Sessions will not survive Covid - but not for the reason you may think

Sessions will not survive Covid - but not for the reason you may think

I have learnt many new tunes this year.
So have you all. (Unless you are really lazy)
Many of the tunes will be quite obscure. (Unless you are really lazy)

As and when sessions start up again we will all want to show off our new tunes - understandably.
People will be less able to join in.
Sessions will die.

Discuss…
🙂

Re: Sessions will not survive Covid - but not for the reason you may think

I AM really lazy! But nobody can predict the future so I am too lazy to worry about it. Why I play music is that it keeps me in the present.

Posted by .

Re: Sessions will not survive Covid - but not for the reason you may think

I’ve been doing the opposite of what you suggest.

I’ve been practicing a couple hundred of the more common tunes, ones that I had never got round to learning and ones that I need brushing up on.

Re: Sessions will not survive Covid - but not for the reason you may think

When I learn an interesting new tune, I share it with my friends on this thing called the Internet. Problem solved.

Re: Sessions will not survive Covid - but not for the reason you may think

That seems a wantonly pessimistic outlook. I cannot speak for everyone but the most satisying kind of session for me is one where I get to hear tunes I have not heard before, alongside some familiar ones (and some that lie in between, that I have heard once or twice before but not enough to learn them fully).

As TMitchell says above, we all (all of us that use this site, at least) have the means to share what we are learning, whether by directing people to a commercial recording or printed publication, sending out recordings of ourselves, dots, abc, tab or whatever method or medium we prefer. This is what I have been doing.

Re: Sessions will not survive Covid - but not for the reason you may think

Garbage in, garbage out.

Posted by .

Re: Sessions will not survive Covid - but not for the reason you may think

Haha! A funny hypothesis, Titch! It will be interesting when we all get a chance to meet again in person. Probably some unexpected adjustments will need to be made, like, not playing along with tunes one doesn’t know — which is a bad habit I’ve picked up from being on mute at Zoom sessions. Or, if I don’t care for a tune even if I know it, sometimes I’ll just ignore the leader and play a completely different one that comes to mind. Can’t do THAT in person!

Truth, though, I would encounter unknown tunes all the time, back in the day (back in the day = last February). And I would sometimes introduce tunes that no one else knew, or didn’t feel confident playing. Isn’t that part of a session?

Re: Sessions will not survive Covid - but not for the reason you may think

Um, no.

It will be more like:

"Well, that sure was interesting. Shame about Bob… Who’s got a set of jigs…"

Like Richard mentioned above, I’ve been focusing on core repertoire. I’m also using the time to build my skills on several instruments, been seriously woodshedding on B/C box and C-system CBA since all this started.

About two months ago, John Whelan started a weekly Zoom session on Wednesday afternoons focusing on core repertoire at reasonable speed, but with his wonderful style and lift. I highly recommend it. If you’re interested, sign up on his mailing list at:

http://johnwhelanmusic.com/slow-session/

Re: Sessions will not survive Covid - but not for the reason you may think

I haven’t stopped playing with other people… It’s just that we moved it all to the internet and the low latency platforms. I have learned lots of great tunes this year, but almost all of them were learned from people I play with, so they already knew them.

And I’ve recorded 40 videos of myself teaching tunes and sent them out to the people who are part of my weekly tune learning session and a lot of local players.

So instead of worrying that sessions will come to an end, why haven’t you been sharing the tunes that you’re learning with your session mates? We have the technology…

Re: Sessions will not survive Covid - but not for the reason you may think

Sessions may be a bit out of sync and disjointed when they finally restart but I hardly think they’ll disappear.

Re: Sessions will not survive Covid - but not for the reason you may think

At the Kilkenny* to revive/ evoke the tradition we will presumably do a set really called by us ‘the same old shit’ (a set of lovely corny old reels but not sure what the tunes are called but I expect you lot would!) and then typically we will do ‘Brendan’s hornpipe set’ (don’t quite know the names but The Wonderful is the second one) and then, for instance, the good old done-to-death Tarboltan set.

*other Trad Irish Sessions will be available

Re: Sessions will not survive Covid - but not for the reason you may think

I think they will be better in sync than ever before with a lot of newer players having been able to actually play along with others in Zoom sessions without all the fear of messing up in a real session. Hopefully the months of online practice will reap some real benefits. It’s been great having players of all skill levels in my weekly events, some of them have never started a set, I have no idea what they sound like, but they can still participate in whatever way they are able to.

I’m actually optimistic about the future. We’ll certainly be more grateful for what we have now that we’ve all experienced what it is to have it taken away, and hopefully we’ll be more tolerant and supportive.

Nah, after two months of gratefulness, I’m sure we’ll all be back to session politics and tribalism as usual… But those will be a great couple of months. 🙂

Re: Sessions will not survive Covid - but not for the reason you may think

British Gov restrictions have directly and indirectly interfered with the Traditional Irish Music for a long time on and off. One assumes the music will, yet again, prevail.

Re: Sessions will not survive Covid - but not for the reason you may think

Globalisation.

Re: Sessions will not survive Covid - but not for the reason you may think

I don’t think sessions will die, but they will mutate a bit for the reasons Titch gives. People are still desparate to get back to playing in company, but it is true that a lot of us will have been learning obscure and not necessarily session friendly tunes. So Sessions will have less of the general free-for-all stuff, and more of people soloing with the competent backers providing accompaniment on the fly. And it won’t take long for the suitable new tunes to get generally adopted, so it could be a shot in the arm for sessions rather than the death knell.

Re: Sessions will not survive Covid - but not for the reason you may think

“but it is true that a lot of us will have been learning obscure and not necessarily session friendly tunes”

Did you conduct a survey of “a lot of us” to come up with this conclusion or is it just your opinion?

I don’t think anyone can make such a broad generalization.

In my experience, which is probably a few hundred different players on Zoom sessions I host as well as attend as a player, there’s been a lot more playing of the common tune repertoire, even by experienced players, primarily to provide some semblance of normalcy and provide opportunities for a shared experience rather than showing off with new or obscure tunes.

But that’s still just a few hundred players. I have no idea what’s going on beyond my own experience during these odd times. I think the same can be said for any of us.

Who knows what’s going to be the “new” normal once things open up again? My sense is people will want to have more of a shared experience to reconnect, but that’s just my opinion.

Re: Sessions will not survive Covid - but not for the reason you may think

@ Atsunrise…… It’s not Globalisation, it’s *evolution*, in that our environment changes and we either change with it or die out. I don’t think we are about to become extinct, there is too much nostalgia left yet for that to happen.

Posted by .

Re: Sessions will not survive Covid - but not for the reason you may think

I have been doing regular zoom sessions with various groups of people for months now. Tunes played are mainly from previously gathered collections of old favourites, but with the facility to add “new” tunes at any time. One session uses a Dropbox folder containing nearly 240 tunes or sets, while the session I host operates from an old Google Drive folder of well-known tunes to the group, plus a new and rapidly expanding folder of tunes that group members have introduced to the rest of us. So if/ when we finally emerge from our houses back into real sessions we should have plenty of tunes in common to play together, far more than we had before lockdown.

Re: Sessions will not survive Covid - but not for the reason you may think

@Michael Eskin:
>>“but it is true that a lot of us will have been learning obscure and not necessarily session friendly tunes”
>>Did you conduct a survey of “a lot of us” to come up with this conclusion or is it just your opinion?
>>I don’t think anyone can make such a broad generalization.

I know a lot of people who are doing it, I belong to a couple of facebook groups full of people doing it, so it is quite legitimate for me to claim that a lot of people are doing it.

"A lot of us" is a totally undefined term. Had I said "90%" of us, or "the majority of us" then yes, the pedants of this world would have a legitimate claim. My experience might not coincide with yours, but remember that the counter claim would be "very few people are doing it", not "a lot of people are not doing it"

Re: Sessions will not survive Covid - but not for the reason you may think

If people want to learn obscure and not necessarily session friendly tunes then fair play to them. If they feel it’s appropriate to bring them along to a session to "show them off" then perhaps they should spend some time reflecting on what sessions are all about. Maybe once a night if you’re a sufficiently good player that people will enjoy listening to you playing solo.

Re: Sessions will not survive Covid - but not for the reason you may think

Mark, I’m not making any counter claim, I’m just saying that nobody can know what the new normal will be. Your experience in Scotland may be entirely different than what re-emerges here in California.

Are those public Facebook groups? I’d love to see the sorts of things players are working on, particularly if there are some interesting Sliabh Luachra sets.

Re: Sessions will not survive Covid - but not for the reason you may think

Hard to say. I think sessions will live on as there are many players who can’t wait to be back around the table in a pub with a crowd around, pints on the table. I miss the acoustics and the company and look forward to sharing that again. However, thanks to Jamkazam I have been playing regularly with folks I would normally get to see once or twice a year. I’ve been meeting up, weekly, several days a week, one-to-one or in small groups, playing known tunes and swapping newly learned tunes, and sessioning with people way more than ever. We all talk about how much this means to us, and how we want to continue, even when congregating in person is safe again. What will it take for me to want to drive an hour each way to attend a session? I AM wistfully looking forward to the resumption of events such as the Catskills Irish Arts Week and the Northeast Pipers Tionol, where sessions abound - I think that’s going to be amazing.

Re: Sessions will not survive Covid - but not for the reason you may think

I haven’t had any extra time because I’ve had to work throughout - but I’ve spent time learning what I consider core repertoire tunes that I’ve never really made an effort to learn and also looked up tunes that I’ve heard played in sessions but haven’t had time to learn so hopefully when the sessions return I’ll be able to join in with more sets.
I have also learned new sets but I try to only throw in one new set a month because I’d rather be playing with others than playing on my own!

Re: Sessions will not survive Covid - but not for the reason you may think

I expect when we all finally get back together we’ll have a bit of laugh as we fumble over our old standard tunes. Then we’ll get over and it will be a blast.

Re: Sessions will not survive Covid - but not for the reason you may think

Sessions will continue as if they had never stopped; of that, I am sure. Why on earth would they not? In the meantime, I am content to play alone. In many ways, it is the most satisfying musical experience for me and thankfully, I’m always around.

Posted by .

Re: Sessions will not survive Covid - but not for the reason you may think

What Ailin said, I am sure as well. Once safe, we’ll simply pick up again, be grateful for each other & have a high old time.

Re: Sessions will not survive Covid - but not for the reason you may think

What Ailin and Bill said. No problem playing alone, no problem maintaining the repertoire, no problem learning new tunes….

Re: Sessions will not survive Covid - but not for the reason you may think

Unless Boris comes along for a song, we’ll be fine…

Posted by .

Re: Sessions will not survive Covid - but not for the reason you may think

We’ve kept our session going via Zoom. Although we can’t play together, we have shared new tunes and emailed them to each other. We will be back together and we will enjoy playing a few new tunes!

Re: Sessions will not survive Covid - but not for the reason you may think

Yep, what Ailin (and Bill and Jeff and Andy) said.

I guess people who have not been playing tunes in cyberspace may find their local session repertoire has shifted slightly when they meet again - I find tunes are being swapped between Zoom sessions and Zoom workshops the way they were between 3D sessions and workshops.

Re: Sessions will not survive Covid - but not for the reason you may think

At least we will find out who HAS been practising during lockdown
And who will continue playing the same tunes they have for the last decade