Eccentricity

Eccentricity

What happened to the culture of eccentrics in and around our music? What would you account for the almost complete loss of wild characters playing music? Everyone seems so normal, professional and reserved all the sudden. Is it the demise of the devil? Being "off your rocker" use to be somewhat normal and our music always reserved a chair for these differentiated folks. When did we become so mainstream, civilized and calm? Has the music been colonized by normalcy? In this view, how can we decolonize our music for a more inclusive community for eccentric people? Is it possible eccentricity have been systematically erased from contemporary modern society? What happened to dissent, disorder and civil disobedience?

or on another note, do you believe the de-eccentricity of the Earth and moon has been unbalanced by astronauts walking on the moon? How did the pelican balance a pint on his beak as he was surfing? What masks do you wear? If barristers stopped wearing big wigs, why are they still called barristers? Does the word barrister offend you? It annoys me and I don’t know why. Now, what happened to the craic?

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I love "eccentrics" and "characters".
Of course, you get the odd one or two individuals who can be a nuisance or musically disruptive but I miss the good people who add a little bit of humour and can even teach you something a little different.

"Serious" sessions, however, do work better with a degree of conformity but some have become just too rigid.
Also, I don’t think that formal learning and education in traditional music has helped either. Whether it be it adult learning "ALP style" or the various college and university courses. There now seems to be a set or prescribed way of doing things. Not necessary "snobbery" or "elitism" as such but things seem much more regimental these days.

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Why would an eccentric person want to join in a session?

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Beid
Totally stunned! Was on the point of writing near enough the same.
Last week I was was accused of playing tunes not known. Well, after 45 years on the road I reckon I’ve heard a lot of tunes and met and played with some incredible ‘eccentric’ musicians AND have had the most fabulous time in the process.
I think that means a lot of my repertoire is ‘known’.
Where are the sets of half an hour, tune after tune following seamlessly?
Why do people play only two or three tunes?
Where is the surge when everyone is in the zone?
It appears that so much I hear in these times is derived from x’s latest recording and y’s CD.
There doesn’t seem to exist the spontaneity anymore.
I don’t mind other views, but why do so many here at The Session get precious and say so many instruments with such and such?

Sundays, back a while, in the Liverpool Irish Centre, maybe a dozen fiddles, four flutes, both accordions, mandolins, banjos, whistles galore etc., and the music just flowed!
And what characters!
Eccentric? No!
We never thought that!
But every person was unique, not a robot, and my word, what variety and hilarious humour did that ever exude.
This, OUR, music does not need sterile sanitised conditions.
It exists and thrives on the individuality of those who play it.
NO FORMULA!

All the best
Brian x

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Theres plenty still! But perhaps they stick together and avoid the middle of the road sessions . Also due to social pressure its wiser to conform at least outwardly . As we see all around us now! The power of the bully

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I don’t know the situation in Ireland, but here in the USA, and perhaps especially so on The Left Coast, interest in Irish traditional music was part of the larger Folk Music Revival beginning in the 1950s and 1960s, and from the beginning having a Beatnik/Hippie/Counter-Culture aspect.

Part-and-parcel of that is having characters and eccentrics.

About the buttoned-down professionals, around here the Venn Diagram of, say, well-paid IT people and eccentric neo-hippies has considerable overlap.

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There are plenty of characters in and around the Trad scene here in London, Europe thank you very much!
Maybe Jeremy’s moderation style tends towards the serious, ‘buttoned-down’ style and thus discourages eccentricity and ‘characters’ on this forum. That’s his right, it’s his football!
But, of course, this forum is only a slight distorted reflection of the real Trad world out there in the pubs.
All the stories and banter about characters are mainstream conversation at real sessions, it’s not all politely asking, "Excuse me but have you ever heard that tune in a Dminor setting?"

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Beid, never ask a barista for legal advice or a barrister for a cappucino.

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Everything used to be better. These young uns don’t know how to play music the proper way. Back in my day, we knew how to be eccentric much better!

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I would probably be regarded eccentric being one of about three persons in all of Norway playing the pipes.. No sessions to show off my ecccentrisity though..

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In Australia everybody is eccentric, except me!

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I think there’s too many contests. Get rid of those!

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A word of advice…

Be sure to check your Eccentricity meter when you receive your bill!
There might be off peak and peak charges for Eccentricity.
Imagine being slammed for being yourself at peak season!
🙂

All the best
Brian x

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Mine runs on sunshine Brian.

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My utility supplier keeps sending me emails about getting a ‘smart meter’.
‘Scuse me? A what? For me?

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When I first saw the thread title, I thought it might have been a new "Police" album. 🙂

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Ah dae. Ah huv an ack sent. A stroang wan. Whit ur yooo lookin at? Eh? Ur yoo caw in me a liar or whit?

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Well thanks a lot Fernando (NOT). It’s taken me years to get that tune out of my head and now I have the ear-worm back again!

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What a tune! I am really struggling with the bowing though. I can kind of hack saw but am having trouble with the slurs and off beat emphasis.

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Vechey - no problem. You just take a little pause before each rest, and always use off-the-string bowing.

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Or else take all the hair off your bow and the strings off your fiddle and it will sound perfect.
(what a strange thread!)

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Not really that strange Gobby - as the late, great, Spike Malligna would have observed,

"It’s all in the mind you know."

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"… take all the hair off your bow and the strings off your fiddle and it will sound perfect."

That could be where I’ve been going wrong all these years.

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I used to be a centric, but with a little help from my friends I got over it.
Now I’m an ex centric.

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Many years ago I was at a small folk festival. It was after closing time after a rather good session and a few friends and myself were on the campsite indulging in the sort of silliness that one does at that time of night when a modicum of drink has been taken. A woman came up to our group, stood awhile and then paid me the greatest compliment of my life. She said, "You’re weird." and walked off." Yeeees!, I’ve been recognised at long last!" I thought. At that time I thought myself no more (and considerably less) odd than a lot of those on the folk scene in those days.
Alas, time has weeded out or changed most of those colourful characters until there’s only a few of us left. Everybody’s so serious these days.
Mind you, you’re probably rated as eccentric for reading this.
Jon

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"Mind you, you’re probably rated as eccentric for reading this."

No kidding. I was pondering the irony of bemoaning the loss of eccentricity on a forum dedicated to Irish traditional session music, of all things.

Sure, we can get even further out on the fringe within this genre, but aren’t we already half-looney within the context of our modern culture to be playing this music at all? 🙂

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"Or else take all the hair off your bow and the strings off your fiddle and it will sound perfect."

This is a great suggestion Gobby- it’s actually helped all my tunes~!

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Yeah Vechey, that’s good. Just remember to be light with the bow or it will sound a bit scratchy (from my experience).

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Eureka!

I know that was Aristotle, but I have just cracked Einstein’s theory of relativity!

E = mc²

where
E = Eccentricity
m = music
c = craic
² = lots of

It just goes to prove that we’re all relatively ‘normal’!

Well, at least I know I am 🙂

All the best
Brian x

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I’m not eccentric, everyone else is.