How do I describe myself ?

How do I describe myself ?

I was going to contribute my two cents yesterday but thought better of it but now, today having just watched the link above provided by KML:

TG4: Canรบintรญ Ceoil (Part 2)
http://youtube.com/watch?v=wH4_cTF4sNo


I thought I would like to ask a question and see if it resonates with anybody else’s feelings.

I was never ‘taught’ by a traditional musician, I don’t live in an area reknowned for it’s musical tradition or in fact much in the way of ITM being played or indeed any other kind of traditional music. I don’t believe I play in a particular ‘style’ be it regional or after a particular musician. There’s nothing in my family by way of musical tradition being handed on.

So, the question is this - just how do I describe myself in terms of the music I play. Traditionalist, stylist, poser, or could I claim to be forging my own particular version of ‘a traditional’ music. Could it be said I’m just inventing something akin to ITM or is it because of my relative isolation from other musicians playing in the Irish tradition that I have a lack of continuity or connection.

I have to say that I’m not too really worried about what label might be affixed so feel free, my only interest is playing the music because I like it…

# Posted on March 1st 2008 by john knoss
https://thesession.org/members/42235

This was brought to the front of the queue because it just felt like John needed our full attention, instead of it resting down toward the end of a previous thread and requiring some digging ๐Ÿ˜‰ ~

Discussion: The Invention of Tradition
# Posted on February 28th 2008 by ceolachan
https://thesession.org/discussions/16872

Re: How do I describe myself ?

I wish that would happen more! I say this because on my computer the long threads quite soon turn into grubby grey folded-over palimpsests and I can read them no more. That was the case with "The Invention Of Tradition".

Re: How do I describe myself ?

That was planned nicholas, an extension on a related issue to that thread, as I had another awful night to think about it all, however, I found John’s contribution and as is my tendency, I felt he deserved being moved to the front… I’m also curious to see how responses unfold on this one. I know we have discussed this basic concept a few times in the past, but it is one that deserves a regular revisit, or so I think ~ cough, cough, cough ~ ARRRGH!!! ๐Ÿ™

Re: How do I describe myself ?

John, I went back and brought this forward, Andy V had answered you before he probably realized I’d moved your question here ~ & nicely answered too ~

"John, from my outlook it doesn’t really matter what you play. I mean, I’d be surprised if you didn’t know a few tunes from the Scottish and English traditions (indeed, it’s in your profile…), but that’s not really the point. For my money, if your using a repertoire of tunes to bring a group of people together then you can choose to identify yourself with which ever group you please - because you’re taking the spirit of that tradition to your community and as such you’re part of that tradition. For me, the really important things in tradition are more a regional style, I’d far rather give up the regional distinctions in style if one evening a week saw communities all over our respective countries collecting for a spot of communal dancing to live music. Because from this I think the regional styles would grow back, stronger than ever."

# Posted on March 1st 2008 by Andy V

Re: How do I describe myself ?

I describe myself as a fiddler, ‘cos I play fiddle. I don’t tend to volunteer more than that, unless someone asks for further elucidation, mainly because I play a few different types of music - as much as I can get, actually! If someone *does* ask for more, I generally tell them "Well, I lead a little Chamber Orchestra, I tend to lead in show bands - you know, for things like G&S, My Fair Lady and all that - but my main thing is Irish stuff - you know, jigs ‘n’ reels ‘n’ that.""

Not very snappy, really, is it?

Re: How do I describe myself ?

Andy V, there’s a lot in what you say, about bringing people together to share and enjoy music and the consequent development of local ‘styles’.

My ‘problem’ if you want to call it that is sometimes there is a call for some ‘Irish music’ and yours truly is volunteered or suggested.
True story……Gems of Ireland on Tour a couple of years ago and local representatives were wanted to participate on stage as part of the concert. I did my piece but felt a fraud as compared to the outstanding musicianship and obvious authenticity of performance by the tour musicians.

Play a tune I can, be it Irish, English, Breton, etc. etc. BUT by no means would I feel that I can claim to be an Irish traditional musician or for that matter, Breton, or English.
However whatever I do play is ‘informed’ by Irish music in terms of ornamentation etc. Here’s the rub….I’ve learned to do it my way with all my own faults, failings and sometimes successes.
So what am I?

Re: How do I describe myself ?

I didn’t come up in any tradition. Looking back at my 70s self I admit to having started as a poser, but I did want to learn how to play this music and these tunes properly. When I play a tune I try to do justice to that particular tune with such technique and ability as I’ve got, that’s all.

Re: How do I describe myself ?

john - I can relate to your saying - or implying - you play various kinds of trad with an Irish inflection - that’s where I am.

Re: How do I describe myself ?

If we had those "L" plates in The States like you have in Britain, I would wear one. Just learning, that’s me.

Re: How do I describe myself ?

You wouldn’t play it if you didn’t like it……would you?

Re: How do I describe myself ?

My playing, being an amalgam of a lifetime’s aural influences, is (as observed by John Knoss) "informed" by particular disciplines, all the while retaining an unsavoury personal character, rather like a cheap wine mixed with a chocolate milkshake.

Posted by .

Re: How do I describe myself ?

I kinda covered this in a drunken snit the other day. Again, I’m sorry about that.

I am a beginner from California. I have a grand total of ZERO friends who listen to traditional music. My friends keep wondering when I’m gonna start playing blues. (blah)
So there is no influence in regional styles in any way shape or form. I find my "traditional" music through the internet. It’s either Irish or it’s not. I draw a line with electric instruments rather than worrying about shakey eggs! LOL

Some may call me a poser. Fine. From what I’ve read here, I’m in good company. That was kinda my point at the end of my rant the other day.

Thanks for posting those videos ceolachan. It seems the only real difference is skill with our chosen instruments.
I feel better already.

Oh and by the way, I finally got a small session at my place yesterday. My drummer friend even brought… a shakey egg. I laughed and thought of you guys when he pulled it out. Then my cat swatted it under the couch. LMAO!
Good kitty.

Re: How do I describe myself ?

That’s one intelligent cat ~ good on you Fish, glad to hear you had your house session finally… It’s a start! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Re: How do I describe myself ?

You had me worried Fish, about your claim to be drunk and ranting, your "drunken snit", so I went looking…

Is that what you mean, in the Paddy Day thread? We have seen far worse, though most of that has long been deleted by our great overseer Jeremy. That bit about being a ‘Califorinian’ and the list of names, was it Charley twice and one Harry? ~ I wouldn’t worry…

Re: How do I describe myself ?

It’s an odd question: "How do I describe myself?". What immediately springs to my mind is: "Why should I describe myself?" I simply don’t feel the need. (though I’m not dissing anyone who does feel the need)

Posted .

Re: How do I describe myself ?

Go along with that llig - to describe myself sounds more like a Gestalt therapy exercise.

Who are you?
Who are you?
Who are you?

I’d rather leave that sort of thing in work and leave the music to engulf me without any need for description.

D

Re: How do I describe myself ?

So, why do youse bother posting at all, then?

Re: How do I describe myself ?

Yup. That was it. I had a head full of scotch and was taking everything personally. Bad mojo it was.

Re: How do I describe myself ?

Gestalt therapy exercise ~ don’t forget to bite a leather belt first and growl while shaking your head from side to side… ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Now vee av the rute uv yur fustation…

Re: How do I describe myself ?

What’s wrong with Gestalt therapy, Welshman ? Just curious why you seem to use the term perjoratively ?

I’d see "Who am I?" as a very natural human question, asked by people all the way back to ancient Greece and before.

Isn’t it a component of the ancient wisdom "Know thyself", and "the unexamined life is not worth living" ?

Nobody is obliged to answer by describing themselves if they don’t want to.

I think ceolachan should have titled the thread differently, because the way the issue of identity arose in the previous thread that spawned this one was slightly different.

Remember how the hardline Tory Thatcherite Tebbit proposed the ‘Cricket test’ as a matter of people’s national identity?

He was trying to ostracize people who didn’t ‘feel’ English, (which was basically a mildly-expressed cover for a sort of nationalism, even racism). We’re not talking about nationalism or racism here, we’re talking about music, but I think people do use their preferred musical genre as something that contributes to their sense of identity.

Andy V put forward some well thought out ideas. Some of them make me feel a bit uncomfortable. I’m not Irish (by birth) nor brought up in a culture where ITM is regularly heard, so how can I claim that ITM is ‘my’ music ? But then there’s Terry Wogan, born and raised in Ireland, who hates ITM (and I hate his favoured music with equal vehemence).

The point was aired a lot in the 1960s, when the question was ‘Can white college kids play the blues ?’ I liked the blues in those days, but I was never going to get to grow up in Mississippi or Chicago. I’ve looked all round Wales and England for trad music that I liked, but there just isn’t much available. I’ve listened to just about every musical genre from every culture. I can’t explain why, because i don’t understand the reason, but for some unknown reason, I’m hooked on ITM, and the more I listen to, the more deeply I get addicted. I don’t think it’s a geographical thing. I’m only 60 miles from Ireland, but I guess I would feel just the same if I was in Canada, or California, or Australia. It’s just the music that I most like to listen to.

The deeper point is the politics of it. What defines ITM and distinguishes it, and how to keep it’s qualities from getting blurred and merged into the other musical genres that are so potent and much more popular. I think I have to leave that for the people who know more than I do.

Re: How do I describe myself ?

I think it is a case of ITM choosing you in a sense. If it moves you, well, it has taken you. You somehow don’t have complete free choice… And once that happens, and you further that involvement by giving it a go, by playing with it ~ well ~ you can’t deny that identity with it… It is part of you, no argument, whether you’re able to play it phenomenally or just barely recognizeable. I remember an octogenarian from a local home, with severe learning disabilities, and he came to dance with us, to our music, and the community welcomed him and helped him through. I remember him saying with a big grin, "I’m an Irish dancer!" Damn right he is, he’s an Irish dancer, and if any arsehole had it in them to say otherwise, we would have all shown them the door… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Re: How do I describe myself ?

Sorry, I just remembered Paddy, and I won’t give up his last name, or say where. He only had a few steps, and they were the same whether it was a slip jig, a reel, a hornpipe. He was a bit like the man mentioned previously. We’d have a break and the big aluminium tea pots would start circulating with the biscuits and the sandwiches. Paddy loved to dance. He’d come up to the band and ask for a tune, and he’d get it. He’d do his few steps over and over again and then it would stop. Let’s say it was a reel. Someone then would shout out, and I’ve been guilty too, and yes, there was a little bit of evil grin to it, but with love for the ol’ codger ~ "Hey Paddy, give us a slip jig!" And he would, and it would be the same few steps, a bit like the majority of bodhran bangers, the same beat no matter what the form… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Re: How do I describe myself ?

Wolfbird, really? I might be an odd one out here, but I find there’s plenty of English music kicking around out there. Maybe not as much as Irish, but there’s music out there and it’s doing fairly well for itself. It might rather depend on what your looking for though, but there’s probably something out there you’d enjoy. England isn’t the barren musical landscape it’s often seen as.

I’m afraid I’m rather in the dark here, any views of mine in this thread weren’t put here by me, so they might be taken out of context. I’m also a bit unsure of which ideas of mine make you feel uncomfortable: you might have to tell me. I’m not suggesting doing away with regional styles in order to create a unified system for dancing. I’m also not saying that you have to be born in Ireland to call yourself a musician who plays Irish music. Personally, I don’t even make that distinction - I’ll play whatever’s going. So I suppose I’d just call the music I play as traditional music.

And I guess that’s my point. Unless you actually play and listen to a repertoire of predominantly Irish music, why do you need to stick Irish on the front of it? I know this is a forum dedicated to Irish music, but a fair proportion of the tunes on here aren’t Irish. Unless you’re trying to limpet to a cultural or political idea, is it important where the music you play comes from? And that’s sort of my actual point, which is that (to me, at least) it’s far more important that the music you’re playing was used to bring communities together for a spot of social dance, or to while away the hours at work, or to tell the story and remind people of events passed, or to impart a moral lesson. And this was going on all over England, all over Scotland, all over Ireland. And to perhaps see if, even in today’s world, music can be used to bring people together again. Just like in ‘c’s stories, how music was able to give something to his people, is it not possible to take that spirit to all of our communities.


Right, I’m starting to sound like a broken record. I’ll stop labouring the point ๐Ÿ™‚

Re: How do I describe myself ?

Interesting reflections, ceolachan. You’ve had some experience of Welsh cultural organisations.

There’s the International Eisteddfod at Llangollen, which looks outwards and embraces music and song and dance from every part of the planet. And there’s the National Library, which sees itself as representative of the nation (and where I’ve always found everyone to have the most exemplary manners and fantastic hospitality, nothing is ever too much trouble ) and so on.

But there’s also the negative side, a kind of paranoid narrow nationalist hostility that I’ve encountered all my life. I believe it’s partly a resentment in that Wales is almost like an occupied country, or an Indian Reservation, with so many powerful positions being appointed English people imposed by London. (That’s not so much the case now, since the creation of the Assembly).

Now there’s the increasing invasion of rich English buying up the properties so that the native Welsh can’t afford to live in their home localities.

As i said, I’ve lived with these kind of pressures all my life, so i have a fair understanding. It’s easy to be friendly to an occasional stranger, but when numbers increase and become a perceived threat, it makes for social tensions.

There are villages not so far away that were once all Welsh speaking, that are now more like Oxfordshire, with wealthy retired English and empty holiday homes displacing all local culture.

I know this isn’t solely a Welsh problem, it’s the same problem in Cornwall, Dorset, and many other attractive rural areas, and no doubt in parts of Spain and Portugal and France. And I imagine, it’s the same sort of problem that English complain about when Poles and Pakistanis and others move into their neighbourhoods. It doesn’t have to be seen as a racist or nationalist matter, or a part of ‘multiculturalism’, but it is a problem none the less.

Re: How do I describe myself ?

& across North America too, and France, and Ireland, and ~ and much of it is ‘internal’ ~ as you may know, city folk escaping to the country and taking all their problems and hangups with them, more impositions on their new homes than positive additions, at least as seen by the ‘locals’. I also think there are similar corollaries to be made with respect to traditions ~ but I think maybe that would be a discussion headed differently than "How do I describe myself?" ~ as John had meant…

I’d like to see where that would go though, but I am failing fast. I might even succeed in getting some sleep tonight… ๐Ÿ˜

Yes wolfie, we, my dear wife and I, even dressed up like a twits to perform Welsh folk dance and music, for a spell… It wasn’t for us… It can never be about display and performance with me, it just doesn’t work. I kept lauging, my socks kept falling, you know, I was in those damned knee britches, and it kept upsetting those that were more seriously involved in it, chapel types… ๐Ÿ˜‰ What’s it worth if you can’t laugh, eh? ๐Ÿ˜€

Re: How do I describe myself ?

Andy V, maybe I overstated the case. I’m just bouncing the topic around in my head, seeing how it looks from this angle then that angle. There is a lot of English trad music, and I’ve probably listened to examples of most of it over the years, but it does seem considerably less than the Irish. But maybe the real difference is something else…It’s a bit like wildlife, an analogy, you know, like if the last remaining creatures of a species are in zoos or stuffed in museums, or even only in gene bankss, you’ve got something of a different quality from the original free rangeing wild beasties or birds. Are there any examples anywhere in England or Wales of an unbroken folk music tradition known to the local residents, that hasn’t been artificially nurtured by arts organisations or cultural bodies ?

I know, in Wales, there’s the Eisteddfod and choral singing and so on, but it was all invented, presumably with a view to fabricating a national identity. The bits that didn’t fit, like the local fiddle tradition that we discussed a week or so back, where left out. Yet that was the ‘real’ music of the people…

Re: How do I describe myself ?

I might relate to myself as the "Great Siberian Itch"

but on the other hand ; )

Re: How do I describe myself ?

Ah, P.J.B., but could you then be easily distinguished from the Lesser Mongolian Twitch ? How many relations do you need ?

Re: How do I describe myself ?

the answer might be 42?

Re: How do I describe myself ?

Yeah, but if you used binary numbering or Roman numerals it’d look quite different even if it was the same, so how can it be the same and different at the same time ?

Re: How do I describe myself ?

I will consult a Zen master, who will in turn tell me that even I do not know the real me.

Oh damn here we go (grin)

Did I mention I’m sitting on a stack of Alan Watts books so I can reach the keyboard of my computer?

Maybe Roger Daltrey can see the real me, The Cheiftains are James Galway. As long as we’re not listening to them. oops wrong thread.

hate when I do that. I’m not well today.

Re: How do I describe myself ?

Well, P.J.B., at least the exuberant ceolachan has collapsed into feverish slumbers so we can all talk rubbish and nonsense for a change before he returns with renewed vigour . Wasn’t it the stoned hippie at the cafe at the end of the Universe who thought the answer was forty two, or does my memory deceive me ? Anyways, if it was 42 then, likely it’s changed since, coz you can never step in the same river twice, eh….Alan Watts ? That old rascal. I prop up my table with a copy of ‘Mysticism and Logic’ by Bertrand Russell, stops it rocking about. Amazing how handy books can be…right, I’m out of here, night all….

Re: How do I describe myself ?

It was either the end of the universe or a cannabis plantation in the Swansea Valley. But hey, whatever rocks your world….
or table. ;0)

Nighty-nite

Re: How do I describe myself ?

Light moves slowly, lazily on the Disc. It’s in no hurry to get anywhere. Why bother? At lightspeed, everywhere is the same place. ("Pyramids")

Re: How do I describe myself ?

Did I arrive too late for a hit of whatever you guys are smoking?

Re: How do I describe myself ?

The Folk Song Society was founded in 1898 and the English Folk Dance Society in 1911, both amalgamating to form the EFDSS in 1932. But these in themselves were probably not the only reason for some traditions surviving, and might not have prevented others from being weakened or terminated. (The slaughter of WW1 will have done the latter to a considerable extent.)

Re: How do I describe myself ?

Thanks, nicholas. I wonder if those Soceities could be seen a bit like the collectors who put the specimens in the museums ? I feel grateful that something has been preserved, not completely lost, but on the other hand, it is a bit like keeping rare species in special reserves, spectacle for tourists, or like the theme park coal mines, complete with actors dressed as miners, faces smeared with artificial coal dust. Folk music taken out of the museum to display for a few hours in folk clubs where people pay to be entertained might be better than nothing, but it is a bit contrived and synthetic…

You were too late Bob ๐Ÿ™‚ Who knows what additional towering heights of cosmic absurdity we might have scaled if you’d have turned up at the right point in spacetime !

BTW, to make a belated feeble spurious link to the topic, you’ll all know that Alan Watts authored ‘The Book on the taboo against knowing who you are’ ?

Right, back to reading some more sensible stuff…

http://www.dissidentvoice.org/2008/02/obama-mccain-march-19%E2%80%A6yawn/

Re: How do I describe myself ?

I think you’re right, wolfbird, about the Societies being like museum collectors: collecting and archiving is what they seem to have done particularly well. And if they and other enthusiasts had not collected when they did, a lot of songs, especially, wouldn’t be known to us at all.

The Folk Club movement had little to do with EFDSS as far as I know; but singers who’d established themselves often went to it or to comparable sources to follow up something in which they had an interest.

Without collectors in or fairly soon after their period, we probably wouldn’t have the Border ballads or the sea shanties - both groups being songs of a way of life that came to a fairly sudden end and has not been reconstituted (in the case of Border warfare and reiving, very fortunately). There’s no living and working "community" to sing the shanties for the purposes they were devised for: they’re left to singers. And they include some of the greatest, most exhilarating chorus songs in the language.

Re: How do I describe myself ?

(…and now a predictably zealous response from Irish America…)

How do I? I fiddle Irish music and I sing Irish songs. I bet I can play some Scottish and English tuns and songs as well but I just don’t know they are, unless they’re really obvious ones. If I like them, I play them and listen to them. It’s what I like, it’s what I do. Any other music doesn’t resonate with me when I hear it. It’s not rocket science. Someone said up there that "the music found them" - funny, I got given a hard time by someone because I said that on this board.

It’s still the truth, however.

I guess one could say that the music re-found our family, if you’ll check my bio.

…and now my sons will grow up and report later in life that their father played Irish music all the time and that they grew up around Irish music, so what does that mean? Is that Traditional? If they (God willing) play the music too, will they be able to say that they are carrying on a tradition because they grew up around it and are simply playing what they have heard since they were babies?

Ah well, all furious attempts at self-ID are usually based in trying to explain oneself because they are under attack or on the defensive, and usually entail some self-esteem bolstering. I feel the need for it too, obviously, check out this post.

Whatever you need to get through day!

Re: How do I describe myself ?

"Oh What a Blow that Phantom Gave Me!"
Edmund Carpenter

http://mediatedcultures.net/phantom/phantom.html

A free online read of one of my favourite little books… Enjoy all, if you dare… ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Back to work and coughing… ๐Ÿ™

Re: How do I describe myself ?

SWFL, I sincerley hope your boys will can on your love of playing ITM, I have similar hopes for my daughter although at the moment it looks unlikely even though she is showing some promise as an instrumentalist.

Actually I’m quite happy with who I am and what I do (doesn’t mean I think I’m perfect though).
Often having been playing music in public people will frequently ask about the music, it’s history and place in the scheme of things in this day and age.
I think it only right that I should respond in a curteous manner to an honest enquiry to the best of my ability and knowledge. The kicker usually comes with the question ‘how did you become involved in it’.
It may sound a curious question to Llig and Welshman but I like to share my enjoyment of music be it Irish, English, French whatever and somebody is bound to come and ask about it and the musicians who play it.
What do you tell people who ask about you and what you do? Go on, give us a clue….I would like to know how other people feel and respond.

Re: How do I describe myself ?

I say, "Oh, er - mine’s a Black Sheep / Old Speckled Hen / Strongarm / Guinness / Eighty Bob / Adnams / IPA - thank you, that’s really good of you…"

Re: How do I describe myself ?

( " - And a pint of White Lightning and Blue WKD for the bodhran player, to keep him quiet for a minute…")

Re: How do I describe myself ?

Yuck! Mine’s ‘Old Peculiar’, but only the stuff on tap…

Re: How do I describe myself ?

Ah, well. Too bad, โ€˜cโ€™. Itโ€™s those โ€œtowering heights of cosmic absurdityโ€ that I live for. ๐Ÿ˜€

Iโ€™m really not good with off-the-cuff explanations, so when somebody asks me what kind of music I play, Iโ€™m at a complete bumbling loss as to what to say. Folks at work variously think I play country, bluegrass, rock โ€ฆ and dog knows what else.

SWFL sums it up better than I can, so I might start quoting him. But then probably nobody will listen long enough to get the idea. Most folks want a short answer that they can file away in an existing category.

Re: How do I describe myself ?

That is the root of all evil Bob ~ categories…

Hey, I didn’t sart this thread, not really, I just cut-and-pasted poor John Knoss from the end of another thread. I’m all for ‘towering heights of cosmic absurdity’, and with me they don’t have to be so high falutin’ as to be cosmic, or towering, just absurdity will do… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Re: How do I describe myself ?

I think, ceolachan, this thread has reached its natural end and I think it’s interesting that some respondants just ‘do’ without wondering where they are coming from or why or in some cases unwilling to offer a thought on the matter.
Perhaps it is absurd to ask - ‘a bird will sing because it does, not because it has an answer’ I’m told this is some sort of oriental aphorism, whatever….
Thank you for having starting it and thank you to those who responded.
In the meantime I’ll carry on inventing my version of ITM and who knows it might feature one day in it’s own right: to any critics/authorities - am I bothered? do I look bothered? As long as my playing gives me and my listeners enjoyment that’s enough for me.

Re: How do I describe myself ?

"A bird will sing because it must,
not in expectation of an answer"

It is all in the translation… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Re: How do I describe myself ?

A bird sings because it wants to get off with another bird.

Re: How do I describe myself ?

Actually, if we’re being biological, it’s the equivalent in bird language, however much we might like it, of a blaring announcement to all other birds in its family to "F-ck Off!" ~ "This is my area!" ~ and the answer ~ "No! You F-ck Off!"

Re: How do I describe myself ?

Sad, isn’t it, birds just haven’t the the right upbringing… Robins, some of the most voiciferous in this slagging match, are even cannibalistic…

Re: How do I describe myself ?

Actually, if we are being biological, bird song is far more complicated and interesting than that, and to reduce birds to that level tells us a lot about the crass stupidity of some humans. If you want to know a little about the real nature of bird song, I’d recommend ‘The Life of Birds’ by David Attenborough, or even better. ‘The Mind of the Raven’ by Bernd Heinrich. Ravens discuss amongst themselves, in the evening when they go to roost, what they are going to do the next day.

Re: How do I describe myself ?

And this time of year it’s just the cock robins. The hens being off on their Mediterranean hols.

But it’s not all about "F-ck Off!". I was listening today to a pair of bull finches deep in a dense holly bush gently peeping to each other just to keep in touch.

And a familiar soundtrack to my childhood is begining to make a welcome return. The constant busy chattering of house sparrows

Posted .

Re: How do I describe myself ?

crosspost wolf

Posted .

Re: How do I describe myself ?

Lovely Hugo, nice to see that again. We’ve recently been enjoying Attenborough and "Life in Cold Blood", brilliant as always.

The Lyre bird is beautiful, as are the humbler species like the sparrow… I love it the way that the Lyre bird mimics other things, brilliant. It was nice seeing that video again, and the modern imitations, like of cameras, a car alarm and foresters, wild, but also sad, especially the latter, destroying the birds natural habitat. Our most voiciferous locals are robins and blackbirds, and a lot of twittering happens about here near our feeder. We have a major nesting area around here, which includes doves, so lots of song. There seems to be some kind of agreement between the birds as to who feeds when, as they seem to take turns at the feeder. We’ve seen the fights, and we’ve also seen the magpies doing their damage, to eggs and fledglings… The "F-ck Off!" was as usual tongue-in-cheek, as some blackbirds have been laying it on heavy around here, and robins too, so not that far off the track, unless we live in a fantasy world. It was a joke, maybe in bad taste, but not intended for those without a sense of humour or perspective. I’ve been lacking both at times, so seeing it in others is not difficult. I find it is best to avoid it, but I guess I have missed my own advice yet again…

Yes, I know "it’s not all about "F-ck Off!"."

"A bird will sing because it must,
not in expectation of an answer"

Instinct rather than necessarily premeditated? ~ "it must"?
It is all in the translation…

I’m glad of the sparrows around us too Michael, they have been in serious decline on this island and elsewhere. I think the last report I’d read was something like down by 60 - 75%. The last report I’d read on bird populations in Britain was a couple of years back, and it was as expected, sad reading. We miss our constant walks along the Welsh coast and up in the mountains there to view the wildlife…

Re: How do I describe myself ?

Is there an analogy to be drawn here? Technological advances in music making/recording destroying/diminuition of native talent and destruction of habitat and native fauna and flora?
Watching the Attenborough thing made me wonder.
Are we witnessing the beginning of the end of ‘real’ traditional music, is Tansey right?
As a percentage of ‘performing’ ‘individuals’ are we becoming an endangered species? To be held up and cited as what used to be?
Remember how we all used to watch telly on a Saturday night?

Re: How do I describe myself ?

"Remember how we all used to watch telly on a Saturday night?"

Whoopee ! It’s the ceolachan show ! Self-indulgent fun for all the family…

Yes, John, I think you have a point. We are witnessing the end of just about everything ‘real’. It get’s replaced by a global theme park, a spectacle to keep the masses entertained. A spectacle that can be manipulated to produce the desired results. The zeks become cyborgs.

Once, technology was a tool that benefited the user. The craftsman was in control of the hammer. Now, technology is the master, and the human is it’s appendage. ‘People are merely the means that motor cars use to reproduce themselves’.

Microsoft and the like are developing software which will watch you at your computer as you work, logging your activity. Instead of a person using the internet and computer as a useful resource, the human becomes an appendage, integrated into the system.

Whatever autonomy and dignity a human being once might have had, vanishes. It used to be bad when a pesron was just an operative on a production line, tightening nuts and bolts all day, having to ask permission to perform bodily functions. This is the next step. The production line itself becomes the supervisor. It can observe every move and log every action. The person becomes an ‘add on’ to the computer and it’s network, a peripheral, like a printer or a scanner. Tesco already knows more about each of us than we know ourselves. Every shopping trip is logged and analysed in detail, so the central database can predict exactly what you are likely to want to buy on any given day and how much money you will have in your account.

Those who, for one reason or another, don’t become zeks and cyborgs, and who follow the ‘old ways’ will be excluded and irrelevant, unless they are considered troublesome, in which case they will be persecuted as have been all other marginal groups through the ages.

http://noblesavagery.blogspot.com/2007/03/fredy-perlmans-against-his-story.html

Re: How do I describe myself ?

Having one’s movements assessed and predicted and their financial value second-guessed by Tesco is just an advance on something I was told years ago about publicans: they see a regular come in and say to themselves, "He’ll have four pints…" - or whatever. And when it comes to manipulating the punter, one was quite frank about it to me: he would suddenly crank up the volume of the canned music just before closing time, inducing the drinkers to neck their pints and buy new ones in a state of reactive aggression. We’ve always been studied, manipulated and betted on. But what a boring thing to devote one’s life to doing.

Re: How do I describe myself ?

Yes, nicholas, but it’s a matter of scale and detail. The pub landlord can know the habits of the villagers, and can sneakily increase their thirst with salted nuts or pork scratchings, all on a fairly human scale, part of the community. With the appearance of supercomputers, tesco can record the whole population of the country. They take 8 out of every 10 pounds spent. They put small local shops out of business, so that everyone becomes dependent on tesco. This is new, the last decade or so. No organisation has had so much power before, other than the government itself, or maybe the Church long ago, and the record keeping was very crude by comparisom. It is a very boring thing to even think about, for the likes of you and me, but it’s what business folk drool over. I find manipulation insidious and I like to be aware of the motives and techniques, because I value personal autonomy and liberty.

Re: How do I describe myself ?

One of these days David Attenborough will be doing a soft voice over so as not to disturb the ‘traditional’ musician from actually playing their music, in a pub, the last of its kind with no juke box, canned music or video displays on the bar pumps or restaurant areas reserved for non-existant punters….
"This is the last example of the species extant before being removed to a reserve where it can live out its days in peace and tranquility far removed from any human contact or contamination"

Re: How do I describe myself ?

I usually describe myself as someone who likes to spend his free time (when I am not working at my day job at a local hospital) playing music wherever and whenever possible. I play piano and bass (both acoustic and electric). Mostly I sit in and play either piano or bass (but not both at the same time) at various local jam sessions as well as playing acoustic bass with a mandolin and guitar group every week. I suppose I could also describe myself in terms of my ancestry since my ancestors came to the United States from England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.