COVID-19 pandemic: seisiun substitutes?

COVID-19 pandemic: seisiun substitutes?

In places where pubs are closed and people are instructed to avoid socializing (which is most places), how to keep up with music? Much social interaction has shifted to video chats, but the latency/delay problem prohibits playing in sync. (I’ve tried it; it doesn’t work.) I’ve been considering doing "round-robin"-style collaborative recordings via Acapella or Bandlab, but it’s not the same. What are folks doing to keep up their seisiun chops, besides practicing by themselves at home?

Re: COVID-19 pandemic: seisiun substitutes?

I play along with CDs a lot… I just go through the whole cd and play along with the tunes I know. Not a substitute for playing live, but does help keep the chops up, as you said.

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Re: COVID-19 pandemic: seisiun substitutes?

My personal silver lining during this downtime is practicing tunes that are so obscure that I’ll never get my local session mates to pick them up, but I enjoy playing them. Anything that keeps up the practice on my instruments will have me ready to join back in when we can all play music together.

I’m also trying to get better at playing a few favorite slow airs. That’s a solo pursuit. Slow airs don’t work in sessions, so I’m trying to take advantage of the alone time to get better at them.

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I’ve had a virtual session playlist for some time. Culled mostly from YouTube, I look for sets I know that lack flute that I then play. About 90 minutes. Then I have a Best Of compilation from my local session of about two hours. That should hold me.

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It’s definitely no substitute for a session, but I’ve started recording and sharing one tune a day on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLgaHsrPMLcFCTp30gZV5WvjQ76lTDt-lW

And on my own website:
https://adactio.com/notes/tunes

(If anyone has any requests, pick something out of my tunebook 🙂 https://thesession.org/members/1/tunebook )

I’m finding that this little bit of a routine is quite helpful. Is anyone else doing something similar? I notice on Instagram that there’s a tag for "quarantunes", but there’s not much Irish stuff there.

In terms of trying to recreate the session experience, there’s this discussion about a service called Jamkazam:
https://thesession.org/discussions/44713

But because of issues with latency, a "round robin" approach to virtual sessions seems to be a better bet, as described here:
https://thesession.org/discussions/44712
and here:
https://thesession.org/discussions/44702

There’s always the option of playing along with pre-recorded videos on YouTube, as discussed here:
https://thesession.org/discussions/44698

And finally, not an online session, but there’s online busking going on, as described by CreadurMawnOrganig here:
https://thesession.org/discussions/44689
( You can listen to him at https://www.streetjelly.com/MidWalesBusker )

As others have said, this is also a good opportunity to go through your tunebook and focus on some tunes. I’ve been doing that a bit, as well as going through sets I’ve put together:
https://thesession.org/members/1/tunebook
https://thesession.org/members/1/sets

My wife, who plays fiddle, has been using this opportunity to make the most out of the lessons on the Online Academy of Irish Music:
https://www.oaim.ie/

If you get an account there, be sure to use the voucher code THE_SESSION2019 when you sign up! 🙂

Re: COVID-19 pandemic: seisiun substitutes?

I’m not too bothered about playing in a session in "real time" online.. i.e. with all the interaction etc although I can see how this might appeal to many.

However, it’s a great opportunity to play along with recordings of previous sessions, other musicians both amateur and professional on either video or audio platforms. Also, a chance to revisit my vast music collection and to try out different things for myself.

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I don’t know how this would work re; trad music sessions. But last Friday I was involved in a virtual singing session, based on the normal weekly singing session at An Goilín Singers Session held at Club na Múineoirí, in Parnell Square, Dublin every Friday night. It was a bit surreal, but what great craic. Over 100 singers tuned in (far more than would normally attend a session) and it was great craic.

Now, a trad music session is quite different, as the players would have to be in tune playing together, and there appears to be a time lag. So I’m not sure how it would work. Our singing session was conducted via zoom.com. So, all I’d say is ‘give it a try’ using zoom or some other platform!

It would give everyone a lift, anyway!

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I’ve been wondering the same thing and restarted an old discussion:
https://thesession.org/discussions/35251#comment893934

Do you know what technology was used for the singing session. I’m just curious why latency/playing in tune together is not an issue for singing as much as for instruments?

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I’ll just mention (not plugging) I use a Samson G Track USB condenser microphone that does its own analog-to-digital conversion. I also have a Blue Yeti, which is similar - also USB - but with fewer features but what I feel is a more acoustically neutral construction (no parts that can vibrate).

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The Blue Yeti USB mic is what I’m using too. I’m pretty happy with it.

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I’ve done a couple round robin Zoom sessions, but mostly I’ve been going through my last couple months of session voice memos (before the quarantine) and brushing up on those.

Unfortunately, believe it or not, I seem to have less time to play because my poor wife is stuck in so many Zoom meetings.

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>> I’m just curious why latency/playing in tune together is not an issue for singing as much as for instruments?

A couple of reasons. First off, many of the singing sessions are round robin format, where only one person is singing at a time. But also, latency matters less with slower melodies, and matters less with flowing melody. And in fact, we have found in our "real time" JamKazam sessions, it’s good to have one instrument that is percussive, like the banjo. But when you have multiple instruments that have a percussive attack, you really feel the latency because they don’t match up as well. Bodhran is a problem, even at 20 ms of latency. But with wind and bowed instruments, where the attack is smoother and there is more sustain, you can tolerate more latency and feel like you’re playing together reasonably well.

With the JamKazam sessions that we’ve been having in the last few days, I have found that it’s better to have a fairly relaxed pace. If you’re playing up at a fast session speed, the same amount of latency is off by more, and it can become untenable.

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There is certainly no shortage of music to be had here, without resorting to previously recorded YouTube clips, but so far, nothing that truly corresponds to a live face- to-face session.
Most of what I have seen or even taken part in, is via Facebook Live, but is more a succession of solo or duo performances. Of course, you can sing or play along, but no-one else will hear you, though you can, of course, post comments and emojis!
Enjoying the closed Covideo Folk Club on Facebook, which only permits live performances, (no old YouTubes of yourself!) and has spread worldwide faster than Covid itself! Great to see some old friends from other areas far from home on it.
Most of the musicians who were, until lockdown, regular session hosts in Edinburgh’s folk pubs are doing daily online sessions, including the "Quarantine Sessions" and "Captain’s Folk Music": there is the opportunity for others to contribute to these also via Facebook Live.
And I have to commend the live broadcasts from:
A) Cathy Jordan of Dervish who does a song a day at 5pm British Summer Time, and
B) Tim Edey, who has done a number of live concerts from his home: 2 and a half hours’-worth last night! Next one due next Saturday from 10pm BST. He requests donations, almost apologetically….
Both of these via Facebook Live on their own pages.

Hoping to try out a band practice via Zoom, maybe next week, but realising that latency will probably not allow us all to play together un-muted: taking on board the limitations noted on another thread here: useful information + glad of any more tips! More likely to be lead player plays, and others play along at home, but muted.

And finally, have been having a wee session every day or two, via FaceTime, with a friend who lives distantly: some latency, but we just plough on!

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Jeremy,

wow. You’ve never put yourself out there before, kudos for doing so. Am I the only one who is shocked that Jeremy plays mandolin?

I was under the impression that you were Asian and you played the fiddle. I played with a "Jeremy" before and he was really good so I don’t know who the hell that was but I like your playing also.

I play along with musicians on you tube on a regular basis so this is no new thing for me, playing by myself that is. I get really excited to play with new musicians as I like to learn from all different types. So, I’m always scratching the internet and old tapes to twiddle away to. Anything new, like Jeremy’s videos, is gold to me. I value musicians I’ve never heard over ones I’ve heard a million times. Those old records and vinyl is scratched into my brain but I love hearing musicians evolving out of the woodwork.

Some of my favorite albums are solos. So, although I’ve never made a solo album like Fiachra O’Regan, it’s the type of album I think all of us should shoot for. Can you play by yourself? and create a sound that encompasses the whole of tradition? Now you have all the time you need to practice.

Good time to teach the kids, that’s what I’ve been up to. Thanks Jeremy for posting your music. Trish, could you post a link to Tim Edey’s live performances?

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Re: COVID-19 pandemic: seisiun substitutes?

but Jesus,

you could’ve played the tunes at least twice!

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Re: COVID-19 pandemic: seisiun substitutes?

Respect to Jeremy for playing that particular Paddy Fahey reel [number 10 on his playlist] I have always found that one especially awkward! Since you r inviting requests from your tunebook, Jeremy, ‘Earl’s Chair’ please its long been one of my favorites to play on mando.

Re: COVID-19 pandemic: seisiun substitutes?

Maybe it’s just me exploring my inner pessimist, ut there are no subsitutes for a session. The experience is more than sitting around knocking out tunes. If that’s all it was I’d probably quit and take something like quilting. The session, at least any that I’d choose to attend, is an intimate gathering of similar minded musicians who share tunes, ideas, humor, experiences, and sometimes part of their lives. I know there are other satisfying ways to play, things to do involving music, and I do them. That said I miss the session.

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christy taylor wrote:
"Since you r inviting requests from your tunebook, Jeremy, ‘Earl’s Chair’ please its long been one of my favorites to play on mando."

Good call! Here you go:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MZ5mh-PwP0


A few flubs in there but I’m trying not to be too precious about this quick recordings so I’m playing and uploading them without do-overs.

Re: COVID-19 pandemic: seisiun substitutes?

"The session, at least any that I’d choose to attend, is an intimate gathering of similar minded musicians who share tunes, ideas, humor, experiences, and sometimes part of their lives." Four out of the five won’t suffer too much from 100ms or so of latency 🙂

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‘Earl’s Chair’ nicely picked Jeremy, thanks. When I play it I start by hitting the low G and D to give the effect of a G chord, an idea I nicked off a Mike McGoldrick cd, or was it Lunasa? Can’t remember. I’ll maybe come up with some more suggestions if you’re ok for it!

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The G chord is definitely there on the McGoldrick album "Morning Rory".

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Jeremy, those were great. I have to get my mandolin out now

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For Beid, and anyone else: here’s a link to Tim Edey’s last Saturday night concert:
https://www.facebook.com/tim.edey.5/videos/2630947430473414/
It’s still available, and he’s doing another this coming Saturday at 10pm BST.

Currently listening to Richard Thompson who was on the same night, but again still available: fast forward to 12 minutes where he gets started!
https://www.facebook.com/RichardThompsonMusic/videos/144162387012169/

Did a wee session this afternoon with about 6 friends on Facebook Messenger video: pretty good, but again had to take it in turns to be unmuted because of latency.

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Myself and Lawrence O’Hearn recorded separately through the net these reels, Lawrence from Quebec in Canada and myself in Bandon County Cork as part of the social isolation thing, I hope you like it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e17Tk3NeXxI

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OAIM as previously mentioned has VR sessions and a great backing track section where you can play along with a bunch of common tunes with melody and/or accompaniment and at 3 different speed settings.

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Come visit us at the Mary O’s Thursday Night Virtual Session! (Which now happens also on Monday nights.) More info here:

www.tune.supply/virtual-session

Next leaders are Shane and Colin Farrell (from Lunasa) and Dan Lowery. Here’s last week’s session with Cillian Valelly and Kevin Crawford:
https://youtu.be/neCl3ILaodY


Questions, let me know!
-caitlin warbelow

Re: COVID-19 pandemic: seisiun substitutes?

Shouldn’t this thread be stickied at the top, otherwise its annoying to find.

Re: COVID-19 pandemic: seisiun substitutes?

Yes it should