, ITM is often derided as fiddly dee. It was seen as the music of the Irish peasant,looked down upon as "bog" Irish and certainly not for sophisticated people. I know O’Carolan and others played in the big house, but I am talking about the period from say 1940 to present. Especially now that there is a "Celtic Tiger" economic boom, it is frowned on even more, although the "Celtic Tiger" has tried to cash in on its popularity abroad, such as Riverdance.

In Ireland, outside of the few big cities, Country and Western is king. Even the cities now cater for loud discos, wall to wall TVs with pop music blaring from them, and all that type of what passes for entertainment. ITM flourishes, but if you were looking for a session in any town or city, you would have to know where you were going. It is certainly not the tourist board country of fiddlers in every pub.

Playing in England, Germany, France and Holland, the interest in the music is greater and more informed. Let’s face it, half of the people mentioned on this site who are allegedly famous, John Joe Kelly, Flook, Lunasa, and Dervish for example, I never heard of them until I came on this site. I admit I possibly play more music than I listen to (bodhran players are like that) but I live in Ireland, and play at sessions, yet even I do not have the interest that non Irish people seem to have.

So, is ITM wasted on the Irish nation?

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

well ill tell you one thing, if i wanted to become a famous irish music player, i woudnt move to ireland to seek my fame and fourtune. so maybe that answers the question a bit.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Well, instrumental music is largely wasted on most people.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

The somewhat elusive and unpredictable nature of sessions in Ireland (I’m thinking back to two short visits a long time ago) is part of the charm, I think. I was glad to come across the music I did.

Just imagine if huge numbers of tourists were put through pubs where there were guaranteed wall-to-wall sessions to entertain them - maybe that happens - it might be pretty deadly. In the Plaka district of Athens in 1979 I remember hearing the bouzoukis playing "Zorba’s Dance" and the like, night after night…along with the stereotyped whoops, etc….the only reward must be financial, the music must go into aspic and feelings of dignity even must be hard to maintain.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

When I was searching for sessions in the uk i found a list of trad gigs for 2007 in newcastle its amazing theres more concerts with big names in newcastle then in Cork. I personally don t think trad is promoted in Ireland as it should be.

Posted by .

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Interesting question, bodh. Maybe it’s the same phenomenon at play as when American jazz was (maybe still is) better appreciated in Europe than in The States.

In Georgia (US), where I live, the native trad music is celebrated in small towns, but in the metropolitan areas it’s generally considered too uncouth to allow it any serious public exposure. I think they’re afraid it might scare the tourists away.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Good point, but isn’t that always the way?- people don’t always appreciate things handed to them on a plate, and heritage is generally undervalued until it’s on the point of extinction.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

That was certainly my experience, BB. I toured Southern Ireland in 2002 and found several sessions in every place I visited, but they were entirely aimed at the (mostly American) tourist market. A lot of rebel songs to stir up the blood of the diaspora’s offspring returning for a holiday. All musos were paid, and none too welcoming. I got the feeling they were playing a standard list of tunes each night.

After a few days of this I realised I needed to go through the guide book, note down all the places I liked the sound of, then not visit any of them…we stopped at the first place we came to, even though it looked decidedly unprepossessing. Fifteen minutes later we’d got accomodation sorted and the whiff of a local session 🙂

The two exceptions were Lisdoonvarna and Doolin, at both of which the musos were very welcoming, even though they were turning a euro by playing for the punters. In Lisdoonvarna there were three sessions playing within a quarter mile. Doolin was music every night, but went from a nice little sesh to being shoulder to shoulder unworkable as soon as the first tourist bus arrived. There must have been more space on the bus than there was in the pub. One of the locals told me to come back in the dead of winter, when the true musos come out to play and the tourists don’t bother.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

In the UK, only a very small minority of the population overall lives rurally - not counting urban escapees / commuters, of which there are indeed a good many. So the countryside does not represent a serious political or cultural force, counter to that of the cities or the metropolis, in the way it seems to have done in c20 Ireland. Something’s association with "Culchies" / farmers / countryfolk over there might be seen as embarassing or threatening by city or metropolitan types in a way that doesn’t happen so much in the UK, because actual rural life is lived by few and is usually below the media radar. So an English person is likely to pick up ITM from outside the tradition, and also in blissful unawareness of the disagreeable connotations it might have for some Irish people in one way or another.
Country and Western music is, as far as I can tell, genuinely popular in the British countryside, but you would have to look quite hard to find it in the towns.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

I’ve often pondered if ITM is more ‘popular than Jesus in Ireland.

I M A G I N E that

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

I would have thought Bliss, that there were more younger people playing trad in Ireland than a few decades ago. Whether they keep it up or not is another question - there’s a lot of social and peer pressure to be into chart music etc. Then again, as I stress to my kids: trad is a music to play for yourself and with others whilst the other is for the charts and discos etc. The two are not mutually exclusive.. they can play a bit of trad and then go and disco with their friends etc.

Posted .

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

BB has a good point (!!!*@#$!), and much of what is said above resonates with my own experience living in SW Ireland (e.g. "A lot of rebel songs to stir up the blood of the diaspora’s offspring returning for a holiday.") The point that "if i wanted to become a famous irish music player, i woudnt move to ireland to seek my fame and fourtune" is also very true, and most players of ITM in Ireland know that if they want to make a successful career of it, they must go abroad.
But: for all the fact that ITM is very much a minority interest, the minority is a real, vibrant and rooted minority which is still, in places, in touch with the wellsprings of the tradition.
If you want to find out anything in rural Ireland, you don’t look in the yellow pages, and even the local paper is of limited use - you ask around. Speak to the neighbours. See who knows somebody whose uncle works for somebody who…. It’s the same with ITM. What’s advertised may be good or may be trash. Or may not exist at all - nobody has bothered to take the advert out. But if you ask, follow leads, get to know who has the lowdown, you can still find real ITM played and treasured, and it’s not as hard as it might sound - it’s just not necessarily obvious on the surface.
That’s part of the charm of it all.

Posted by .

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Bliss has hit the nail on the head here.
Im Irish , been living away from there for years now and Im often surprised at the impression that non Irish people ( who are into ITM ) have of Ireland.
It almost seems a shame to tell them that 99% of Irish people have more interest in Man United and Big Brother than what they’d call diddly dee music.
I remember being in O Donohue’s and people asking musicians to shut up!
( they were answered by being told to go to one of the 5000 pubs in Dublin that don’t have music )
Id be surprised if 0.1% could tell the difference between a jig and a reel never mind play one.
Im not knocking Irish people ( I am one ! ) and worldwide I’m sure the phenomenon is similar , Americans and Old Time or Bluegrass , Swedes and Swedish traditional , whatever.
I think that Im very lucky that extended family members played ITM so I heard it growing up and after a sojourn in the land of rock , I had ITM to come back to.
Most Irish people are far removed from the world of ITM.
I don’t know what the solution is , or even if there is a problem, as there are many people into it and supporting it , its just they are a minority.
Hussar , that’s a great explanation to your kids ,music for themselves.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

There are people who like to recycle….
There are people forced to recycle…
And then there are the people that just don’t give a Rat.. And throw garbage out the car window…

I like ITM….

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

I hate to say it, but expat Irishmen and Yanks did much to keep ITM alive in the early 20th century in the face of its imminent demise at home. It’s a bit of a prophet without honour and all that. The nation getting richer probably doesn’t help. Don’t shoot, I’m only speculating. And what the Dickens, as long as we’re having fun.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

We know that C&W is more popular in Ireland than diddley music. And we know that there is more diddley music played outside of Ireland than in.

Classical music originated in Western Europe. Do we call it Western European music?

And C&W originated in Western States of the US. But does that stop the countryside of the west of Ireland adopting it as its own?

And all this gleefully brushes aside the endless maschinations of the historical musicologists whose job it is to kick into to touch any race or nations’ claim to a music.

Time to drop the "I" me thinks

Posted .

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

One of the historical/sociological reasons is that the music was seen by "trendies" as being backward, and portraying the Irish to their colonial masters as idiots. This applies to a number of other colonial areas in regard to native customs, and even to the Southern states of the US of A which were considered to be a backwater compared to the go ahead North. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be a colonial thing, it is just that it is a common thread as the natives become "civilised" by the invaders.
Many countries are ashamed of their quaint traditions looking stupid to the eyes of those living in "rich" developed countries. The strange thing is the inhabitants of the oh so (too) modern countries, actually hanker after a bit of tradition.

I do not think it is a matter of not appreciating what is on your doorstep, but rather I thing "modern affluent types" are ashamed of Ireland being thought of as a land full of fiddly dee musicians drinking and lepping about like leprechauns.

The bit about using rebel songs to stir up the returning diaspora is interesting, because I always maintained I could make a fortune in some of the "Irish" cities in the US of A, but couldn’t stick the two pint patriotism of Irish Americans. I admit that this is a wild generalisation, but it is a slight prejudice of mine. Probably because I am originally from West Belfast.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Aye Bliss your’e a hoot man 🙂 PMLMAO Thanks for that <big thumbs up >

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Michael, try to stick to the topic. We all know that the music is played everywhere, the point of the discussion is whether it is appreciated more outside of Ireland.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Since it is not music for listening to, but for participating in, I propose that to "appreciate" and "play" are, in this instance, synonymous

Posted .

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Strathfoyle. PMLMAO?

Michael has decreed that ITM is not for listening to, so that’s it. What worries me sometimes is the question "Is he winding up or does he actually believe some of the absolute excrement that he posts?"
I believe, and hope, that it is the former.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

You can listen to piant dryin’ if you want.

Posted .

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Most doyens of ITM seem to be Irish, or at least of Irish parents if born elsewhere. Their success (e.g. at becoming expert players and getting gigs / forming bands / making records / making a living) seems to indicate that when it’s mattered, they’ve been appreciated at home.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Ah c’mon llig, C&W is more popular in EVERY country over diddley.

And more diddly music played outside of Ireland than inside can maybe be explained by the fact that more people live outside of Ireland than inside !!!!

Percentage wise - walk into any random pub in Ireland and you have a better chance of finding a session than walking into any pub in any other coiuntrty in the world. (Granted you’d have a better chance of finding some folkie, but that’s true of England as well)

And your right, parts of Ireland CAN "adopt" C&W it as it own, but who are they adopting it from ?
We can adopt Salsa too - but it’ll never be Irish.
Just like any other country can "adopt" diddley.

But I agree - that we should kick into touch any nations claim on it - no country owns it.

However it did originate here - and we still call the English languange English - from where it originated from.

What suggestions for a name do you have anyway?
Just Trad…that works in ireland, but no where else.

Posted by .

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Bliss, PMLMAO, you telly want an explanation ? Jeez , you Belfast wans ! 🙂 Urinating whilst lauughing my derriere off, comprendez -vous ?

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

I got to agree with Doyler, and it breaks my heart to side with a Jack. 🙂 But he hit the nail on the head, Ireland’s hobbies/entertainments are man utd, celtic and liverpool., ITM is way down the list…… Shame on yawl 🙂

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

For starters, I’m pretty sure that there’ll be no one to contradict that "becoming an expert player" really has not a lot to do with "getting gigs / forming bands / making records / making a living".

And, the quote, "However it did originate here" completely misses my point about the historical musicologists. Really, the best you can say about it is that it was once amalgamated in Ireland, that’s all.

Posted .

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

"That’s all" ?

That’s plenty.

Posted by .

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Yeah, of course it’s plenty. But I’m challenging the moniker

Posted .

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Oh and a big "yes" on your first point.

Posted by .

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

To be changed to what ?

Posted by .

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Nearly, Strathfoyle.

I apologise to Michael as well, it is obvious that a historical/sociological discussion is beyond your ken, and is any serious discussion. Stick to the public schoolboy sneering, it serves you well. Once more, apologies for the earlier post.

In my experience sessions were easier to find in England, rather than Ireland. Compared to Belfast, Manchester was a mecca for sessions, albeit this was in the 1970s and even Manchester has changed. But the same went for London, Leeds and loads of other places.

Here lies the rub. Asking to be paid for a session still results in landlords giving you the old "sure it’s fiddley dee, you eejits play for enjoyment and a few pints" bit. Yes you will get paid, but poorly in comparison to C and W, or pop, and very poorly compared to those people who put a CD on a machine, DJs, that’s them.

In short, in Ireland, ITM is usually relegated to joke/curiosity status. Any theories as to why, apart from the enlightened theory of Michaels?

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

I dunno. Diddley I suppose.

But that’s not the point. I’m not crusading. I’m just trying to point out that "originated here" is not in the least bit accurate, or even relevant.

Posted .

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Michael. your point went straight over my head. Are you assertting that a scottish tune played by a professional Irish Band ends up being classed as Irish ? Are you insinuatinting we pilfer tunes ? 🙂

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Are you doing it to get paid ?

A good session is a conversation with mates - would you expect the landlord to pay you for a darned good conversation with your mates.

ITM is wasted on those who do it to impress punters.

Posted by .

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Good man Beg

Posted .

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Ok llig, I take your point - I would say "originate" is not relevant for thsi discussion…"not in the least bit accurate" - I dunno.

Posted by .

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

All this cross-posting is confusing.

I’ll say goodnight, and sleep on it.

Posted by .

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

ha ha

Posted .

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

You need your sleep BegF. Jealousy ill becomes you. What in the name of all that is holy has getting paid got to do with impressing punters? Have you ever seen Liam Og O’Flynn, or better still, Van Morrison?

Some people can’t have a conversation BegF, I think you should ask to be paid.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Probably but remember that THIS music is only Irish by the fact it was kept for a century there while the rest of Europe and America went ape!

And notice that the bare tunes most of them are borrowed ( oh don’t say that its a sin ) from overseas from all sorts including ( sinning again ) the English.

:0)

But, You Cant Beat The Musak!

One could compare the ancient pagan wisdom also kept during the dark ages in Europe, later to be spread across Europe by Irish Christian Monks.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

ok, i skipped everything apart from the first post.. but NO irish music is not wasted on the irish people.

if the amount of people playing and loving irish music in any area of ireland would be compared to anywhere in the world, AND with population taken into account, then the love for irish music has to be much greater in ireland.

i do know where your view point is coming from, and understand it. it is for example easier for me to play for tourists or do gigs abroad but then you’re talking about novelty.. a true love of music would be exempt from novelty and in which case, you’d find that ireland is by far superior.

thing is also is that many nations, especially americans (no offence) are largely concerned with being more irish than the irish themselves. that quality is egotistical ( i don’t mean that in the negative sense) and therefore, not applicable to the love of irish music comment. because it’s not really the music.. more so the irishness vibe… but i and we live in ireland so none of that bull..

what you get in ireland is a musical appreciation devoid of non musical extras. you get a truth. i rarely have seen that outside of ireland.

sorry…

Posted by .

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

I was watching CSPAN the last day and my eejit cousin, George Gilder, (the guy that invented Reagan’s ‘trickle-down theory’,) was the host and he was talking to some other eejit right-wing economist dude about their vision of the future. They were talking about how Europe was going to become a theme park for the Old World. That means each country will be reduced to it’s own stereotype. Everyone that lives in Ireland will have to wear tweeds and dance or play diddly-die just to survive. They’ll have to patent it so they can exploit it legally. Anyone who isn’t Irish will have to pay royalties just to play the music. I think you can probably see why I think cuz George is such an eejit.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Your cousin helped found the Discovery Institute? Time to disown him?

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

I’ve already warned family members that they wouldn’t want to invite both of us to dinner at the same time.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

As an American, let me say that although some individual C&W artists and songs are interesting, I personally *hate* C&W, mainly because it has just degenerated into another generic form of pop music. Oh, by the way, I do like old time country and bluegrass, and Jazz, and I contra dance. But I suspect that in Ireland, just like so many other places, commercialism has destroyed music. But this ITM lover can never again accept music as a commodity. And maybe the "eejits" should be careful what they say, or the US of A could become just another theme park, too, as its share of the world’s economy shrinks.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

But here’s a glimmer of hope, BB. Country music is very popular here down under. Mostly Aussie country, but with a fair representation of C & W. A couple of friends of mine have just got back from the Tamworth Country Music Festival, which I believe (I’m not really into myself) is the biggest event on the Country calendar. They entered the amateur competition and won - playing Scots traditional tunes on fiddle & DADGAD guitar. Mind you, they’re crash hot 😉

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

who were they bc_boxy?

Jack, I’ve been hearing US commentators like your cuz predicting the demise of Europe ever since I moved to the UK over 25 years ago. It sounds like wishful thinking and bitterness rather than realistic prediction, a bit like the petulant Rumsfeld who came over wagging his finger and threatening "irrelevance" at anyone who queried his plan to invade Iraq a few years ago.

The tide of history engulfs all eventually, musicians, superpowers, former superpowers …. I’m out there on the waters using my mandolin for a paddle.

Posted by .

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

from what i’ve seen in clare and galway, i agree that the overwhelming majority of irish don’t give a tinker’s damn about ITM and in many cases feel contempt for it. i remember a miltown local urging me to see the town when willy week was not on, so that i could get a sense of what life there was really like. his point was that but for that one week a year, no one there cares about or thinks about itm. he thought i needed to see it in order to understand clancy week and itm’s place in eire right now. one of the tulla musicians told me that no one in tulla "ever gave a s**** about music in their lives." but….there’s a historical/sociological component to all this. there’s something about the tendency of cultures not caring about their folk music when they’re on the down or scrapping to be on the way up, but then "re-discovering" it once the post-prosperity blues set in. a very thoughtful irish ITM musician living in my city believes that the irish are on the brink of this point in the cycle…….

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

funny, pb, i myself have a cuz who is an east coast business journalist who has formed a liaison with a gazillionaire speculator who is a devotee of ayn rand and that brand of social darwinism in which profits and the markets are all, devil take the hindmost. it is mortifying, simply mortifying….

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Ive been watching the show Geantrai on tg4… Here is a trad. music show with big name adrvetisements on a big TV network. The USA has NOTHING like that. Whether it is real or just perceived, watching that show gives me a sense that Ireland does care about its traditional music, and although I am not technically an irish musician in style, it gives me a sense of pride in knowing that I am a traditional musician and somewhere on the planet there is a national TV show treating trad. music with great respect.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

I’d say about the same per capita of the population in the US is as interested in American folk music as the same per capita of the Irish population is interested in ITM. On my first visit to Ireland I was surprised and disappointed at how few people seemed interested in it, but if I was a foreigner and an American folk music aficionado visiting the US from another country I’d be just as disappointed with the response from Americans towards their own folk traditions. It might be the same with most countries, but I haven’t traveled the world enough to know.

In 2004 when visiting Ennis for a week I was invited by the musicians playing a session at Paddy Quinn’s to come and have ‘a late drink’. We went to a disco and climbed the stairs to find ourselves bathing in disco lights with the pulse pumping through the floor. It was a side of Ireland I had not yet experienced, and wasn’t really interested in. I was starting to think about my bed that was just a short walk away when out of the crowd I was approached by a lovely raven-haired beauty. She came straight up and announced she was a photographer and asked if she could meet up and take some photos of me. I don’t get asked this sort of thing usually, and I couldn’t imagine such a lovely gal asking it, but without giving it any thought – I agreed. Of course it was the freakish length of my beard that caught her photographic eye, and she said so, but I wasn’t about to let that stop me.

Of course as soon as I opened my mouth and said a few things she proclaimed. “You’re not Irish!” as though I was supposed to be. I told her I was visiting from San Francisco, and she asked where else I visited and how long would I be in Town. I told her that I had been there since the beginning of November and I had another week to go. She asked if I was on holiday, and I said I was, and she seemed perplexed. She asked why I was in Ennis of all places… and in November of all months, and why was I in Ennis for three whole weeks. I told her I was there for the music. She looked surprised, and I asked if she knew about the Trad Fest that had just happened. She said she remembered hearing something about that, but she had no idea it would attract much attention or that people would come from places like SF.

About this time her boyfriend came over to investigate what was going on. After listening for a bit he was also amazed that someone from SF would bother to come all the way to Ireland and spend a month renting a house in and living in Ennis of all places. Turns out he was the editor of the local paper and he asked if he could do a story on me. He wasn’t interested in how I played, but rather in the fact that I came to Ennis for a month on holiday and at that time of year. I explained to them that ITM was a great ambassador for Ireland and that without having any Irish connections myself I wouldn’t never have been interested in coming at all and would never have learned to appreciate it the way I do. This seemed like something unimaginable to them. But when I thought about it later I realized it’s no different here in the US with people’s attitude towards American folk music.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

llig, don’t tell me you have never listened to some good trad player’s album with interest and / or pleasure, if only to nab some new tunes off it.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

‘from what i’ve seen in clare and galway, i agree that the overwhelming majority of irish don’t give a tinker’s damn about ITM and in many cases feel contempt for it. i remember a miltown local urging me to see the town when willy week was not on, so that i could get a sense of what life there was really like. his point was that but for that one week a year, no one there cares about or thinks about itm. he thought i needed to see it in order to understand clancy week and itm’s place in eire right now.’


I think this remark from ceemonster is not only clueless, it also borders on the offensive.

Music is very much alive in Miltown Malbay and attract a great following. A recent concert for example in support of the Clare cancer centre had an all local line up which would have looked good on a weeklong festival in the US (Jackie Daly, Bernadette McCarthy, Henry Benagh, Brid O Donohue, Kitty Hayes & Peter Laban, Edel Fox and many many others) attracted great interest from the local community. Brid O DOnohue, Edel Fox, Peter Laban and others teach a large number of young people locally .

Ceemonster would be better off commenting from first hand experience.

Posted .

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

"Theme park"? Do you know that Disney owns the copyright on ‘Royal Canadian Mounted Police’? ……..Mickey Mountie………..

Years ago I attended a reception in London at the Jugoslavian embassy. (It was a cohesive country then).
A number of government officials wanted to find out how the English had managed to interest urban dwellers in Folk Music. It seems that most rural folk in Jugoslavia, after moving to the city to seek their fortune, were most anxious to deny their roots; and folklore was at risk of disappearing (eventually) with the plough horse.
Meanwhile, the likes of A.L. Lloyd were scouring the Slavic countryside to record the wealth of culture available, and publishing it on Topic Records and elsewhere.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Maybe some indigenous Irish are just jaded by its more commercial manifestations, while having moved on from the iconic images of the past - of Junior Crehan and Johnny Doherty in their cloth caps. For some, as has been suggested, the subject is too fraught with historical harmonics and too painful. The outsider has the distinct advantage of being able to identify directly with the music. They hear in it a mercurial, irrepressible version of the human spirit, which they are drawn to share. As for the Irish, I doubt they have lost it forever: the real music lies dormant in the privacy of the soul and will flourish again.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

My one and onlyexperience of Ennis, not to be repeated was the fleadh in 1977. From Tuesday to the weekend, great, then fleadh weekend. Half the bars shut because of all these "refugees" over playing f”’in fiddley dee, and the rest made it plain that we were not welcome.

And if the editor of the local paper doesn’t know the trad festival is on, well, it gives credance to Ceemonster, and sums up a lot of Ireland. Disco is cool, ITM is for the little people.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

So ceemonster’s hearsay is more credible than a first hand experience of someone who actually lives in the place and is part of the (musical) community.

I remember seeing Ceemonster in awe sitting below the stage in Gleeson’s of Coore with her accordeon having the one or two nights Willie week experience while we were playing there for hundreds of nights, every week year after year when in the dead of winter people would travel out to dance a few sets.

I teach young people music, very fine musicians all of them. They love Westlife, disco and all that also, they are not living in a reservation, they live life to the full, they play tunes the one night, they go to the disco the next. There’s nothing mutually exclusive there. It has never been different, traditional music was never greatly popular in Ireland, it was in the areas along the edges, especially in the West but it never was across the country. More people today are interested in it today than ever before and more people are playing it.

I can go out and discuss past members of the Laictin Naoifa Ceiliband with the man of the local supermarket, years ago my then six year old son took off in the same supermarket, I found him talking about concertinas with Jackie Daly. I lioe in a townland of maybe twenty houses,. It supports five active pipers, three concertinaplayers, at least half a dozen flute/whistleplayers and there is a great interest in music in a majority of the houses. Wasted on the locals? This is where this music is rooted and don’t go around thinking otherwise.

Posted .

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Bodhran Bliss you are WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG.

COUNTRY AND WESTERN IS KING…. AAAAGH HA HA HA … I dont think so.

Thats the most uninformed generalisation Ive ever heard.

ITM is getting more popular every day here "in the country" outside of "the big cities". Its a part of our culture which is thriving, have more younger players than ever before.
The only people listening to country and western are the older generation, this love for country and western is not being passed on. But ITM just keeps getting sronger.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

kilfarboy… Your a legend. I got too frustrated there aafter reading Bodgran bliss ‘argument’ to properly say waht i wanted, but you did it for me.

WELL SAID 🙂

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Apologies for any insensitivity in my own posting- no slight intended, far from it. From a distance, you can only imagine things through an impressionistic haze (no relation to Martin obviously 🙂), so don’t be too hard on us. Thanks, kilfarboy, for the description of what it’s actually like on the ground. You don’t mention fiddlers, though- there must be the odd fiddler there, surely?

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

I’m doing the sums: 20 houses say, with an average of 4 (probably pushing it) per house = 80 people. 14 of them play.

So that’s 17%. Does 17% of Ireland play the music?

Anecdotal references, I’m afraid, do not support arguments

Posted .

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Oh yes they do, cos my mate knows someone who said so.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

4 per house is pushing it???

Thin is Ireland mate, 4 per house minimum.

8 in my house, 14 in my neighbours.

Granted the trend of trying to repopulate the Island isn’t as popular anymore but 4 per house is not pushing it.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

thats meant to be this is Ireland.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Ok I’ve just looked at the CSO site for the statistics, apparently I should have done that before shooting my mouth off because according to the CSO the average number of people in each house in 2002 was 2.9.

I subsequently retract by statement… DOH!

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Still, I find that so hard to believe. 2.9 per house.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

OK. How many in 20 houses then

Posted .

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

(Snigger)

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

20 x 2.9 = 58
14 play
that like 25% who are musicians.
WOO HOO, I told ye that music was strong in Ireland 😛

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Cool. Hats off to you Michael.

As with everything else done by our government our ‘Central Statistics Office’ statistics are wrong.

I feel better now. Thanks Michael, I knew we were a horny race 🙂

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Actually the next door neighbours have 13 children, there’s statistics for you, none of them play much although they have a bit of tinwhistle, there’s an interest in that house too though.

The point is ofcourse that we can focus on all the people not interested in traditional music. Which especially in cities or the East would be the vast majority. In areas where music has always been strong and party of the daily life you’ll find an awful lot of people who have an interest and know a lot about the music, just from being around it all their lives. I meet people all the time who chat about music, who are mad for it to whom it is a part of their lives.

Especially Ceemonster’s comment on the musical life of Miltown Malbay and surrounding areas, based on passing through briefly a few Willie weeks, I found quite off the mark (a bit like her previous opinion the people and musicians of the area should make do with their quaint old damp cold leaky parish hall instead of a more suitable modern facility). Fact is the area can sustain events with line ups that match the biggest hyped festivals over where you guys live. I remember one frosty night before X mas in the hall in Moy where Henry Benagh, Jackie Daly, Bernadette McCarthy, Brid O Donohue, O’Paul Dooley, Peter Laban, Caoimhin O Raghaillaigh and a bunch of others played for a social of the local school. And the hall was packed to capacity. I already mentioned a few more examples, another would be the concerts organised by Brid O Donohue for her whistle and band students. Over 150 children and teenagers play in them and they fill the hall and a special concert last spring with Paddy Canny and Peter Laban and Kitty Hayes as guests filled Glor in Ennis.
Equally CD launches off season attract capacity crowds locally, whe nThey’ll be Good Yet was launched the Crosses of Annagh was packed by local people, the word was put out a few posters hung around town and people turned up. Petr and Kitty played, musicians who turned up joined in, the Josephine Marsh Band arrived and played, Peter, Kevin, Brid O Donohue and Dympna O Sullivan played for sets and it was a great night. Early January and only a handful of ‘strangers’ turned up. A possibly even bigger crowd turned up for the launch of Edel Fox’ cd, again mostly local people. So, anyone claiming there’s no interest or support for traditional music outside the Willie Clancy week is, in my opinion, doing so without having a clue.

And I haven’t even started on the cast Tommy McCarthy memorial concerts the community staged, annual fundraiser, the concerts to celebrate Edel Fox’ and Jackie Daly’s respective TG4 awards.

Posted .

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

I dunno what it’s like now but I live in Tralee for a year in 1990 and back then it was my 18-25 year old college student mates who took me out to go watch ‘the next U2’ who also introduced me to ITM.

There was a ritual that meant you didn’t go to the pub with the rock act early to get a good spot…..becaue the early bands were bad…..instead you made a trek round town to about 5 or 6 of the town’s then 52 pubs (or something close) where my college mates would spot some 80 year old on the box and get reverential as they all rushed in to hear him and to whisper to me how this was the father of someone famous I’d never heard of.

It was weird because although I got the differences between the pubs (there were two theatre pubs, there was the bike gang pub, there were a couple of farmers pubs, there was the one where all the solicitors and dentists hung out)…..I never did get the hang of knowing which pubs would be on the magical mystery trad route. All I remember now (there was LOTS of alcohol drunk then)…was that very rarely did we ever go anywhere near where the tourists and out of towners would congregate. Instead we’d be at the pub that looked like a shoe shop next to the theatre, and then go to the pub that was tucked behind the vegetarian restaurant and backed on to the sale yards.

These college mates LOVED their rock, loved their country and western, loved their pop……..but they also loved their trad too. I hope that hasn’t changed.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

So Kilfa, what you are talking about is what’s mathematically referred to as a statistical cluster. Which means that the increased percentage of people who play in your area merely decreases the figure elsewhere. Will you admit that the total for Ireland is woefully small?

Posted .

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

I live in the heartland of what is supposed to be Irish Traditional Music country in the WEst of Ireland and yes there are sessions but organisers of festivals still feel they have to have paid anchor musicians in most pubs and these anchors certainly do not invite us ordinary musicians to join in! Recently our local radio station, Shannonside FM removed what was one of the best slots for traditional music, i.e. Paddy Ryan’s Sunday night 2 hour programme which was choc a bloc with wonderful music and archive material and replaced it with a middle of the road type of show where anything goes and is certainly not strictly a traditional programme.
So to answer the question I think that Irish Traditional Music is not valued in Ireland, in fact is lost on the Irish who do not realise what a great natural resource they possess.
And to finish my rant regarding Geantrai, this programme tends to favour music from Kerry and each week we are treated to the same slides and polkas (which I like) but the music of Roscommon, Leitrim, Sligo largely ignored and when Geantrai does deign to visit the region the musicians are the usual invited anchors not the musicians who would typically play in the local sessions. ‘nuff said

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

I think that in this day of increasingly available media and communications modes, people are more inclined to "adopt" a tradition to follow, or the type of music they prefer, or the type of dance they participate in, rather than just accept the one that comes along with the place they grew up, or that they could draw from their parents or ancestors.
As for myself, only as I became older did I begin to respect the simpler tunes and songs of the folk tradition, which as a youngster I used to scorn for being "corny" and "old-fashioned."

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Taking up what MollyB says about the essentially staged nature of Geantrai, what struck me about the programs was the way the ‘audience’ listened attentively and with great respect (Maryland Highlander also mentions this.) Now that might just be an effect of cameras being present, or of people being there to support their mates, but might it not also say something about the way top-notch TM is regarded by a mixed-age audience, albeit of devotees? Correct me if you think I’m exaggerating here, but in some of the programmes, it smacked almost of a kind of healthy (religious) devotion, even for players who aren’t universal household names. Which seems to point to the music being in good health and in good hands, even if not a majority interest. But then, as kilfarboy says, maybe it never has been across the country.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Contrary to the belief aired here that ’ appreciation equals participation’ I see loads of people who are mad for music, who are very knowledgeable listeners who are not actually players. They may be singers, dancers or just never had the time to learn and play. They are mad for it anyway and turn up at any musical gathering you can think of.

Several of my neighbours, batchelor farmers all as it happens, are very fine whistleplayers but never play out. They are around music all the time but only play for their own amusement.

I am not very keen on big pubsession myself and although I could go out and play any night of the week I very rarely do. I much prefer the kitchen of a friend to sit down for a few tunes, without the noisy drinkers.

But by the end of the day what matters is that music is thriving, there are more young musicians than ever before with access to other musicians and to decent instruments. There are people happy to listen to them, they have an outlet for their musical energy. There’s a healthy interaction between musicians of all ages, I regularly sit down in company where the youngest player may be 10 and the oldest 80. Music is alive. Many like it, probably more don’t but so what? It’s here to stay for another while and in safe hands.

Posted .

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

In my original post here I said ITM is very healthy. I would say that there is possibly more interest in it now than ever before, and more players. I would also say that there is more interest in Rugby Union in Ireland than ever before, but it is still a minority sport. And ITM is a minority interst, taking the nation as a whole, 32 counties.

Kilfarboy is interesting. He says "So ceemonster’s hearsay is more credible than a first hand experience of someone who actually lives in the place and is part of the (musical) community."
I could not agree with you on that one, you would know your own patch better than a visitor. He then argues that out of 20 households there are so many musicians to prove that the music is right up there at the top of peoples hobbies and interests. However you could take Rannafast in Donegal, say 50 households, all native Irish speakers, but you could not use that information to argue that the language was flourishing in the country. I live in a town of 28,000, which is huge by Irish standards. I doubt if there would be 50 Irish musicians, but this does not reflect everywhere either.
Overall, the music is healthy but still a minority interest. They book Gareth Brooks to play at Croke Park, not Liam Og O’Flynn, or Jackie Daly.
However it is not the minority status that bothers me. It is the contempt sometimes given to Irish musicians, as though they represented an Ireland of the past, whereas Ireland is now the ultra modern Celtic Tiger nation, and could you fiddley dee people stop making us look like eejits. That is why I believe that ITM is wasted on the Irish.

As for sessions on TV, they always look contrived, serious looking people sitting in silence as though they were at a recital. I suppose the TV cameras and TV people are to blame for that.

Molly B made sense, so did Michael when he decided to contribute on a serious level, and Kilfarboy and Session Savage made good points, but based on a local preference.
And Session Savage, I never said I was right, I said what I believed to be right.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

I used a local bias in my example to counter Ceemonster’s assertion the people of Kilfarboy and surrounding parishes couldn’t give a toss outside the Wiliie week which is a load of rubbish.

I ofcourse realise I live in a place where music is strong, much stronger than in may other places. There’s an unbroken line and we’ve all sat with the great figures who have now mostly gone. I also know that the life of the music is much deeper rooted in the culture of the place than you would think if you only drop into a session occasionally while on holiday or spend time at the WIllie week when the local musicians give up their regular patches or hide in places on the back of beyond.

Posted .

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

I have been in Miltown malbay, not during Willie week, and found music. I have been all over Ireland, and often it is a struggle. I know there are strong areas and weak areas, and I also know that C and W is alive and well whatever session savage says. Old ones? Every primary school has a line dancing team.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

I don’t know if this is purely an ITM thing. Irish people in general tend to favour stuff from abroad rather than home grown - this goes for everything in the Arts, but also any other aspect of life… Sport , Science etc. We have a tradition of knocking our own and praising that from outside Ireland. Those here that are seen to have ‘made it’ did so abroad and then returned home.

I am aware this is a generalisation and there exeptions, but…

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

I don’t think this is just an Irish thing, everywhere I go, I see people to favor things that are different, new and exotic. I guess familiarity breeds contempt, as the old saying goes.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Yeah but what is peculiarly Irish is the vehemance expressed in their contempt for traditional music and those who partake in it by those who would seriously rather listen to Margo or somesuch. I have been privvy to truly unbelievable diatribes of vitriol over the years. Most English people, I imagine, take Morris music with a grain of salt but a lot of Irish people make a career out of hating irish traditional music.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

AlBrown made a good comment in his earlier post, about how he didn’t learn to appreciate simple folk music until he was older. I think many folk customs (such as music or festivals) are like that: People may participate when they’re younger because there’s lots of alcohol and members of the opposite sex involved, but when they mature a little they start to look at these customs and discover their meaning. It’s really a matter of keeping a respectable number of people interested and active, so that they can hand the tradition on.
Oh, last comment, echoing what a few people have already said. City-dwellers all across the western world have been yearning for traditions for a while now, no matter where the tradition comes from. That’s why 1960s England produced some great blues musicians, and why people in a Chicago blues club today might have no clue who Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf were.

Posted by .

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

I will relate my experience rather than my opinion. When I went to Ireland a few years back, I easily found ITM on the radio, and surprisingly, on television. I was warmly welcomed at every session I attended throughout southern Ireland, including Dublin.

I am playing this coming St. Patrick’s Day, and I already know "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" will get all the applause, not my best-played jigs and reels on an 1882 8-key flute.

Draw your own conclusion.

Posted by .

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Picking up on Niamh’s point about enthusiasm for things and influences from abroad, I suppose there was a strong element of this driving the Michael Coleman et al phenomenon in the 20’s/30’s. Would people consider that to have been a good thing all told?

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

—Ive never been to Ireland, but if there was anything like Geantrai in the USA it would be a miracle!…. Isnt it a national program showcasing trad. Irish music or am I wrong? There is nothing that evene comes close to such a thing in the USA.

" Here is a trad. music show with big name adrvetisements on a big TV network. The USA has NOTHING like that. Whether it is real or just perceived, watching that show gives me a sense that Ireland does care about its traditional music, and although I am not technically an irish musician in style, it gives me a sense of pride in knowing that I am a traditional musician and somewhere on the planet there is a national TV show treating trad. music with great respect. "

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Here in the US it’s not that hard to find American folk music on TV or radio, and you can find people playing it just about anywhere in the country. I think, as I already said, it’s about as popular in America as ITM is in Ireland. I haven’t done any studies or scientific comparisons — it’s just a hunch based on observation. I do wonder if there’s a similar ratio of interest for indigenous folk traditions in other European countries.

I think it probably fluctuates in each country as well. It seems to here in the US, and from what people have told me, the same is true in Ireland. Joe Burke told me that when he played sessions back in the 40s and 50s that it was delegated to a back room at the pub so it wouldn’t bother the patrons. These days my experience has been that I can find a session just about every night when visiting Ireland and it certainly isn’t tucked away out of sight. Of course I’m usually staying in places where I know it’s strong, and I know how to find it, but it hasn’t always been like that. I keep hearing from Irish people that ITM is more popular now than it has ever been. I believe that’s probably true based on my experience. But even so you have to keep it in perspective. It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to enjoy an appreciation from a high percentage of the population. I’m not aware of any country that has that statistic. But it does indicate that the genre is healthy nonetheless. That’s a good thing.

But one thing that ITM has that many other folk traditions don’t is a widespread appreciation around the globe. I don’t know how many other cultural traditions have something similar. I’m sure they’re are, but because I’m focused on ITM it seems the strongest to me in that regard.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Which is exacatly where I began the thread.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

"Here in the US it’s not that hard to find American folk music on TV or radio"——

I find that its very rare unless you are talking about "neo-folk" or bluegrass. Blues may count in there. The USA has its own tradition of ballads, jigs, reels etc. But I dont know of any major media outlets for this in th USA.

Maybe someone from Ireland could tell me just how popular is the show Geantrai or groups like Altan? When I watch that show its filled with big name companies and products. Again there is NOTHING like that in the US…. I just cant believe that these companies are backing a show that nobody watches??

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

The folk and neo folk are part of American folk music as much as it is in Ireland as far as what’s broadcast over the airwaves. When I’ve been in Ireland I could scan the radio dial and find ITM, but you can do that in the US to find American folk music as well. Of course in the US it’s usually found on PBS affiliates, but I don’t know if Ireland has a counterpart for PBS.

Irish media is far more opened in the mainstream than US mainstream media. In the US the mainstream media is privately owned and broadcasting is purely profit driven. It seems to me that Irish mainstream media isn’t quite the same and provides more air space for cultural programming. For that reason you can’t make a comparison based on packaging.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

It would be interesting to have the Irish take on the international appeal of Irish traditional music, and, in particular, on those coming to Ireland from far and wide in search of it.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

……"how popular is the show Geantrai or groups like Altan?"
Geantrai is shown and then repeated each week on TG4, the Irish language station. The advertising you see in the breaks is testimony to the viewer numbers, and doesn’t mean that the advertisers endorse or sponsor the music, but more importantly, it means that they recognise that there is a sizable audience. Groups like Altan, Dervish etc. will regularly do sell out tours, mainly during festivals which tend to attract a predominantly native (as opposed to tourist) audience. And if you want to know about the loyalty of the Irish to their bands, just try insulting any of them here, and you’ll soon have a storm on your hands.
i dont get this notion about country music being the predominant music…………………………….
The "Country and Western" music scene exists mainly in northern parts and to a lesser extent in some of the western, and midland counties, but is effectively dead in the rest of the country. A country music programme on TG4 would have a similar audience to Geantrai, and would be regarded as old fashioned farmer music by the majority of the population.
Ireland, for it’s population size does well by ITM, and most Irish people are proud, if a little confused to see "foreigners" take such an interest in it.
It is a fact that ITM is more popular outside Ireland than at home, probably because a lot of it is "borrowed" from other cultures and honed to fit the bill. Why would’nt a version of a Scottish reel, played in Irish style be attractive, (and flattering) to a scottish audience?

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

I know its not the same thing but it is defintely related ; if anyone wonders about the lack of respect for Irish music in Ireland , the poor old Irish language has even less! We all learn it at school for 13 years but how many can speak it fluently? Not many, and its not all because of bad teaching.You will find that most people who have a respect for the music will have a respect for the language too ( I dont mean they necessarily will speak it or be fluent ) , it all goes hand in hand. There is almost a self or nation hatred in many Irish people . I do agree that there is a strong minority keeping the music alive though, my point and that of many above I think is that most people dont give a damn. One last anecdote ( sorry its about soccer but i thinkk its relevant ) : I was on the Belfast to Dublin train , passing through the northside of Dublin when some English tourists burst out laughing at soemthing they saw out the window. I looked out and saw they were laughing at the grafitti : "Liverpool FC" , "Spurs" , "Man Utd forever" and wondering aloud why the locals cared enough about these teams from towns they had never been to!

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

It’s easy to find American folk music on the airwaves if you’re on the left coast or the upper right coast, but it can be fairly scarce in other parts of the country.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Thanks Backer, thats what I suspected.

No offence Phantom, but I dont think PBS can be compared to what I see on TG4… Geantrai isnt on the air because a few elite want it there…and I know that these major corporations arent throwing money at the show without documented numbers.

In the USA if you went around and asked people about jazz theyd all have different opinions and probably alot of negative ones…but it is a worldwide sensation and theres no national TV show devoted to it…

I like what I see in Ireland with trad. music…

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Geantrai is on TG4, which many people in the North of Ireland do not receive. I do, but have never watched Geantrai. TG4 is a minority station, with a small audience. I have been doing a session on a Sunday for some years. Of the four main (paid) musicians, one of them has never heard of Altan. Of the rest of the punters in the pub, maybe 10% would have. TV runs the world, they have heard of all the Big Brother people and celebrity models and chefs and all that nonsense. Altan would rarely be on TV, apart from some obscure channel like TG4. Remember I live North of Belfast.

I was being serious at the start of this. Now I am considered to be the real ITM enthusiast in these parts, but until I came on this site about 18 months ago, I had never heard of Flook or Mr Kelly, and I play the bodhran. Same with Lunasa, and others.

The music would be more popular and cherished in other countries for a number of reasons. Non Irish do not have the locals sneering at them and holding them back. The Irish diaspora want to remain Irish and hang about together and bring their children up with all the trimmings, music and dance included.

And as the explosion of popularity abroad only goes back to the 1970s, a whole generation of non Irish have been hooked without ridicule because it is ok to like Irish music abroad, therefore it is better appreciated abroad.
I note that a few people here have mentioned "When Irish Eyes are Smiling". Now many Irish on this board would sneer at that, and I doubt if anyone Irish on this board would dream of playing it. But if you live in Boston, New York, Philly, SF or where ever, I imagine it would go with the territory, especially on Paddies day. Requested by misty eyed dreamers, not real ITM enthusiasts, but playing it is a small price to play, among all the tunes and such.

I know of thousands of ITM lovers visiting Ireland, always with the thought that "this is the real thing at last" only to be sorely disappointed, unless you know where you are going. Nearly every small region in Ireland will have a genius on some instrument, some unsung Milton content to play in the wee town for the rest of their days, and a small bunch keeping the tradition alive. Finding them is the problem.
On a controversial note, strange for me, if you were to go to Donegal you would be lucky to hear any music that was not C and W, unless there were a few musicians on holiday from Belfast. And Donegal has a great reputation for ITM.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

In the US there have been mainstream TV shows devoted to American roots music. Wasn’t The Grand Ol Opera one? Even though there isn’t a show on PBS devoted strictly to American folk music, I have seen many artists featured on various music programs and such. What percentage of the TV audience is interested? Probably a small percentage — just like in Ireland.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Just thinking Mary Highlander will be confused, what with different answers from Backer and me.
TG$ is a small hut like structure in a field in the Gaeltacht area of Galway. Even if you know to look out for it on the road, you could easily miss it. CNN it is not, and certainly not a "major" network.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

If you want 2 see spanish music try spain ,if you want french music check out france but if you want good irish bands try anywhere but ireland first.

Posted by .

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

The original Grand Ol Opry may have fit the bill for trad. Being born and raised in Maryland and WV, when I moved to the midwest their were romantic dreamers about the "bluegrass." I had to explain that its not what it may seem to be in WV. Im not looking at romantically at Ireland like they strongly embrace their trad. music and its like "pop." But it sure does seem to be getting more popular and respected in Ireland and that’s exciting… If tg4 is a hut in a field then they sure do a nice program as far as production and sponsors… Its impressive.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

They do indeed, a wonderful channel, but not a major network. They do some great stuff on Cuba.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

I just looked at this….CNN to TG4 average daily viewers…

TG4 celebrated its 10th on-air birthday on 31 October 2006. 800,000 viewers tune into the channel each day.

CNN (the whole network)daily viewers is estimated at around 500,000.

Am I wrong when I think that Geantrai is huge for trad. music? I think it would be hard to find

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

That figure of 500,000 is probably more accurate at around 600,00 (US CNN viewers)

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Sources please.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

OK, I concede, it is bigger than CNN, shows you what I know about CNN. But it would certainly be a lot smaller than Palookaville local radio.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Its nothing compared to cnn world wide or cnn euro, but the US reportst for USA-CNN shows about 600,000 average viewers daily. TG4 with 80000 is impressive… I cant think of any trad. music tv show in the us with a station like that backing it every week

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

doc: When an outlet reports that CNN is trailing Fox , they are almost invariably using this average tally, which Fox has been winning for the past two years. For the year 2003, Nielsen’s average daily ratings show Fox beating CNN 1.02 million viewers to 665,000.- www.fair.org

Tuesday, Nov 01

"In Prime Time, FNC more than doubled CNN’s viewership average with 1,715,000 viewers, (down 40% vs. September ‘05) while CNN averaged only 824,000 viewers (down 60% vs. September ‘05) and MSNBC averaged 359,000 viewers (down 57% vs. September ‘05). In Total Day, FNC attracted 950,000 viewers (down 46%), while CNN averaged 534,000 viewers (down 58%), and MSNBC averaged 252,000 viewers (down 50%)." -mediabistro.com

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

MH writes: "I cant think of any trad. music tv show in the us with a station like that backing it every week"

Have you compared it to the audience for Prarie Home Companion, or Austin City Limits that often have American roots artists? And are your stats for the station’s daily total in general or just for the trad music programming? I think to be fair you’d have to compare the stats for viewers to spacific programs.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

kilfarboy, as you know very well, "my" assertion consisted of relating what i was told by locals, musicians and otherwise. you are free to disagree with your fellows, but to carry on like libel has occurred because you hear opinions you don’t agree with is over the top. whether you like it or not, the fact that there are folks who see the situation this way is relevant to this discussion. these conversations did not occur during clancy week, and i assure you, the folks i paraphrased are at least as qualified as yourself to have opinions on the issue.

gleeson’s of coore is gone, sir, along with more and more of the special refuges that made a place for this music. that trend is part of the picture being discussed here. no one here said the music is dead or that no one appreciated it. there is a discussion going on about a very complex issue.

oh, and to correct the nasty little job of selective editing you did regarding my comments on a past thread about a new community hall and other changes in miltown, what i actually wrote was:

[i’m not anti-progress, but i loved the old community center with the concerts in the gym…..]

later on that thread, after you waxed sarcastic about how those who liked the old building wanted miltowners to go on with dungeon acoustics, dampness, cold, etc (all your words, not mine or anyone else’s——wouldn’t know it from your clip job on this thread, though), i said:

[natch, you’re right, kilfarboy, but…..]……..followed by a kind of stream-of-consciousness elegy to how much i loved the old space. there were posters on that thread who were quite negative in their opinions about the changes going on in miltown. i was not one of them, and what you have pulled here is out of line.

i’m at a loss to know what sort of individual would need to twist the words of others in order to make a point. it’s a piece of work, in more ways than one.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Your assertion was:

‘from what i’ve seen in clare and galway, i agree that the overwhelming majority of irish don’t give a tinker’s damn about ITM and in many cases feel contempt for it. i remember a miltown local urging me to see the town when willy week was not on, so that i could get a sense of what life there was really like.’

And my assertion was that would you bother to visit in the dead of winter or sit around for a while you’d see different picture.

My quibble is, your talking down, judging people and situations you know apparently little about.

Gleeson’s is gone and sadly missed by all musicians and punters alike. But like the demise of other places the issue had to do with the owners retirement and the general decline of rural pubs, not with the popularity of music.

your:
‘no one here said the music is dead or that no one appreciated it.’

doesn’t quite align with the ‘tinker’s fart’ image created in the earlier quote, not to me anyway.

As Isaid above, you can focus o nth people who don’t care, equally you can focus who do and to whom music is an important part of life. I think if you’d do that here you’d find more people than anywhere else do care, a lot.

Posted .

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Kifarboy — what would you say is the reason for this decline of rural pubs? Would the drinking laws have anything to do with it? The reason I’m asking is because I noticed a few roadside taverns where we used to stop between Galway and Dublin for a bite were closed down on our last visit. Someone mentioned that it was because of the drinking and driving laws becoming so strict. Breathalyzers and such.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Yes, the breathalisers are quoted usually as one of the main reasons for the decline of the rural pub. Recently it was suggested the state should come to the aid of the rural bachelor farmer’s social life and provide late night bus runs to get the lads to the pub.

General life style changes, better housing (people don’t mind staying home) and all that come into it as well.

Ofcourse the fact that pub licenses easily fetch a quarter of a million can be part of the decision for owners of pubs opening the one night a week to sell up. It makes a nice pension fund.

Posted .

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Teaching the young and passing down the tradition has been mentioned a few times, and seems to me the key. Sadly, not everyone in the diaspora had that early opportunity. For some of us, learning to play the music is a hard road to reforging and living the link- for want of a better term, it’s a spiritual thing, and Ireland remains at its core. As a result, we probably invest emotionally more than we should in the tunes, causing bafflement among ‘natives’ 🙂
The mistake is to return to Ireland in search of identity and expect to find the Holy Grail served up everywhere on demand in the music. Geantrai does a good job in satisfying that genuine need, beaming excellence to the wider world. The point is well made, though: Ireland is not a reservation or a theme park, and much of the best music will happen out of sight around the kitchen table. Where children will be taught the rudiments, and assimilate the music as naturally as breathing.
A surrealist point to finish: imagine if every household in Ireland were to be playing away like mad. Now that would cause meltdown and devalue the currency for us all, wouldn’t it? 🙂

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Geantrai may or may not do a good job, and this is for Mary Highlander. TG$ is a very small specialist TV station, it is an Irish Language station. It’s main drawing power is Gaelic Football and Hurling matches. It is a small hut in a field in beautiful scenery.

They use the same presenter for nearly everything. Now I know this, I am not making it up, so Mary arguing with Phantom about this is a nonsense.

The pubs are in trouble because even in the Republic it is cheeper to but a carry out and have friends round to the house. Going to the pub is an expensive business nowadays. The drink driving law cut down on a few, not before time. And yet you will not get planninmg permission to build a pub unless it has a car park. The world works in mysterious ways.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

I ‘m not arguing with anyone…

Prairie Home Companion only features trad. music sometimes, Austin City Limits is mostly singer songwriter oriented from my experience.

Im sure Geantrai doesnt get 80000 viewers but TG4 does and Geantrai is based 100% on trad. music. I still think there is nothing like that in the USA. I wish there was is my point… Im jealous!

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

at this juncture, the owners of the discos & c&w bars are not rushing to make a place in their back rooms or otherwise for traditional music as the rural pubs die off. that may change, it may not change, but that is the picture at this moment. and there didn’t seem to be a high number of itm fans in the hordes that are roughhousing and upchucking their dinners on the streets of miltown during festival week, which is also what i’ve observed elsewhere, during festivals and otherwise, including on cold winter nights. i agree with the posters who have noted that historically the music in ireland has never been a majority interest, that it has sometimes been precariously beleagured, and that it is not dying off now. as a devotee of appalachian oldtime music, i would also say cheerfully that the overwhelming majority of americans don’t give a rat’s patootie about american roots music, and that music isn’t dead either.

but, be it employees at shannon airport or in hotels and restaurants, or nice matrons having a night at a pub or shopowners or traditional musicians, everybody said the same to me about few irish folks in the general popularion caring about itm. they said it nicely, but they all said it. whether that’s to be deplored or not has yielded some fascinating observations on this thread, but it is a fact. and no, i wouldn’t agree that this fact means that "ITM is wasted on the irish."

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Thank you Mary, that’s what the thread was about. Geantrai is wasted by and large on the Irish, including me.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

I drove into Corofin an hour ago and some things said in this thread came to me. First of all the fact that someone from Ennis didn’t know anything was going on there. Well, I often go into Ennis during tradfests or Fleadh Nuas unaware anything is going on and to be honest, a few bunches of a particular type of people you wouldn’t normally see aside, usually there is no evidence at all there is indeed anything going on.

It was the same in Corofin, this afternoon there was no trace of any unusual activity. SO I bought a paper and some milk at the local Spar and made my way home, just at the end of the street, before the bridge a guy with a fiddle disappeared into a doorway. Ofcourse I knew the festival is on but the day is much to nice to worry about it too much.

Now, are people going about their daily business or just enjoying a nice sunny day out without feeling the need to sit in a pub a sign they don’t care about music?

I wonder.

Posted .

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

So do I.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

I flipped to to Kansa Public TV last night and there was Daniel ODonnel! Thank you public TV for presenting trad. Irish music to the masses!

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

I’ve seen the Chieftains many times on National Public TV (USA)…as well as other Irish-related things. There’s a great love over here for all things Irish, especially the literature.

Re: Is ITM wasted on the Irish?

Back from Armagh & Corofin yesterday.
Played after my gig in Tandragee from 1.00am in a field beneath the eclipsing moon with a 9 strong group of 20something musicians, inc a piper. All from protestant roots.

Played in a house until sunrise after Guardai encouraged us out of pub in Corofin @1.00am . A Dublin jackeen, a Ukrainian, Kerrymen, Galwegians, local Clare fiddler and a young folk champion from England.

The music has it’s pockets of appreciation, in my view. The young are completely OK with it because it isnt old fashioned to them. They see it as something important and great ‘feckin craic. And they’re competetive too. We all have to continue to play whenever, wherever we can and the music will be heard and loved by those who have the nature to feel it.There will always be somewhere to play just not always a lot of money in it.

The music was kept by people who would play as was said, ‘for themselves’ and it will alter greatly as it did in the East coast of the States in the 1920’s when it is commercialised and packaged and genre-d. The great thing is.. it survives. The teach ciol is still there, in the estates and lanes. Its just a blessing that most houses don’t have room for a 64 seat bus with aching suspension out front.