Non ‘speed merchant’ whistle players?

Non ‘speed merchant’ whistle players?

It seems to be a compensatory thing that maybe the players feel what they don’t have in power/tone they make up for by playing as fast as humanly possible.

Mary bergin, vinnie kilduff etc.

Micho is the only one of the top of my head who plays at a relaxed pace.

Can you name me any others?

Re: Non ‘speed merchant’ whistle players?

I find that the notes are not as clear when played at incredible speed, they all sort of mush into each other; to my ear ofc not that I could play that fast, but wouldnt want to anyhow :)

Re: Non ‘speed merchant’ whistle players?

Mary Bergin does play fast, but I wouldn’t say the notes mush into each other. When I listen to her albums, each note is played with clarity in my opinion.

Posted by .

Re: Non ‘speed merchant’ whistle players?

Speed and clarity aren’t mutually exclusive by any stretch of the imagination when you put every note in it’s place in time and pitch. I hear players who don’t have that distinction play fast and sloppy with the end result being not very pleasant, and the player thinks they are doing just fine.

Re: Non ‘speed merchant’ whistle players?

While I agree that people will often speed up a tune that they don’t know completely to pass over the missed material (or set dancers will push for a faster pace when they don’t actually know the complex steps), that Mary Bergin is doing this to hide a lack in her playing is a bit of a reach.

Re: Non ‘speed merchant’ whistle players?

Yes, but the OP asked about good whistle players who play slower (even if they might be good enough to play clearly also at high speed). Well, now it’s actually a flute player that occurs to me, but we whistle players often learn from the flute’rs. I’m thinking of Brid O’Gorman https://thesession.org/recordings/5527
I’m assuming Co. Clare, in particular, would have some more exponents of this style

Re: Non ‘speed merchant’ whistle players?

Brid O’Donohue, Kathleen Conneely, Siobhan & Una Hogan (Siun).

Re: Non ‘speed merchant’ whistle players?

Arthur, Mary Bergin is not compensating for any lack in her ability as a whistle player. She may be too fast for your taste though her timing and tone are as good as any whistle player I’ve heard. If you want to hear more whistlers like Micho Russell it might just be the recording of whistle you are finding are fast. In other words there are whistlers who may be able to play fast, and those tunes get recorded, but they may also play well at moderate or slow tempo. Usually you can find recordings of slow airs, like Seán Potts & Paddy Moloney ~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBIM4fufoRc Unless you’re not interested in airs and want to find some relaxed jigs, moderate hornpipes and slow reels play with power and good tone on whistle?

Posted by .

Re: Non ‘speed merchant’ whistle players?

Mary plays fast. She also plays in a variety of keys on various whistles. That is why you use speed/pitch changer software to play along with her. I find she is an excellent, clear and remarkably good model to play along with. Simply slow her down to your preferred speed, and since she favors a Eb whistle a lot, you’ll want to step her playinbg down a half tone. She’sn really a great model. Just slowly increase the playback as you become familiar with the tune.

Re: Non ‘speed merchant’ whistle players?

Arthur, are you asking for whistle playing at a relaxed pace so you can listen to their playing or so you can play along with the recording? If you’re playing along with recordings consider how a teacher might get you started, even Mary Bergin. Since you’re new to whistle she would probably start you out with an air or a relaxed jig.
Then as you progress she would get you comfortable with hearing and playing at a moderate pace.
Only over time, depending on how you pick it up, would she have you playing all the tunes at a fast pace.
I think it’s a natural progression which requires patience. Patience helps, without it tunes can feel too fast;
even when they are well played.

Posted by .

Re: Non ‘speed merchant’ whistle players?

As the late great Barney McKenna famously quoted " you just need to listen more quickly’ Sorry Arthur , I couldn’t resist.

Re: Non ‘speed merchant’ whistle players?

There should be a’like’ button.

Posted by .

Re: Non ‘speed merchant’ whistle players?

Try the Quiet House from Noreen O’Sullivan. A nicely paced recording.

Posted by .

Re: Non ‘speed merchant’ whistle players?

>that Mary Bergin is doing this to hide a lack in her playing is a bit of a reach.

I never said this, at least not how it was interpreted. I was saying it (half tongue in cheek which no1 seemed to pick up on) that it is an overcompensation for the lacking qualities of the instrument not the player.

Like bodhrun players might bang extra hard to be heard for lack of other ways to express on their limited instrument.

Re: Non ‘speed merchant’ whistle players?

Ok I reread my OP and that is my fault. :P What I meant originally was what I just said above :)

Regarding why I want to hear it more slowly. I prefer it like that and would prefer to listen to the type of person who would naturally play at a slower pace since they would probably have a more mellow disposition.

I like simple playing always have, and speed is an unnessessary thing in my book like over ornamentation. When I played fiddle I liked tara connaghan and such since they played at a more relaxed pace and didnt rush things.

Sure it is alot easier to learn by slowing down the speedsters but I also prefer and enjoy learning from someone who would originally play that way rather than having to manipulate a players’ recording who didn’t play how I prefer in the first place. I will do the latter if there are no examples of the former but would prefer the former.

Look at how slow and gently micho used to play. He was in no hurry.

Re: Non ‘speed merchant’ whistle players?

But I will certainly concede that the slower players are in the minority so it will be easier to slow down the fast players for learning purposes. But it would just be nice to find at least one or two players who prefer playing at these more pedestrian paces.

Re: Non ‘speed merchant’ whistle players?

Don’t worry - you’ll find the ability to play at normal whistle pace soon!

I remember you disliked ornamentation on fiddle too.

Holding to a specific individual idea of what good music is can be very useful. In addition, some time spent trying to understand the popularity of other styles is fruitful too!

It could save from being put off by great players who - to your current ear - are lacking!

Re: Non ‘speed merchant’ whistle players?

" overcompensation for the lacking qualities of the instrument"

What a preposterous assumption. People play fast because they want to play fast. Nothing more, nothing less.

Dance music is meant to be played fast.

Posted by .

Re: Non ‘speed merchant’ whistle players?

Aw c’mon Aaron, some of us geezers don’t dance all that fast…:)

Re: Non ‘speed merchant’ whistle players?

Reels and jigs being dance music, I would think that any player of any instrument would play reels and jigs more or less at the tempo used by dancers.

I don’t want to sound like the "get off my lawn" guy but I think ITM drifting away from its function as dance music doesn’t do the music any favours.

Re: Non ‘speed merchant’ whistle players?

Unfortunately, many players of Irish music outside Ireland have no idea of its primary function as dance music, but play it like rude stuff off a shovel. The best place to play this music is anywhere in Ireland, though preferably in the back room of Friels in Milltown Malbay, outside of Willy Week.

Re: Non ‘speed merchant’ whistle players?

"overcompensation for the lacking qualities of the instrument"

You say the instrument lacks qualities, which ones may I ask??

Posted by .

Re: Non ‘speed merchant’ whistle players?

Well Richard - it didn’t hurt it when the folk revival saw people upping their tempos… quite the opposite.

Letting the music appeal to diverse people only seems to benefit the tradition!

I expect - just as people dance to 1000mph tunes on this day - those unfettered by perceptions of a tradition needing kept up, would have played at breakneck speeds for all of us lunatics that like a tune at warp factor 1000 :-D

I expect that formal dancing is only a tiny part of our rich tradition and placing it as the pinnacle and its raison d’être is a little bit weird.

I think it’s probably a popular view on here - and it initially sounds convincing - but really there’s no need to panic that people diversify this old tradition ;)

Re: Non ‘speed merchant’ whistle players?

>You say the instrument lacks qualities, which ones may I ask??

Well it is a ‘weaker’ instrument than the fiddle say or the flute.

I certainly don’t get the ‘wow’ factor of the huge tone that the fiddle produces when you play it without a mute- which I always used to do and was always surprised how loud ot was without- too loud in fact as it would aggravate my tinnitus.

But whistle is better for other reasons. I am a minimalist so I chose it for that reason and its transportability.

Fiddle is more like a roaring tiger whereas whistle is a dainty songbird, both can be appreciated in their own right though but the songbird is not as ‘strong’ as the tiger.

Re: Non ‘speed merchant’ whistle players?

Arthur, how specifically does that stuff relate to people playing fast? There are no fast fiddle or flute players? Please explain.

Posted by .

Re: Non ‘speed merchant’ whistle players?

Aaron, Arthur said he intended to be tongue in cheek with his OP. He wasn’t, but he ‘fessed up to it. I don’t agree with everything he says but I think he is mostly interested in asking about players who play at moderate or slow, relaxed tempo. It’s a good question and I would like to hear some responses to that.

I don’t fault you for asking about fast playing, Aaron, but I would like to not loose track of what I think the OP is hoping to find.

Cheers!

Posted by .

Re: Non ‘speed merchant’ whistle players?

"I don’t fault you for asking about fast playing, Aaron, but I would like to not loose track of what I think the OP is hoping to find."

I really must irritate you to have you keep following me around and passing judgment on what I’ve said or how I’ve said it. Do we need to go down this road again?

Posted by .

Re: Non ‘speed merchant’ whistle players?

Aaron, that is not my intention. I beg pardon if I have offended you.

Posted by .

Re: Non ‘speed merchant’ whistle players?

You might enjoy and appreciate John Doonan’s album, ‘At the Feis’, even though he’s flute not whistle.

Re: Non ‘speed merchant’ whistle players?

I find whistle to be complex and expressive. Perhaps it’s its diatonic nature that makes a person think it is limited or lesser than other instruments.

Re: Non ‘speed merchant’ whistle players?

I would point out that John Doonan plays piccolo, and so sounds in the same octave as a tin whistle. His playing shows great clarity and lucidity.