heroes

heroes

the other day one of my mates said that folk music was n’t a place for heroes and i wondered what other people think.

having just paid a visit to Danny’s website, i liked the bit where he said the same and then gives examples of his heroes - but those sort of people are n’t exactly what my friend had in mind.

this came up after seeing a particularly heroic performance last weekend - and what a waste of time and money that was.
ps: i’m not looking for a list of favourite groups but something more on the lines of when playing/singing the music becomes less important than the hero and where you think that line gets crossed.if you see what i mean

Re: heroes

Go on, who gave the heroic performance?

Re: heroes

There was a hero playing at the National Folk Festival in Canberra last month. The hero attracted crowds and each session would have about 50 people playing. Every person playing looked to me like disciples, staring adoringly at their hero the whole time, waiting for the hero to do or say something profound. It was all rather pathetic really.

Re: heroes

the hero was playing guitar but that’s all i’m saying - it seemed to go down well with a lot of the qudience, though.
if you really must know,Ottery,e-mail me - but on condition you keep it to yourself!

Re: heroes

I’d better clarify that the hero in Canberra was excellent - it was the whole worshipping disciple thing that I thought was a bit silly.

Re: heroes

Aaahhh yesss…..the dreaded ‘mystery’ heroes of the music. As we all know, the first rule of super hero-dom is to keep your identity a secret!! :-) Were either of these heroes "in costume"? I wonder what an ITM super hero costume would look like…? Green cape?… Uillean pipes used as an instrument of death (other than by playing them badly!!!)….

Gerry

Re: heroes

You’re my hero, bigdave!

Re: heroes

Seems to me, the ITM heroes are closer to Clark Kent, Peter Parker, or Buffy Summers… wordsmiths, scientists, mild-mannered cheerleaders, then *bam* they knock your socks off. *wicked grin*

Re: heroes

Well, one of my heroes is Liz Carroll. Not because she’s a great fiddler, but because she’s a great player AND a really nice nice lady. Same with John Doyle. And Sean Smyth. And Andy Irvine. (John and Sean and Andy aren’t nice LADIES, though, just nice. *grin*) And numerous others.

Will’s my hero too. And Conan. And Danny. And Dave, who my brain still insists on calling violadave. Oh, and my husband, who continues to put up with me. And the list goes on and on and on…

So I walk around in a daze because I’m surrounded by my heroes. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. :)

zls

Re: heroes

Dow - I know what you mean about the fawning disciples at the National.By trying to emulate and play along they did make it nigh impossible to actually hear and appreciate the ‘big man’.

But their affection is deserved. He is one of a handful of quality muso’s who have kept the flame alive for the last thirty to forty years (down under.)Musically, he is technically brilliant and plays with other musicians in the same manner of a cat with a mouse.Personally, he is a lovely gentleman.

Get your backsoide down to where he hangs out and try and hear him without the accolytes in attendance, if that is possible.It is worth it. Such is his love of playing-I have a photo of him from a few years ago playing his instrument with his broken arm in a cast!

Re: heroes

I wonder if there’s any way to get rid of the disciples without actually killing them. I was going to say perhaps you could organise for his core session players to leave simultaneously to go to the loo, and then spray gas round the room which would knock out the disciples for the duration of the session, but when I think about it in practice they’d probably all follow him to the loo.

Re: heroes

secret heroes? wallpaper idols? well, my favourite hero does what has to be done and walks away on to his next challenge …. Zina, you

Re: heroes

This is a thought I keep bringing up here, but know one takes any notice.
Diddly music is ordinary music for ordinary people. There can be no heros when it’s so easy.

By all means admire musicians as people. Look up to good people even. But Worship? Come on you guys, have a littler respect for your selves.

It’s this whole expectation thing. How can you ever hope to be able to play like your "heros" when you worship them. It’s just so sad this whole Bill and Ted "We’re not worthy" stuff.

And before you all come back with "no wonder know one takes any notice" I challenge any one to say that your so called heros wouldn’t agree with me.

Posted .

Re: heroes

To Dave and others: "However, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of people putting their individual stamp on tunes, so my ravings about heroes should be imbibed with at least 1000mg of NaCl."
…is my labyrinthine way of saying just take what I say with a pinch of salt, ie I’m talking bollox basically.
Those musicians I mentioned are those that I happen to particularly admire, to the extent that I’d be happy to blythely split infinitives on their behalf.

Hero-worship is an epiphenomenon of competitiveness. I don’t like competitiveness in our music (or in any activity where individual creativity is being fostered), or competitions for that matter, and in my view that’s where the CCE have got things fundamentally wrong. Competitions are for sport, which I also love, but for entirely different reasons.

Danny.

Re: heroes

You’re so right, once you compete, you’ve lost it

Posted .

Re: heroes

There are a lot of musicians I admire and who play in a way that I might aspire to. Most of them are not ‘Names’, though some are. But the whole hero thing is ridiculous, as Michael points out in his usual bluff way above. That sort of adulation might make sense in rock music, where the cult of the individual rules, and fans are usually musical dumbos, but it doesn’t transfer credibly to ‘reel’ music. I’ve got a live album by Alison Krause (who I’m not having a go at - I think she’s great), where the audience seems to go crazy everytime any of the musicians plays any sort of standard bluegrass run, and where everytime she sings a pleasant country/bluegrass song, they go completely potty, and all start screaming and a whistling and a hollering, as though they’ve never heard anyone sing a SONG before!

Re: heroes

At the other end of the spectrum Ottery just described, a friend of mine went to see a country-rock artiste recently whose name I forget (could’ve been Ms. Krause for all I know), and virtually every different member of the audience were calling out for different songs….. when she finally did do something that satisfied a howler close to my friend, this person was heard to say "about f***in’ time!"

Talk about consumerism gone mad to the extent that it tries to control the output of musicians! Consume recordings, consume musicians and spit the bits out when you’re finished. No wonder they’re all alkies and junkies, those superstars. I just hope our stuff never stoops to that level. Maybe it’s a blessing that it will never be mass-popular.

My thought for the day.

Danny.

Re: heroes

and a very good thought it is,Danny!
yes,i’ve got my heroes who are n’t ‘heroes’ and a few of them are big names as well but you get the impression that they are driven by the music,not the other way round.
as for Miles and Zina,well! all i’ll say is:’ horses are the only survivors from the age of heroes’ - so i’ll be keeping an eye out for any hoof rot i might be getting.mind you,the ones i’ve backed recently were n’t even ‘survivors’…
just for you,Zina,i shall regress to another life,another world…bigdave is no-more…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

From where i stand …

Let’s forget about the heroes tag … it has connotations which are very unappealing.

There are musicians whose gift awes me. Their ability to communicate in their playing is inspiring and uplifting. I’m a very anti-spiritual person (with apologies to those who aren’t, but hey, them’s the breaks …) and yet virtually the only adjectives which describe the effects of listening to such players are from the spiritual/mystical domain.

I’m not going to name names. But we’ve all surely heard players who have an indefinable something (or somethings) in their style, their choice of tunes, their ability to communicate, their honesty, ruggedness, whatever that elevates their playing way above the mere rendering of a tune …

Re: heroes

I like that Aiden. I like the use of the spirit word, as in; "he has spirit", rather than, "he has a spirit".

I am also anti-spiritual in the way you describe. Everthing comes from a combination of the self and self awareness. And yet we can still use the word "spirited" to describe great music, without any reference to a "higher" intervention.

Posted .

Re: heroes

Traditional music is the music of the people for the people. There should be no heroes. There is no place for worship. So called big names are just a way to learn tunes . Why should we consider a traditional musician as a god? I wouldn’t sacrifice a bottle of white wine to be introduced to one of them (sorry Will). Heroes, worship are just the signs of a lack of personality. I think a lot of people should be humbler in this field.

Re: heroes

everybody can bake his own egg on that hot stone - I still remember my little boy soccer heroes Muller-Mayer-Rummenigge (all night long) and maybe it was silly childish that time, but it still lifts me up with a grin today , but who came up with worshiping (and why for heaven

Re: heroes

Crannog,
This all came about *partly* from a little web page I built to advertise my session. I threw in some tongue in cheek remarks about musical heroes, down near the bottom, which wasn’t meant to be taken too seriously as you’ll find if you read some of the other stuff. That said, I did mention some musicians which I like, but it is my web page after all! It seems to have generated enough stuff on this thread, though.

http://hometown.aol.co.uk/cruiseroisin/myhomepage/makingmusic.html

Danny.

Re: heroes

Never could play soccer. But then I never wanted too

Posted .

Re: heroes

soccer players don’t deserve admiration either!!

Re: heroes

Except for George Best!


How he got through all those girlfriends while off his bap I will never know.

Con

Re: heroes

I saw George Best once, when I was about eight. Mi Da took us to the Manchester Derby (City/United). I remember watching him score a goal, which was fun, but to be honest, I spent most of the game with my back to the park because the crowd was much more fascinating. I remember I loved the songs/chants.

Posted .

Re: heroes

I think the real heroes are those multitude of nameless parents/family/friends who made a point to pass the music down to another generation to enjoy. Who were always quick to offer advice/suggestions/encouragement to a young player. Who were were thrilled to show someone how their grandmother played a certain tune. Even the people who couldn’t play an instrument or carry a tune in a bucket, but still fostered the music by saying, "I like that. Can you play one more?" I could go on, but you get the idea.

Jim

Posted by .

Re: heroes

I find it hard to believe that as beginning musicians, you didn’t also have ‘hero worship’ in ITM. You know, where you discovered a player & listened over & over, & tried to emulate, etc. I think that’s what this discussion is about, if you exchange ‘hero’ for ‘role model’. I also agree it’s a very adolescent state of mind, but when you’re first discovering the lay of the land, be it a new school, a new job, a new hobby, it’s the normal learning curve to identify ppl you look up to, as a beacon to pull you closer to being the kind of person you want to become.

I also think it’s appropriate to disengage from this emotional state once demystification has been achieved, & when it comes to ITM, I think that is very possible for many ppl b/c of the participatory nature of sessions, the equalizing element rather than a show or performance, where a performer is placed away from the audience. I personally know ppl who hang out with Alison Krause, so you won’t find me behaving like that at one of her concerts, even though I think she’s totally amazing. But the idol worship the media purveys encourages the ‘fame bubble’ you guys are disparaging, & rightly so, but whatever. With ITM, like any new area of interest, I think it’s just a phase you’ve got to go through, & emerge from a better player, having integrated that part of the journey of knowing your own personal likes & dislikes through exploration & experimentation.

$0.02.

Re: heroes

Just for me, Dave? *clap clap* Wai! (I’m practising up on my Japanese stuff for teasing my new brother-in-law.)

Ah, all these adjustable names. Just make sure you always leave the "dave" part in, so we know it’s you! :)

zls

Re: heroes

i had seen your site before,Danny, and i looked again after your recent update - but the reason i posted this was seeing some guy on a guitar trying his damndest to be a hero on saturday night last and it was bloody awful - as i said,my mate came out with comment about the no heroes in folk music bit.
i’m not saying there are n’t any but i think most of my ‘heroes’ would rightly baulk at that tag and as i mentioned above,i’m not after a list of people but was wondering where people would make the distinction.i suppose i should have mentioned ‘ego’ instead.yes,ego as opposed to spirit,as Aidan said.
anyway,now that’s off my chest it’s time to go
best wishes

I used to have musical heroes. Once I started meeting them in person I realised that when you call someone a ‘hero’ it depersonalises them. Most traditional music masters are too real and too friendly and too willing to help for this label to stick.
The brilliant players should be acknowledged for their contributions to the music but their contributions to the music should never outweigh their humanity. As I started to get over the Beginning Musician Hero Worship Phenomenon, I was able to better enjoy the music of my former heroes because I heard it as being played by a friend, not by a distant hero.
(I guess this only works if you have met everyone on the planet, which I haven’t, but I’m extending the grace of the few I have met to the greater good. I hope that’s okay.)

Posted by .

Re: heroes

This is a fairly personalising website and if there’s one thing that depersonalises everyone is the lack of self-description of some people when you click on their name.

It doesn’t take 5 minutes to write a short spiel about yourself, otherwise I could be speaking to either the butcher of baghdad, George Bush, or I could be droning on to the ghost of Leo Rowsome. Either way I’d prefer to know to whom I’m addressing a comment.

Sorry

Sorry, I’m new here and haven’t gotten all my information sorted out yet. (It’s there now!) I should have done that first but this discussion was so interesting I couldn’t resist diving right in. Please accept my apologies…

Posted by .

Re: heroes

Whew. Glad I actually put a longer description in last night! :-o

Re: heroes

And welcome to The Session, Suky! :)

Zina

Re: heroes

My 11 year daughter reportedly when picking up Lake Effect at Barnes and Noble, announced ( in her dramatic LOUD 11 year old way) , that Liz Carroll was her mom’s role model. Glad I wasn’t there. but I guess since I’ve never had one( a role model) before…

Re: heroes

Jeez, I can be grumpy old git, for sure. Sorry.
Please, Suky, don’t get phased out by that stuff. But at the same time…. It would be good if people wrote a small little something about themselves at least.
Right —- that’s it.
New thread required.
Danny.

P.s.

Wait, wait, wait, before we leave this thread! What does "off his bap" *mean*, for us Yanks?

zls

Re: heroes

I scrolled up this to find "off his bap" but couldn’t see it. Zina, it’s a variation on the theme, "off his head" meaning mad (as in crazy-mad, not angry-mad) as a brush? does that make sense?
Just think Crazy.

Danny.

Re: heroes

Ah, gotcha — as in Con

Re: heroes

I don’t think I’ve ever said that I have *heroes* in Irish/Scottish music…..but when I was a *weird, gag me please, teeny-bopper*, I apparently had *heroes*……..

I guess what I’m trying to say is…..I’ve found music that really touches my heart, and I *look up to* many musicians (here, at various gigs, my teachers, etc.), but don’t call anyone a *hero*…..I just love meeting the musicians that just make me go *whoa… :))))*, but that I can still meet them and talk to them, they treat me like a human being, and so do I with them……I must say that I agree with Danny when he says *Maybe it’s a blessing if it never becomes mass popular*, I really enjoy being able to talk to and act normal around the musicians I like, and be able to think of them as people, and not *Gods*…….things become too untouchable…..really bumms me out :(…..

I’ve blabbed on for too long….it’s the cold I caught!, I swear!!!! :)

To close (right about now the medicine should be wearing off :))…….I love the music, love the musicians I meet everywhere, and hope the music that I love never turns into some big production at school where *Shamrocks are the new style, like duh!*…….ugh!, I can only pray … :) :)

-Karen

Re: heroes

just don’t mention george best’s girlfriends’ baps.
coat..get…i’ll…my……..

Re: heroes

In Ulster a bap is a large scone of bread or bun used and in slang to mean head. I think Conan meant off his head on drink. My favourite George best quote is this: When George was asked what George did with all his money he replied, " I spent a lot on fast cars, women and drink.. I suppose I squandered the rest."

Re: heroes

I took ‘off his bap’ to mean ‘Off his trolley’ or off his head because of drink - not mad. Of course, as bigvioladave so tactfully pointed out, baps do have other connotations in these repressed Isles of ours. That essential guide the the vernacular, Roger’s Profanisaurus’ (I wonder if this essential teaching aid is widely distributed in the USA?) has baps down as:
BAPS (baaah-ps) n. N.Ireland
Breasts. e.g. "Phoaar! Will yer look at the baps on that?"
I can’t help wondering, however, whether in some circles, Roger’s Profanisaurus might be considered a trifle sexist.

p.s. Dave may be relieved to hear that there is no entry under ‘viola’ in Roger’s Profanisaurus

Re: heroes

OK here is a loaded question then about heroes & the direction & current trend of ITM.

Take the new Solas CD, Edge of Silence. Almost all the tracks, if not all, are original compositions or covers ie Tom Waits & Bob Dylan. Their new producer has worked with Sting, Paul McCartney & Dire Straits. In an interview, their stated intention with the new project was to start with a rock or contemporary sound, & lay the ITM on top, as opposed to previous CDs where they started with ITM & laid other stuff on top. (This was an NPR interview, sorry if I’m paraphrasing.) So if the ‘best Irish traditional band in the world’ (according the Boston Herald) is taking this new direction, will this create a new order of ‘hero’ in ITM? That is if you are using mainstream pop culture, media coverage or fame as a parameter.

Re: heroes

Surely this sort of project shows the distance between groups like Solas (well, particularly Solas) and the grass ro

Re: heroes

I agree with you Ottery. I wasn’t overly familiar with Solas, and saw them recently in concert. I enjoyed the traditional "bits", but that’s all they were—bits. I don’t mind "rocking out", but they left me somewhat unsatisified in the rock out category and in the traditional category as well.

Posted by .

Trying new things

It is important for musicians to experiment to keep the music from stagnating. It doesn’t mean we all need to do the same thing. Solas can "rock out" all they want. Plunk me down with a Michael Coleman recording and I’m happy all afternoon.

Look (listen?) at all the amazing new things Liz Carroll has done with her music. (Too bad I loaned her new album to someone and haven’t heard from him since!) Even Lunasa has an electric bass in their band. Who knows what future uilleann pipers may be ‘wasting’ their time right now playing rock and roll. Maybe the new Solas album will have one of them laying aside her electric guitar for something a little… earthier.

After all is said and done, the majority of people who play—not record—music are still scraping out the old tunes in the old style. That is the important part.

Posted by .

Re: heroes

Almost begs the question, is a hero then someone who preserves the tradition, or someone who innovates, or both? Highly subjective, I’m thinking.

Re: heroes

I agree with you two, suky and emily……I love that many of the musicians of today may *slightly* change a tune or set of tunes so that it may have a different tempo, etc., but they take those tunes from ancestors, famous composers, etc……that didn’t come out right, but it sounded so good in my head!……I’ll just repeat that I agree with both suky and emily with what they said :)

Re: heroes

blu, tell me we’ll play some tunes together when I come to Denver in August… you are just too much! :)

Re: heroes

Em, if you can get Karen to play with us while you’re here, you’ll be doing better than I! I’ve been trying to talk her into playing with me now since she joined The Session…! *grin*

zls

Re: heroes

hmmmmm…. soon there will be 3 session members wearing 2.5 inch zip-up-the-back electric blue vinyl knee boots. *wicked grin* Can anyone say, shopping trip?

Re: heroes

Oooo, that sounds like fun. I know all the really sleazy goth places to buy PVC clothing… *grin* My favorite store name is "Oh My Goth"…