Celtic Colours 2017 Livestream

Celtic Colours 2017 Livestream

Celtic Colours is on this week in Cape Breton… as usual, awesome shows with great players from here and away. One show a night is livestreamed on Youtube, and it stays up for a day until the next evening when the next show starts. Last night was great…. Seudan and Nuallan playing together for the pipers, fiddles, lots of dancing… highly recommended. Funniest moment for me so far, on another show, was Phil Cunningham coming out to join McCusker, McGoldrick and Doyle, trying to blend in with the bald guys with a set of pantyhose on his head. He co-hosted a tunes session yesterday afternoon with Stan Chapman; couple of hours with Phil and twenty five other people, lots of stories.

Tonight’s livestream will start at 7:30 tonight, Atlantic time. They don’t announce which show until an hour before. https://celtic-colours.com/livestream/

We’ll be in the audience tonight for John MacDougall’s Tunebook in Mabou; he was a fiddler who believed he was channeling tunes from dead fiddlers of old…. somewhere between 38,000 and 45,000 of them (you hear different numbers). He kept them close, and some of his tunebooks circulate to a limited degree, but only 2-3 have really made it into circulation. My daughter will be in a group of young musicians playing a couple of groups.

Check out the streams; lots of Cape Breton music, and other music from around the world. This is a great week on the island.

Re: Celtic Colours 2017 Livestream

Adrian - Can you give us a report on the tunes? Like many others, I’ve heard for years about John MacDougall’s compulsive tune-making, but, as far as I know, I’ve never heard any of the tunes. I’ve long wondered if that was because no one had felt motivated to play any of them more than once, or because the manuscripts had never made it out of a trunk under his nephew’s bed, or what ……

There are a couple of clips of John MacDougall fiddling on youtube, and, to my peculiar mind, they are about the best CB fiddling I’ve heard. But he’s not playing his own tunes.

Re: Celtic Colours 2017 Livestream

@meself: I’m in the process of separating each tune in this video in to individual tunes, so that we can work on documenting them, and possibly start building a collection of John MacDougall tunes.

Re: Celtic Colours 2017 Livestream

Good, thanks! I assume you’re referring to the vid. linked above - I just started watching. I have to admit I’m a little skeptical of the claim that he composed "20 to 50 tunes a day" - at least, I find it hard to imagine how he could get that many actually written out on paper. Unless he just wrote them out directly, without actually playing them? But - I wasn’t there, and many other people were closer to the action …….

Re: Celtic Colours 2017 Livestream

If you consider 38,000ish tunes over 40 years(14,600 days), he really only needed to manage 2.6 odd tunes a day, so if he did dozens in a single day, and no tunes another day. You could see how over time he could manage that many tunes.

Re: Celtic Colours 2017 Livestream

Yeah, I didn’t do the math, I just saw that ‘20-50 a day’ claim, and couldn’t quite believe it. And while I realize that the numbers given are estimates - I wonder how many tunes have actually been counted, and how they came up with the 38,000 (or whatever) figure. When I first heard about JM’s tune-writing, the figure given was ‘about 3,000’ - of course, he still had another 10 or 20 years left at that point.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not trying to rain on anyone’s parade; these are just idle thoughts. And what I’ve listened to so far in the concert is great.

Re: Celtic Colours 2017 Livestream

When Jerry Holland’s second collection was published, one of John MacDougall’s tunes John Charlie’s Lament is included(also played by Shelly Campbell in the video above), and below that is a description that reads:

"John MacDougall is undisputable the most prolific composer in the history of Cape Breton music. To date he estimates his output at over 25,000 tunes. On the last day we visited, he had composed a dozen tunes before dusk. John Charlie’s Lament was written in the ’60s. It was one of John’s first compositions. Jerry learned it from his father, who interpreted it as more of a waltz."

So in 2000, John had estimated his own output of tunes around 25,000.

Re: Celtic Colours 2017 Livestream

Just finished watching the concert - tremendous. A lot of top-notch, really inspired tunes - many more than I had dared hope for! What an accomplishment.

Adrian: thanks for the notice and the link.

Khelton: thanks for the comments, and please keep us posted as to your project involving the tunes.

Re: Celtic Colours 2017 Livestream

The concert was superb… by the time I got to looking for tickets, there were five left out of 1400 (that’s by word of mouth as to the number there), and i needed four. I was front row centre, seated beside the camerman for the stream. If you watched the stream, you heard the stories by the musicians, and because I was around some of the rehearsals etc., I heard a few more. As to where he kept them, Shelly went to get her bow rehaired, and he directed her to grab a book out of the large garbage can where some of them were ‘stored’…. lots of manuscript books. As to the number, from the folks who have been looking at them, they seem pretty solid on the 38,000 + number. And he was so protective of them, as you heard… whisk them away, or stop playing if it seemed like someone was going to pick one up.

Anyway, great concert, I was a bit surprised actually to see it generate the interest it did. I really like the tunes; I’ve been hearing the ones the Feis kids learned at home, and am learning them now myself. A moment for me was Kyle Gillis playing the one written in Kenneth MacKenzie’s mother’s hand, with Kenneth (his mother was the inspiration for ‘In Praise of Maureen macKenzie https://thesession.org/tunes/12578) The tunebooks have been circulating in preparation for this concert, and maybe before; I think we’ll start seeing them enter the repertoire now.

Weirdy little story for me: dropped my daughter off at 4 for the soundcheck, stayed a while, then cut out. My wife and friends were coming down later, so I had some time to drive around. I love Mabou, but don’t get to spend enough time there. Had old music from the Beatons of Mabou Coal Mines on the player (and a couple of weeks ago had been down to Judique where my daughter tried a half dozen fiddles of Kinnon Beaton’s, and fell in love with one we took home)… so I’m listening to Kinnon and Donald Angus, and there was the road to the Coal Mines, so I went down there. First time, but seemed right. I’m an idiot for never going in before, it’s really beautiful. Only one named road off the main one, called Mountain Road. Almost went up it, but saved it for next time. A while later, I’m sitting in the audience hearing Ian MacDougall talk about John, and his trailer in the woods… on the Mountain Road.

Two more nights of streaming: I love this festival, the music this year has been terrific. We’ve streamed every night we weren’t at something. My daughter is volunteering at two Fortress Louisbourg concerts (she worked there as an interpreter this summer)… Feargal Scahill and Ryan Molloy were at the first one, so she met them there, and it turned out they came to HER school to play… CC is big on getting musicians in the schools to play for the kids. They asked for her, and pulled my girl out of class, and she played a set with them for the students.

Re: Celtic Colours 2017 Livestream

Did anyone manage to get a recording or download of the concert? I recorded every set, and everything is accounted for except for the first one, which happened to be my favourite tunes. I know Ian said he would share them but it’s much more convienent if someone here has them.

I’m in the process of uploading all of the sets so they are documented and people can start learning the tunes, but I’d like to have a recording for the first set because I only have a snippet of the first two tunes, and it was a set of seven tunes.