Why So Fast?!
I don’t listen to a great deal of Irish trad by recording artists, some, but mostly I just like session music. What I do listen to is usually the older stuff like Planxty or De Dannan or Bothy Band and some others. Of the older groups, Bothy Band tends to play at a pretty fast clip, but overall most of them seem to play in a way where the melody is recognizable.
I was just on Pandora and plugged in a few artists to create a station, and, one after another, all these more recent recordings kept coming up on tune sets from the likes of Altan and Dervish that are just played constantly at this breakneck pace and there’s little to no respect for the melody and even being able to recognize it. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but the melody is the thing for me. Some of this stuff sounds as if Ingwe Maalmsteen were playing it, and I just can’t wrap my interest around it. Blazing fast playing that serves almost no purpose than to ego-stroke the player for how many notes they can cram into a second.
I know this type of thing has been brought up here before, but it never ceases to amaze me. Is this what people want to hear? Fast playing with little to no respect paid to the melody of the tune?