Bredna

tunebook 159 tunes.

Hi from Bredna

I live in Gisborne, New Zealand and play with a mad little Irish/Scottish group here called "Madra Dubh". We play for occasional gigs and for the local Irish club once a month, and whenever we feel like it at other times. No actual Session here apart from the Irish club.

My main instrument is the Irish flute these days - I have a Forbes Delrin keyless which is nice and grunty and so robust I can take it down to the beach to play. The bottom D on it really booms if you want it to. I also have a Seery Delrin that has had 6 keys added in New Zealand by Maurice Reviol, who is a Bassoon maker by training but also makes flutes and adds keys for other makers’ instruments. The keywork is very professional looking and elegant, and each key is exactly where the finger ‘looks’ for it. It has a sweeter tone than the Forbes. I’m trying to play both often and find that I like some tunes better on the keyless and others on the keyed flute (particularly the ones in A, of course).

I also have a silver Boehm system Pearl Open-holed flute for other types of music.

And some whistles - a Chieftain low D (old style) and a Chieftain Low F (V3) which I really like playing. It gets the high notes very easily and is much easier for the fingers than the low D. I recently purchased (2016) a Killarney high D which plays the high notes beautifully, although not a huge sound on the low octave. My other high D’s are a Chieftain (average whistle - quite flat on the second octave but plenty of back pressure, which I like ), and a Freeman tweaked Feadog. I have a Generation Bb. My favourite whistle is an Overton low G (tunable). What a honey it is too, and great for accompanying singers who are singing in C as the range extends both above and below the octave for that key.

I’ve taken notice of the advice here to learn by ear, although it is difficult for a classically trained person like me. So far I still find it easier to get the dots to learn from, then throw them away. Basically its still ‘work in progress’. I’ve been to ten of our Irish Music Festivals (Ceol Aneas) now and they’ve been a great help with figuring out how to do this lovely music justice, as well as being an opportunity to meet like-minded ITM musicians who are normally scattered around the country. Great people they are, too. The more recent Ceol Aneas Festivals have a couple of fabulous slow sessions which is just the ticket for practicing learning the tunes off totally by ear, and I have picked up a few well-known tunes that way that I hadn’t already taken the time to learn.