Hey! What’s going on over there in Scotland?

Hey! What’s going on over there in Scotland?

I don’t usually notice these things but it just dawned on me that yesterday (25th) was Robert Burns day. Don’t we normally have things to say about it? Was Burns night cancelled? I guess it would be. So, any belated tunes or comments maybe?

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Re: Hey! What’s going on over there in Scotland?

can’t speak for Scotland but in England pretty much a non event, though in’normal ’ years there’s usually a few Burns Suppers that we can play at. In our house we had neeps and tatties and I piped in the haggis with ‘Hielan Laddie’ - okay melodeon actually as pipes are totally beyond me………………..

Re: Hey! What’s going on over there in Scotland?

We are in anti#covid lockdown and no gathering of people are allowed at all, indoors or out. So people marked Burns night at home, or with video events.

Re: Hey! What’s going on over there in Scotland?

Ah, yes. The old "Zoom nonsense"
😉

Re: Hey! What’s going on over there in Scotland?

No live events allowed . There was a BBC programme with Karen Mathieson, Robyn Sapleton and Eddi Reader, with John McCusker, Donald Shaw, Sorren MacLean and James Mackintosh with the Scottish Symphony Orchestra which was far better than some of the similar efforts I’ve seen in the past.
Here are a few clips I’ve posted on "Youtube" from past programmes :

https://youtu.be/e7sf1DQQIPk


https://youtu.be/UhguY4ei7lU


https://youtu.be/5EjdptVBFdE


https://youtu.be/9mEfR0Do_C8


https://youtu.be/1MOZnMRLYUs

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Re: Hey! What’s going on over there in Scotland?

Yes, I quite enjoyed the programme. Especially Robyn Stapleton’s singing and (please forgive me) I actually like Eddie Reader’s rendition of "Wullie Stewart" with "Molly Rankin’s" reel at the end. https://thesession.org/tunes/2647

Good clips above, Kenny

Re: Hey! What’s going on over there in Scotland?

I participated with a live international Burns event, with people from the UK, Canada, and the USA.

There was quite a time spectrum: 9pm in the UK, 4pm in Eastern Canada, 1pm here in California.

It was the usual: performances of Burns poems and songs, toasts, and chat. I piped in the Haggis.

It was the most whisky I’ve had that early in the afternoon!

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There was a noticeable lack of haggis to be bought in Oxford. Don’t know if that means more people bought it earlier or if Brexit, rumblings of independence or the virus reduced it. Will have round 2 for dinner tonight!!

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I actually had one in the freezer which I bought last Summer. It was still OK. 🙂

Re: Hey! What’s going on over there in Scotland?

The music Zoom session I’m in meets on Wednesday nights so we’re having a belated Burns Night! I’ve got the haggis in the fridge, getting the whisky later. I’ve been taking a look at some of the earthier writings of the Bard, might give one or two an airing!
Alex.

Re: Hey! What’s going on over there in Scotland?

A great set of clips there, Thanks Kenny.

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Re: Hey! What’s going on over there in Scotland?

Plenty going on: at least as much as in "real life" in previous years, if not more! Ok, it’s all on Zoom, but so what? Nothing nonsensical about it: lots of fun and laughter and good music.
Started last Tuesday with our regular Folk Club Zoom session; mainly Burns songs and tunes of songs, and some recitations.
Saturday night my husband was on Zoom in one room with his Burns Club cronies: we had had our haggis earlier, and he cracked open a very nice bottle of single malt. I was in another room, Zooming with a joint Burns celebration involving Edinburgh Folk Club, Howth Singing Circle and Edinburgh "World’s Room" singing club: excellent evening and a Sunday afternoon session to follow. Fortunately the broadband held up!
Sunday evening ( or afternoon for those in the US ) a full Burns supper at The Mermaid’s Tavern in Boston, Mass: I did the Reply for the Lassies.
Monday afternoon, a Burns-themed session with friends from Scots Music Group.
Monday evening, Linlithgow Folk Festival Association, via Facebook - more Burns.
And still a couple more sessions to come this week before I get all Burnt out, not to mention all that is on TV or Celtic Connections

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"before I get all Burnt out" .. Err.. don’t you mean ‘Burned out?’ ….
Sorry Trish, but I have missed doing my annual Rikky Fulton joke about suffering from Terrible burns. Ha, ha.

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Re: Hey! What’s going on over there in Scotland?

Aye, haggis for every meal in the Serious Burns Unit.
And apologies for the grammatical slip!

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The terrible burns unit where, ‘My Love has got a red, red nose’.

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Re: Hey! What’s going on over there in Scotland?

Things must be slightly different this year here in the English midlands. We usually have haggis on the 26th when the price is reduced in the shops. Not this year and the local butcher was still making them.

From the choice of Scottish flavoured Zoom sessions I wonder if people have had to spread things out this year.

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It has certainly been a strange year David. I was truly wondering when I posted this doubtful discussion if people had forgotten Burns night. That’s maybe understandable over in the UK where everything is presently in lock-down, but I almost missed it over here in Oz, where everything is more or less up and running again. It was only the highly celebrated Australia day yesterday (26th) that made me remember the more important Burns night. It seems to have had no mention at all this year. That disturbs me. Not that you can buy Haggis in this backward (but lovely) country. (And all this angst from an Englishman!).

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Re: Hey! What’s going on over there in Scotland?

I’ve not really got involved in Zoom and the like so far but I may do so in the future. Possibly for the odd workshop, course etc..The Harp Festival looks interesting, for example.

However, I’m not that fussy about using them for sessions, singarounds and the like. My main reservation is that I feel I have to commit myself to the proceedings whereas I could attend a session in the pub, "suss it out", and choose whether to play or not. I could just sit at a nearby table and just enjoy the tunes if it was busy.

Also, the general procedure seems to be that everyone is "muted" except the lead player. So, you would be just as well off playing along with a You Tube video or similar. Of course, there’s the social side of things and you may also get your turn to lead a set. However, in a real session, you may not wish to do so and are quite happy just to play with others. In fact, much of the enjoyment is feeding off the other musicians in the session as well as merely following the leader.

Re: Hey! What’s going on over there in Scotland?

For sure due to the delay Zoom sessions and rehearsals don’t have real-time whole-group interaction.

For our Pipe Band’s Zoom rehearsals it’s each piper playing his practice chanter as an isolated duet with the Pipe Major. This has actually been very effective, because each piper can focus on matching the Pipe Major exactly, without the distractions that happen in a live Pipe Band rehearsal (like having thousand-decibel snare drums blasting away and the piper beside you making mistakes).

With Irish sessions it’s strange I know to play a duet with a single player rather than create the hive mind thing. But again I think there’s value in being able to clearly hear one player and strive to blend with them, without the potential distractions of a live session (like 5 guitars strumming clashing chords and "that guy" with the spoons).

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I can see I am not going to persuade you, Johnny Jay, but you can do ALL of those things that you mention as being features of a real session in a Zoom session, except all play together unmuted.
The social side is enormously beneficial, at least as important as the music, just as it is in "real life", and we always make time for some chat between tunes or before the session starts, although it takes a while to learn to not all try to speak at once. You can drop in and out as you like: no need to be there from start to finish, unless you are the host, but even then, you can transfer hosting to another session member if you need to. You can leave the room when you want, to go to the loo, re-charge your glass or cup of tea, read your emails, do your knitting. You don’t have to play or sing either: "just listeners" are always welcome - in some sessions you can tell the host on arrival that you don’t want to play, or just say "pass" when it comes round to you. You can turn off your camera if you don’t want people to see you eating your tea, cutting your toenails or whatever… And you can. if you wish, play a harmony part (muted) along with the lead player, so you will hear both parts.
Zoom has been a lifeline for me over this last nearly a year: takes me all over the world, new friends and old, seeing more of the family (we used to joke that we only ever met at weddings and funerals!)
Just off to do band practice - on Zoom!

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that’s great Trish if Zoom works for you, personally I find the sound quality so poor as to make online
‘sessions’ totally unmanageable - its ok for keeping in touch with distant friends or relations [our youngest son is in Thailand] but anything musical forget it!

Re: Hey! What’s going on over there in Scotland?

Have yet to try a Zoom session. Don’t really fancy it.

But we bought a haggis from the local butcher. So there was that.

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About sound quality and other aspects of Zoom, I’m reminded of the saying

"Don’t allow the Perfect to be the enemy of the Good."

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If the leader has a decent audio set up (and Zoom set up properly) and a good upload speed then there is no reason for poor sound quality (apart from being mono). It won’t be the greatest sound, but at least you won’t have to contend with the drunks shouting in the background.

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You can send and receive extremely high quality stereo sound in Zoom with the right settings. We do it every week in the open session I host every week on Tuesday nights. Zoom has done a lot of work in the past few months to improve sound quality specifically for musicians using the platform.

Check out the settings available for “Use Original Sound” on your own setup as far as enabling the high quality audio settings, plus the host of the meeting must allow participants to use both original sound and send stereo.

More info on my session at:

http://michaeleskin.com/zoom

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I’d agree with what Michael and Donald said in that Zoom itself has improved, and many of the friends who do sessions with me have also improved their equipment, and their knowledge of correctly adjusting settings for best results. They are not all perfect by any means, and some instruments come over better than others, but on the whole it is a lot better than it was last March when we started trying it out. If you tried it once months ago and thought it was awful, maybe just give it another go?

Re: Hey! What’s going on over there in Scotland?

Robert Burns-a great collector of tunes and songs many of suppressed Jacobite origins and who was very ready to have a go at the Georgian English establishment.

Re: Hey! What’s going on over there in Scotland?

Robert Burns: poet, song collector, songwriter, fiddler, farmer, failed farmer, customs officer, freemason, would-be emigrant, revolutionary - take your pick

Re: Hey! What’s going on over there in Scotland?

What’s going on in Scotland? Tonight on the Sky Arts channel we have the final farewell concert “The Last Dance” of Scottish band Runrig! You don’t have to be a Sky subscriber to get it, as it is on Freeview, Freesat, Virgin and BT. The concert happened in Stirling in August 2018 and I had a ticket to go, but had to relinquish it owing to ongoing medical problems. Great to see it at last, but so much wishing I could have been there!

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BBC Alba are screening the final of the 2021 "Young Traditional Musician Of The Year" performances tonight - see below :

"2021 Finals"

Due to covid restrictions the final of BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician 2021 will now take place in the foyer of BBC Scotland’s Pacific Quay building on Sunday 31 January 2021 where it will be filmed and recorded without an audience.

It will be presented by Bruce MacGregor & Joy Dunlop and broadcast at 5pm on BBC Radio Scotland and on BBC Alba. Each finalist will present a performance of 15 minutes and the winner will be announced around 7.45pm after a performance by last year’s winner, piper and whistles player Ali Levack and his band Project Smok.

Schedule of Finalists Performances

Bradley Parker
Iona Fyfe
Graham Rorie
Lucie Hendry
Ellie Beaton
Michael Biggins

2 NE of Scotland singers there, Iona and Ellie. Ellie took over the "Wednesday Session" local radio programme from me last year. Good luck to them all.

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Re: Hey! What’s going on over there in Scotland?

I’ve found "Virtual" anything to be unrewarding. So I’ll sit this out. Since our regional Scottish Society is a real joke anymore, (the real core of the group died off) I haven’t participated in any of their Virtual nonsense, since the first one was a flop.
CoVid’s turned me into a MacScrooge.