Usefulness of self-isolation?

Usefulness of self-isolation?

Being an oldie, I’ve spent lots of time at home on my own in the current corona virus lock-down. Though lock-down has just eased in the UK (less quickly in Scotland however!), I will have some regrets at the idea of "normalization"

I have recently bought some cds online, including Planxty, with Christy Moore singing, and Fergal Scahill (fiddle). It’s been lovely listening to these - also felt nostalgic for Joan Baez and got a bumper 3 cd set (cheap). Have listened to old favourites and occasionally try to play along on my fiddle, with limited success as I am slow and don’t often keep up. Will conclude there and listen to Planxty.

Folk in England have been able to go to pubs just today, get hair dressed, also get married as long as social distancing is observed. Have saved money on beer, but got more hooked on the smokes (worse).

Any comments. And let’s hope people in US have had a good 4th July in the circumstances.

Re: Usefulness of self-isolation?

I’m in the Southeastern US. The sessions in pubs are all closed down, and some of us are doing online sessions with Zoom or Jamkazam. Shannon and Matt Heaton offer a nice slightly slow session on Youtube, Saturdays 2:00pm our time (8:00 pm your time?). It’s great for the new people and slower players because no one but you can hear your mistakes. A few of us played together as bands or duos before the plague, and we’ve been doing "social distanced", 6 feet apart, private sessions, usually outside under trees or in a large porch or living room, so as not to get heat stroke. We’re a bit nervous about the safety of this, but we were getting frustrated at not being able to get together. Otherwise, I’m doing daily practicing on the tunes, trying to get new tunes memorized and up-to-speed. I have a couple students that I teach online, but otherwise my schedule allows me to fiddle as much as I’d like. I’m enjoying that.

Re: Usefulness of self-isolation?

It must be very nice to sit out under trees and have a (socially distanced) session. Hope the weather is kind i.e. not too hot, not too much rain. It has been raining plenty in Glasgow but people two doors along have social gatherings and have put up a small marquee, also they have a barbecue for better summer weather. Sadly, I haven’t heard any music from them, they just like parties (small number of attendees).

I don’t know when the Scottish government will allow pubs and restaurants to re-open. Now we require to wear face masks in all shops (also obligatory on buses in Glasgow). I haven’t been to the city centre for ages, buskers will be having a lean time, a pity as music of all sorts used to be an everyday attraction, bagpipes of course, fiddlers from Eastern Europe (who sometimes play 2 different instruments at the same time). I miss all of that! Some pretty good singers were to be heard most days, usually playing guitar to accompany songs. And I like South American musicians (traditional, eg from Bolivia) not a frequent show, but welcome.

A café that had an open mike night alternate Fridays has been closed up because of the virus and the Polish girl organiser must be finding life hard. Anyone could contribute - music such as a Polish choir, women’s choir, soloists, poets, campaigners, you never knew what would come up on the night. I hope Anya’s café will survive, lovely décor, nice meals and cakes. interesting art work on the walls, not tomention the open nights. The café is on the south side, not far from me, with good luck and some hard work, perhaps it may not be gone for good.

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Do I live two doors down from you? I’ve set a tarp in my yard, and we’ve been having small gatherings around the barbeque since we were allowed to do so.

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"Folk in England have been able to … also get married as long as social distancing is observed."

Must make for a pretty disappointing honeymoon, though. 🙂

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My old dance classes are starting up again soon, but I’m in another region now :(
There are classes not far from where I’ll be working soon but I’m not sure they are dancing in the hall rather than the Zoomies. Dancing at home is still fun though.

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I’m in England and really missing sessions…
We’ve also moved to playing online through zoom (like skype) and it is great in that you can chat a bit and play along to tunes without others hearing you, but it’s nothing like playing with a friendly group in a pub.
6 of us met in one person’s large garden to play which was brilliant, but the British summer has meant we haven’t been able to repeat it yet…
I do wonder when/if sessions will happen in pubs again…
With pubs struggling to make money from the fewer clients and the concept of lots of people close together, some with wind instruments, it doesn’t seem like it will be anytime soon.

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Johnny Jay : at the bottom of the garden outside my Glasgow tenement there’s the River Cart, presently bloated with (rain) water. Apparently there are fishes in the river - though no anglers in this neighbourhood. Giant hogweed’s been in flower on the river-bank (this Junenand now in July) - bloomin pest and gets into gardens. Please excuse irrelevance of this comment to the discussion topic!

Is River Cart anywhere near your home??? Have a good day, one and all. (PS a wall separates us from the river I am relieved to say, if it hadn’t been built, infants wld be in danger…)

Re: Usefulness of self-isolation?

Hey, Susan K!

Are you near Snuff Mill Bridge? I used to live near there, many years ago. Fished in the River Cart as a kid, too!

Also visited the haunted castle opposite Court Knowe as well 🙂

Re: Usefulness of self-isolation?

Burns song "The Gallant Weaver" refers to the River Cart running to the sea with many a flower and spreading tree, there lives a lad, the lad for me, he is my gallant weaver." Burns wrote the words and set them to a pleasant traditional tune.

Re: Usefulness of self-isolation?

Hi Jim Dorans, no, I don’t know Snuff Mill Bridge. What is a snuff mill, sounds weird? I never went fishing - Dad did staying on Rathlin Island (off coast of N. Ireland) in the 1960s, he called mackerel "the dustbin of the sea".

Re: Usefulness of self-isolation?

Susan,
I’m wondering why you have addressed me when I haven’t actually posted anything to the thread? Also, I don’t understand where I come into anything related to the River Cart. 🙂

Pleased to see you back in business though…

Re: Usefulness of self-isolation?

Well we all have time to look things up during self-isolation. The Gallant Weaver is sung to a tune called "The Weaver’s March" which apparently exists in both the Scottish and English traditions.
Some years ago, I was doing John Kirkpatrick’s big band workshop at Sidmouth Festival, and one of the tunes we played was"English Courage Displayed" - same tune. He did in fact ask if anyone knew the tune by another title, and looked slightly incredulous when I said it was the tune to a Burns song! So I sang a couple of lines of it……

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Sorry Johnny Jay, I got you mixed up with DrSilverSpear, can’t understand why so must put it down to senility.

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The worst thing is the lack of stimulation or inspiration. Music seems to be like conversation. I need something to play about or I find the question "Why?" is left unfinished as I lapse slowly into silence.

Re: Usefulness of self-isolation?

Susan K - Snuff Mill bridge - you can Google it for pictures.

The location is obviously remote from you - the official postcode is Glasgow G44 5TP.

The district is called Cathcart.

You mentioned Rathlin Island - did you ever come across a fiddler called Robert Watt, from there? He would have been in his teenage prime in the 60s. As far as I know he is still knocking out tunes on his fiddle.

Re: Usefulness of self-isolation?

I feel like the quarantine has been reasonably good for my playing. At the beginning of the stay at home orders, after I had canceled the two sessions that I anchor, and also canceled the tune learning class I do every week, I was worried that I would go insane without the music. So I started recording videos for my students to learn tunes from, and I have more time to work on learning tunes, and writing music. Since that point in time, I have also started playing regularly with a bunch of my session mates using JamKazam and Jamulus. And that has been fun, because they have learned all the tunes I have put out videos for, and I have learned a bunch that other players brought forth.

A lot of my friends are doing house sessions, but I’m only playing in person with other people while social distancing, and only with one or two other people at a time, where it’s easier to take the precautions. So there have only been 3 times in the last 4 months that I have played in person with someone. But JamKazam sessions can really be good enough to make it easy to say no to other more awkward social gatherings for music. If I didn’t have it (and the people to play with), I am sure I would be taking more risks to play music in person…

Re: Usefulness of self-isolation?

I’ve been using the time to seriously woodshed on both B/C and Chromatic button accordion, haven’t practiced this much ever, a couple of hours a day most days since March 16th. I find it sort of a moving meditation, very calming when things are going to heck with the rest of the world.

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I’m on the other side of the Clyde. Near the canal.

Covid has been terrible for my playing. Absolutely shite. In the foreseeable absence of sessions, I’ve found myself with zero psych and I knock out a tune once every couple of weeks, if that. What’s happened to me? I used to care more but I’ve become bitter and cynical and nihilistic.

Re: Usefulness of self-isolation?

Mackeagan, I’m jealous! I’m also in the Southeast, but I imagine here in Alabama we’ve got more heat and humidity than you do in NC. I’ve been bugging my session mates to get together outdoors for some socially distanced tune playing, but no one is willing to put up with the heat. I’ve even suggested that it just be 2 or 3 of us at a park around sunset, but everyone’s scared to give it a shot.
Also our session venue has been back open for several weeks now (which is stupid of them, but I digress). I worry that by the time everyone else is ready to start the session up again we’ll have long since lost our venue.

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@DrSilverSpear sorry to hear that 🙁
Have you given online sessions a go? They’re not the same but I think it’s the best we’ll have for a bit 🙂

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I’ll second that: they were a bit disastrous when we first tried them, and people had yet to find out how to tweak their audio settings for music, but most of the Zoom sessions I do now run pretty smoothly, and thanks to one of our members here for spelling out what we needed to do for best reception. ( Skype NOT so good!) There are still plenty of sceptics out there who won’t even try it, but I agree, it’s a whole lot better than nothing, and the social benefit, especially for those living alone, is as important as the music.

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DrSilverSpear that’s rough. I wish I had some wise words to help you get inspired to play and enjoy music more often. But I’m the last person to know anything that wise. Wish I was but I’m not.
Having said that I’ll follow up with something completely unrelated which might "or might not" alleviate a bit of pull toward bitter, cynical nihilism. It’s Sarah Cooper doing Trump ~ https://tinyurl.com/ycbjbalc
I cannot stop watching her to get through all this "stuff".

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