How ignorant are you?

How ignorant are you?

I met a fiddler who didn’t know Mike McGoldrick the other day. And I’ve met several flute players who had been collecting only the recordings of solo flute music. So, here’s my question: Do you think you are familiar enough with many big name musicians who don’t play your instrument(s)?

Re: How ignorant are you?

I happen to enjoy listening to lots of different musicians and genres of music. However, I don’t think it’s necessary to know about the work of any particular player. You could quite easily become a reasonable enough player without having heard of any of these people and just pick up tunes from your pals in the pub.

Of course, it’s enjoyable and, arguably, beneficial to listen to good, well known, players but it shouldn’t be a necessity. Nor should anyone think of you as ignorant if you are unaware of a particular player.

Re: How ignorant are you?

I think you do have to know them, you have to know where the bar is

Posted .

Re: How ignorant are you?

"unaware" is "ignorance". No getting away from it. Good or bad? is a different argument

Posted .

Re: How ignorant are you?

For a moment, I thought you were talking about drink. ๐Ÿ™‚ Perhaps, that’s where you’ll find all the well known musicians.

What you say is true, Michael. However, if you hadn’t heard of a particular fiddler, it wouldn’t make you any worse a player. As I say, it’s good to broaden your horizons but surely it isn’t the end of the world if you miss something.

Re: How ignorant are you?

The more you know, the better. Myself, I’m still learning.
Speaking of "better"… You’d better know Seamus Tansey when you meet him ;)

Posted by .

Re: How ignorant are you?

My sister used to babysit for Roger Daltrey of The Who.
My daughters boyfriend’s grandad is a concert pianist.

As far as I recall neither one plays the banjolin.

Or is this not the sort of familiarity with big name musicians we’re talking about?

Re: How ignorant are you?

Michael says " "Unaware" is "Ignorance" No getting away from it"

Again, this is true. Unfortunately, the words "ignorant" or "ignorance" tend to have negative and derogatory connatations in common speech these days. I realise this wasn’t Slainte’s intention when he posted. Perhaps, the question should be "How well informed are you?".

Re: How ignorant are you?

The trouble with knowing names and being familiar with recordings is that the longer you’re in this stuff, the more you realize that those big names tend to want you to listen to the folks that gave them THEIR knowledge. And so you end up right back in the kitchens and pubs again and around and back in this big circle.

Moral of the story: listen to it all.

Re: How ignorant are you?

I agree with zina. Listen to it all. And there is a balance to be struck between findind ing your own level and knowing where the bar is. And I can’t believe I used a sporting analogy, it should have been a complete anathama

Posted .

Re: How ignorant are you?

No, I say "Listen to as much as you can".
It’s impossible to listen to it all. You shouldn’t feel bad just because you missed something.

Re: How ignorant are you?

Picky, picky, picky, Johnny J! We could make it, "listen to everything you have time to listen to given that recordings cost money and you shouldn’t go bankrupting yourself with trips to Ireland and wherever and to remember that you have a life with important people in it and all that" but that takes too long to type.

Re: How ignorant are you?

I don’t think its a big deal that a fiddler doesn’t know of Mike McGoldrick. There are flute players around who know of McGoldrick but are unaware of Packie Duignan or Eddie Moloney.

Re: How ignorant are you?

Which means a certain level of ignorance is OK. Ignorance of Michael McGoldrick isn’t

Posted .

Re: How ignorant are you?

Sorry Zina, I didn’t mean to come over as sounding "picky". It’s just that it is possible for even very good players not to know or have heard of everyone in their field. This includes players of their own chosen instrument, let alone others.

The same goes for tunes too, of course. One time, I asked about a particular tune in a session and got "Huh. That’s ******. Everyone knows that!"

Re: How ignorant are you?

I agree, it is impossible to listen to it all and you shouldn’t feel bad about it. However, don’t stop trying either! ๐Ÿ™‚

Re: How ignorant are you?

Well, actually I wanted you to talk about famous musicians *who don’t play your instrument(s).* I know many fiddlers who are well-informed about various fiddle styles but not flute styles, and vice versa.

Re: How ignorant are you?

Hmmm. Well, I know you’re not trying to say so, slainte-san, but that skirts perilously onto assuming that fiddle music is a different kind of Irish music to Irish flute music. I really do think people should listen to it all, not just as played by people who play their own instrument. ๐Ÿ™‚

Re: How ignorant are you?

Come on michael - tell us where the bar is.

I’m gasping.

Re: How ignorant are you?

I love collecting recordings by people who play all sorts of instruments in Irish music. My fiddle collection is larger than my flute/whistle one by far (I play whistle and bodhran). I enjoy them all and they help my playing, both on whistle and on bodhran.

Re: How ignorant are you?

The bar is always higher than you think. And don’t think you can just skirt over it by choosing a longer pole. It ain’t that easy.

And. yes, it’s imposible to listen to everything, but they is a "list " that is required listening. Yes, we could quible on who just makes it onto the list and who might just miss out, but lets not quibble about Michael McGoldrick.

Posted .

Re: How ignorant are you?

I’ll quibble if I want to! *smirk*

To find the bar, follow all the musicians. They all end up there sooner or later. You may end up in the jakes occasionally, but they’ll generally hit the bar eventually.

Ps

although often they’ll be lined up eight to the bar….

Coat!

Re: How ignorant are you?

But Zina, while it can be all classified under Irish music I don’t agree that fiddle music can strictly be said to be the same as flute music, uilleann music etc. The different instruments have different limits and mechanics, players using different approaches to work with these limitations, modifying the tunes accordingly to suit the instrument. Exploring and learning the things that make their instrument unique.

I strongly feel that apart from "regional style" type traditions there are also stylistic distinctions then run within the instruments themselves, instrument based traditions if you will. However this tends to be less emphasized in most sessions where many people sit in and just try their bestest to play like a generic fiddle player.

Re: How ignorant are you?

I agree with that in general, Eldarion, but not in specific, or maybe I mean that the other way round. For instance, if all you listen to is flute music, you’ll never hear where the pipes have informed the style. If all you listen to is pipes, you’ll never hear how the fiddles and boxes have stretched the form chromatically.

For instance, my first teacher was a fluter. So some of the settings I have are more flute settings than fiddle ones, and sometimes I like to hit and honk on a low D, which is a piping thing that I got by way of flute. Other fiddle players I’ve played with think that’s weird; Will, for instance, will occasionally say something along the lines of, I really don’t like what you do there. ๐Ÿ™‚ (He usually says it nicer than that, though.)

Nobody HAS to do anything, of course, and if all you listen to ever is Mike McGoldrick, well, good for you. But you’ll be a better player for listening to everybody who comes along your path, or even going out and looking for new stuff. Even if you decide you hate that person’s playing or really dislike their settings or whatever, you’ll have learned something.

Re: How ignorant are you?

Yes, to a certain extent, but far more important is the way different intruments influence each other

Posted .

Re: How ignorant are you?

cross posting of agreement there

Posted .

Re: How ignorant are you?

Yeah, but you said it much shorter than I did, Michael. LOL

Okay, see you guys later, i gotta go get some Christmas shopping done! BTW, is there ANYone in England left who actually LIKES Christmas? I’m starting to think there isn’t!

Re: How ignorant are you?

I’m the fiddle player of whom Frankie Gavin said "who?"

Re: How ignorant are you?

If someone would fill me in on all the things I don’t know, I would appreciate it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Seriously, there are so many good players out there, and it is often so hard to find their albums for sale, or magazines that mention them, or radio stations that play their music, that there are going to be a lot of people who are ignorant of certain musicians and what they are up to. Especially techological dimwits like me that barely know how to visit a website and post comments—to whom the internet is mostly unexplored country.

Besides, why are we talking about this McGoldrick guy—I have heard of him, but based on some of what I have been hearing lately, he doesn’t seem to be playing traditional music any more. (he said as he ducked and hid under the furniture)

Re: How ignorant are you?

I like Christmas! I was wandering aimlessly around Westmister today looking for a shop that sells horseriding gear (as one does when in the heart of a major metropolist!) when I stumbled by accident into the the Wren church of St Martin’s near St Paul’s.

A small choir was practising ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’ by wossname. It was perty. They’re having a carol service tomorrow at lunch time, so I think I’ll go to that. I love carol services, specially the ones where you get to join in occasionally - it’s like going to the panto:

Choir: "The angel gabriel came down from heav’n"
Congregation: "OH no he didn’t!"
Priest: "OH yes he did!"
Altar boy: "he’s behiiiind you!"

Posted by .

Re: How ignorant are you?

er, metropolis that is. without the t.

Posted by .

Re: How ignorant are you?

Well, I reckon Iโ€™m purty durned iggernant. I havenโ€™t kept up with who the top guns are for a long time โ€“ like nearly twenty years. I see from a quick googling that Michael McGoldrick is a flute and whistle player. I didnโ€™t know that.

Since the Georgia public radio network dropped The Thistle and Shamrock, I donโ€™t get convenient samplings of the recordings, and most of the last several blind CD purchases have not been satisfying (too much pop-style singing and Celtic Wall Of Sound).

Iโ€™ve gradually learned to trust the endorsement of some of the folks here on the yellow board, so Iโ€™m gradually building on that.

Is there (should there be) a thread on the exemplars, the required listening?

Re: How ignorant are you?

Heck no!!

Does that answer the question?

Any bigtime fiddlers I should know about?

Posted by .

Re: How ignorant are you?

By the way, heck no refers to how familiar I am with musicians that play the same instrument I do.

Posted by .

Re: How ignorant are you?

I never heard of John Joe Kelly still I started this site, and he probably hasn’t heard of me, but it didn’t do either of us any harm.

Re: How ignorant are you?

But Matty, you’re not actually English. Insofar as I can see, they’re all total Scrooges. ๐Ÿ™‚

One Scrooge I talked to on the subject informs me that people actually move to London to get away from their families, so why would they enjoy a holiday that seems to largely be about seeing that family? *smirk* S/he shall remain nameless.

Re: How ignorant are you?

I prefer metropolist with a "t". Like Charlie Drake when he used to say Yest.

Re: How ignorant are you?

Oh yest, where were we? There’s loadsa "famous people" I’ve never heard of. Or had never heard of till I joined this site. And there are loadsa players who are as good as the famous ones, but just play for the love of it, and maybe bask in the glory of just being known locally. Fame isn’t what it’s renowned to be.

Re: How ignorant are you?

how bout metrolopist? ๐Ÿ™‚

Posted by .

Re: How ignorant are you?

To answer Slainte’s question (I know that’s a bit passรฉ) I don’t feel obliged to now of any individual player - unless they really broke the mould in some way. Just *interact* with whoever walks into your session, on whatever instrument. In a way, the more famous the exponent the less I need to know them, because (in this example) many flute players will walk in who bring some of McGoldrick’s playing with them. And (harp, harp) the older generation seemed to just get on with and play the music, without the star worship ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s only diddly ;)

PS Slainte, you’ve probably been influenced by some Leeds types no-one has ever heard of ๐Ÿ™‚

Re: How ignorant are you?

So, yeah, I’m pretty ignorant … and I can’t type either ๐Ÿ™‚

Re: How ignorant are you?

Inside of Irish music, I don’t think I’m ignorant. I am sure I have not listened to all the big name players, but I listen to all different instruments. Outside of Irish. I am ignorant though. At least I know who Bach is.

Re: How ignorant are you?

A little poem:

If you don’t know McGoldrick,
cheers to you,
Never heard of Broderick?
shame on you,
If no knowledge of Seamus Egan,
ever binds you to despair,
Being oblivious to Coleman,
simply wouldn’t be fair.

Re: How ignorant are you?

Hey Red Crow, your just bein’ silly now - of course everyone knows that Bach is just the nick-name for ‘Bachman Turner Overdrive’!

Re: How ignorant are you?

Well, I’m not saying all the flute players should know and listen to Mike McGoldrick to be a good player. And he isn’t among my favourite flute players anyway.

I just regret that there are not a few players who don’t seek inspiration in the unique playing of well-known musicians who excel in other instruments. Just suppose one of your friends only listen to master fiddlers intensively to be a good fiddler and shows no interest in master pipers of the past and the present. It may seem a bit extreme, but this kind of situation isn’t rare.

P.S. Yeah, Orson. Listening to recordings isn’t everything.

Re: Fave Carols

Apart from "The Angel Gabriel" with his "highly flavoured gravy", we look forward to "Lo, He Comes with clouds descending". Look out for the verse when you can sing "Deep Sea Whaleing".

Back onto the topic, most of my muso friends (over 40s) have a larger vinyl collection than cds - and we seemed to have more time to listen and play along with the tracks then - were we more practised then and had fewer sessions to go to?.

Nowadays, some of us only practise at sessions, never at home. How times change.

Re: How ignorant are you?

just because you fail to acknowledge big names on a relatively small scene it doesn’t make you ignorant, more of a non conformist to modern trend there are many musicians who are johnny come lately’s to ITM and they have no idea or respect for musicians recordings from before 1990 its just what floats their boat they like the modern c.d’s with no hiss and perfect pitch crystal clear polished mixes etc

Re: How ignorant are you?

Only a few people answered my original question, but never mind. Fun to read what you all write.

Re: How ignorant are you?

What bothers me is when people greet me like an old friend and I haven’t a clue who they are. They’ve heard me play. Musicians get introduced to the audience, but who introduces the audience to the musicians?

And I’ve never heard of Mike McGoldrick. Franklin Heyburn, however, is tops on my list.

Re: How ignorant are you?

I just nod my head when people drop names. I’m never too sure if it’s somebody famous or somebody local they’r eon about.

Posted by .

Re: How ignorant are you?

Rocking Bow, what gets up my nose is when I’ve been talking to someone all night (or NOT talking to someone all night) and then find out later that I’ve known them from TheSesh for years and they never said who they were! It’s enough to give you a complex. ๐Ÿ™‚

Re: How ignorant are you?

I know very well who Michael McGoldrick is but, unlike MG, I wouldn’t be surprised that many other people here(or elsewhere) might not. He is extremely popular amongst the more fashionable circles these days and, by no means, concentrates on Irish music alone. He plays in a Scottish folk band Capercaillie, for instance, and can be found in all sorts of illustrious and/or dubious company. Of course, he became known through his work with "Toss the Feathers" and was a founder member of both Flook and Lunasa.

None of the above could be described as "pure drop" Irish music so it’s highly possible that many of the older players including Pilib O’Concubhair and co ๐Ÿ™‚ might not be aware of his talents.

Having said all that, I like him(Michael McGoldrick that is not Pilib ๐Ÿ™‚ ) and think he’s a brilliant musician.

Re: How ignorant are you?

I think many people misunderstood M. McGoldrick. He still plays in a very old-fashioned style outside the recording studios. Just try listening to his duet playing with Dezi Donnelly recorded on Ceili House: http://www.rte.ie/radio1/ceilihouse/rams/7may.ram (It starts around 20:30)

Re: How ignorant are you?

Most of you are that ignorent you haven’t heard of Pilib O’Concubhair.