Who have or what has inspired you the most in 2003?

Who have or what has inspired you the most in 2003?

I started playing traditional music later in life and, although I realise that I’ll never become a top notch musician, I am becoming more rather than less determined to carry on playing/improving as the years go by. My first instrument was guitar which I started to play in my teens. At that time, I allowed myself to become too easily discouraged as there was much to learn and so many people who were better. I also worried too much about what my peers thought and, consequently, gave up playing music for several years apart from the odd drunken "sing song" at parties.
Nowadays, it doesn’t matter if I’m never going to be as good as my heroes on the traditional music scene (In the old days, it was Clapton, Hendrix etc but I also enjoyed people like Bert Jansch, Davy Graham etc), I just play for the love of the music and my own enjoyment. I still hear people who, after seeing a remarkable musical performance, threaten to burn/destroy their guitar or fiddle.That’s not me, anymore.

Now, I haven’t yet decided on the answer to this question and I will reflect on the events and personalities of the last year along with the rest of you. It has occurred to me, however, that unfortunate or sad events can also have a positive effect. Recent deaths of friends and people whom I have admired on the traditional music scene have made me realise how important it is to continue playing music. It’s what they would have wished us to do, regardless of our ability. Even the relatively minor setback when I broke my arm has made me more determined and I have been playing/practising all the more since it has healed.

Of course, there are a lot more pleasant experiences and I’ll get back to you with some of those. In the meantime, I’d like to hear from some you.


John

Re: Who have or what has inspired you the most in 2003?

In answer to the above - it could be The Session! Keeps me in touch with other like minded people. Haven’t been able to practice as much as I would like though.

Re: Who have or what has inspired you the most in 2003?

Hey John, isn’t it freeing when you finally realize and come to grips with the fact that you will never be a top notch player? I know what you mean. Now we can get on with the business of being the best we can be, and that in itself is not too shabby a thing, huh?

Like Danny, I would have to say the session has been sooo inspiring.

Also, my teacher, Kathy DeAngelo. (and her husband Dennis Gormley) She has stuck with me for 7 years and her passion for the music has rubbed off on me.

Also some of the other great Irish musicians of the Philadelphia area, who on those somewhat rare occasions (hopefully soon to be less rare occasions) when I find myself at a session, are very inspiring to me. Some are not only talented, but full of grace and kindness, and sometimes kernels of wisdom, which isn’t always the case with a great musician. It’s not just their love of the music, but it’s that kindness and sharing attitude that I find inspiring.

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Re: Who have or what has inspired you the most in 2003?

Having progressed pretty much is the same way as John, guitar playing in my teens, largely given up through my twenties and most of my thirties, taught myselfmandolin at 39 and fiddle at 41, only two years ago. Hearing so many talented people at sessions provoked contrary feelings of wanting to give up there and then, and wanting to practice as hard as I can to catch up.
The latter feeling, luckily took over, so any fiddle player at any session is usually better and therefore an inspiration. Listening to other players whilst struggling to keep up I note the odd slide on a D string rather than an open A, gentle harmonising or chord like ways of accompanying a tune one’s not too familiar with. A young fiddler player I know is a member of a quartet and her complementary takes on a tune are quite beautiful. Of course, this is not really traditional but if it sounds good, then that’s good enough.
Finding out on this site that other committed musicians are late starters of my generation is also inspiring.
(no wisecracks, no rudeness, I must be ill)

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Re: Who have or what has inspired you the most in 2003?

Visiting Clare this summer, finding out that ‘the music’ was so vital to the people, but hurling was even more vital.

Re: Who have or what has inspired you the most in 2003?

Two young girls from Prague. Michelle, 14yrs, fiddle, and Anna, 16yrs, flute, who started playing Irish trad. music a few years ago and who are so gifted, nice, intelligent, open minded and full of feelings for others. They impressed me and inspired me and I hope they keep on doing so in 2004. As well as their parents who are lovely people, too.

Sabine

Re: Who have or what has inspired you the most in 2003?

Fellow players who have encouraged me to increase my repertoire to take on board tunes that they know and at the same time have picked up some of those that I know so that nowadays we have a much wider common pool of tunes to pick and choose between at sessions. You know who you are. Thanks.

The other big inspiration. Mick O’Brien and Caoimhin O Raghallaigh’s "Kitty Lie Over". There have been some outstanding recordings of the music in recent years, but the vibe off that collection is unsurpassable. Anyone who hasn’t heard it, ought to get their hands on it as soon as possible.

Re: Who have or what has inspired you the most in 2003?

Aidan, you are right. This CD is great. Caoimhin O’Raghallaigh was over in Germany to teach. So was Mick a few years ago and they are just brilliant.

Sabine

Re: Who have or what has inspired you the most in 2003?

Constant inspiration for me: playing with people loads better than me, finding I’m not *quite* as outclassed as I once was… but still awful compared to how I want to be. That "yes!… but no…" feeling, propelling that fiddle down off the shelf at every spare moment to try to get there, wherever "there" is.

Oh, and all those fantastic tunes, the most inspiring thing of all.

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Re: Who have or what has inspired you the most in 2003?

Beth Leachman (of Siucra). Watching how a musician and performer such as herself learns the whistle and the harp has been inspirational and it’s been fun being able to actually play with her. She’s been more than supportive and encouraging and a lot of the growth I’ve had this year as a player has been due to her. And I adore teaching her students!

Will Harmon. Sensei indeed. Musically, I got more out of a few days in Montana than I had the entire year of 2002, I suspect. As a writer, he’s a role model and mentor. I’m proud and awed that I get to call him a friend as well.

My husband, Pete. He’s been learning the bouzouki. He practises more than I do. Even when he’s detouring (despite all advice from more experienced players), it’s been really fun watching him have so much fun, and it’s been inspiring to watch his progress.

Re: Who have or what has inspired you the most in 2003?

Members of my current band whenever they do what they are good at - be it as singers, backers, inspired instrumentalists or tellers of jokes.

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Re: Who have or what has inspired you the most in 2003?

The thing that has inspired me the most is when I went to see The Chieftains playing here in America. I know it sounds corney, but to me they are awe inspiring. They make me want to keep this music alive. Its like going back to the well to see them. To know that this music is not just music in and of itself, but it goes much deeper. It goes into our very souls and its who some of us are. It reminded me that this music will always keep going on and on, through people like us.

Re: Who have or what has inspired you the most in 2003?

There have been so many things which have inspired me over the last year. Like Danny, I have found this site very encouraging and all the people have been great even although we’ve had a few tiffs and misunderstandings. 🙂)

I heard several great performers, as usual, but I found the veterans inspired me the most; e.g I saw Buddy McMaster live for the first time at Celtic Connections and Mairead’s father joined Altan on stage at the Tonder Festival. It pleases me to know that if I’m lucky enough to live long enough I could have another 30, 40, maybe even more years of fiddling etc left. O.K, so I’ll never be famous(as mentioned in the other thread) but younger musicians might just want to learn a few tunes from me over the years. Hopefully, they will want to learn a wider repertoire than whatever "trendy", "fashionable" tunes are popular in the sessions at the time. Of course, they should learn those too and teach them to me. :>))

John

Re: Who have or what has inspired you the most in 2003?

Most inspiring moment(s)
Realising that I mostly play in tune these days( fiddle).
Being able to play Julia Delaney’s in whatever awful half position key it’s in!
Others joining in with me more now I keep better time.

I can’t wait for next year.
Strayaway GIrl, Kid on the Mountain, who knows!!

Re: Who have or what has inspired you the most in 2003?

Seeing Martin Hayes playing live in Bristol. Although some of his playing may not be directly applicable to sessions, it reveals the beauty of the music in another way.
Those excellent tutors at the Scoile

Re: Who have or what has inspired you the most in 2003?

Ooooo, Trevor, I wish I could have been at that workshop! I love Peter Cooper’s book and companion Cd, I’ve found it to be a great tool, and I love looking at how he does the bowing.

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Re: Who have or what has inspired you the most in 2003?

My violin/fiddle teachers: Nancy, Mr. Pohran and Sylvie. Those guys (and gals) are the best! I can’t thank them enough! And also, my friend Alexis who just released her first CD, April Verch, Natalie MacMaster, Slainte Mhath and my parents. I’m inspired by many people, not just for fiddle but for other things too. My dance teacher, my bodhran teacher, my choir director- they’re all amazingly inspiring and I consider myself lucky to have their mentorship and guidance.