I was in a mode, and this just came on me all of a sudden while I was munchin’ on a melted ham and cheese sandwiche…
I was originally posessed by this in the key of ‘F’ but thought better that this way in ‘E’ would make it more ‘accessible’…
Heh, the name is v. amusing :-)
I have some sneakin’ feelin’ rumblin’ away deep in my belly that this thing is going to become ‘contrafied’… So be it, but be gentle with it…HA!
No! ~ It’s not the ham and cheese sarnie doin’ the rumblin’ and no I didn’t eat it too fast in order to play this tune out. No, I wasn’t still eatin’ the thing while playing it… Unnnhhhooaaah!
A Pride of Ignorance
Mostly I am open and ready to learn from others, never assuming I’ve ‘the answers’, or the only take on anything. But, sometimes I let a certain demon get in the way of my greatest joy, that of clearing away the ignorance that can gum up my favoured activity of raising my level of understanding, understanding anything. That demon is one formed and left in me by my less than patient father. He tended to treat me at times as if I were an idiot, and yeah, sometimes I was pretty hopeless. Let’s just say to shorten this, "dumb sh*t" is one of my many nicknames that I’m not happy with. That history means there can be an edge to me that if I’m pushed over it I can be about as nasty as my pa used to be. I try to be aware of it, but if I’ve been without sleep or there’s been a lot of ‘knocking’ going on, my fuse can start to fizz from a short start. I hate it when I’m like that, or when I get stubborn and back myself into a corner. I’ve recently been that way with my pa over his smoking, he’d recently recovered from cancer too, and my ma just out of the hospital. Now knowing some of that clumsiness my father hated in me suddenly has a name, ‘dyslexia’ (a mild form), with that name I’ve a little more understanding of myself. Curiously, understanding others, having compassion for them and patience, is something I have always worked on in myself, including through the various jobs I’ve placed myself in. I have a constant want to be fair ~ in contrast to my dear pa.
I have my prideful moments, and I don’t mean in a healthy way. My main problem is with memory, and I can get defensive over it at times. When I know something and I know I know it but the damned thing won’t come to me. An example of this faulty memory is that I remember faces well, physical and visual things, and aural things, but not names. I was useless for any kind of exam, still am. On top of everything else my memory, as I put it, isn’t bad, it just doesn’t operate on demand. It can be so frustrating, and sometimes I get downright defensive, sort of saying in my actions "I am not a dumb sh*t!" But there’s a bit of good pride in me too, which has to do with my heart, and the usual, in that mostly I’m receptive to being ‘educated’, to anything and anyone that can help me get past my own ignorance or biases to my most valued prize ~ ‘understanding’. Those are my favoured sources, people in the know, with the experience, skill and knowledge.
Now, about such sources, I have seen some people fuff off others, for their various reasons, and even choose to refuse information, some even because they thought it might pollute their idea of what ‘tradition’ was, for a relevant example. I have never known any of the many older musicians and traditional aritists I’ve had the pleasure of meeting who didn’t have an infinite curiousity in things, and an openness about life that was more than a hospitality for the stranger, that was also a hospitality for information and knowledge. They were ever curious. Most I’ve known could read some form of music notation, with ‘few’ exceptions. I’m not talking about those young farts in their 50s, 60s, 70s ~… I mean ‘older’, with their feet in the 1800s. Some even had a church music education, and some even played and had an understanding and appreciation for early jazz. The very few who couldn’t read music had a want to, they never put on airs like some young musicians of being proud about not having that tool at hand, in fact they openly spoke of the want to learn it, and fully understood what that would mean, not pollution, but ‘access’, not Pandora’s box of horrors, but a treasure trove, ‘knowledge’, something healthy not poisonous. They marveled that their playing could in some part be written out. But just to emphasize, these few who couldn’t read at least one of the many forms of writing out music were the ‘few’ exceptions, in my experience, whithin its limitations, which I would be the first to confess.
Now a short tale about one valued friend and source of wisdom. This man, farmer being one of his several tags, husband, father, friend ~ could not read or write but loved and longed for knowledge, and to learn these very skills too. For him, that limitation was no limitation at all. He had an understanding of his area of the world, history, people and nature, that far surpassed any degreed researcher. His whole knowledge was a tale in context, and his skill with conversation, both ways, as a weaver of tales and knowledge and as a listener and reasoner, was priceless. I would just about sell my soul for his heart and depth of understanding and reasoning. It didn’t end with what was immediately around him and within his personal experiences. His interest was in the whole world and he understood it through those things he knew best, macrocosmic, microcosmic. He could find the world in his fields of grain, in his cattle, in his potatoes and cabbages, in the many ways he understood the feel and composition of the ground squeezed between his fingers. I’d seen ‘researchers’ pass him by, unable to bear the initial chat necessary before getting to the deeper parts of this wonderful man. Amongst such genius I cannot carry for long any of the number of limiting prides I am sometimes plagues with.
I continue to work to overcome the pride in me that can guard and defend the ignorance, but such wonderful folk as the man just mentioned have gone a damned long way toward making the better parts of me, toward making me a better human being and world citizen. If I had allowed my pride to step between us I would have lost out on so much…
I think this takes the prize for the most prolific comments on a tune by the author.
Er…were the comments actually about the tune, though? :)
Now I can add a row for ‘c’ into my thesession obsessive list of potentially annoying jibes and cheeky asides, right underneath the row for "Zina".
As you know, I hope, tunes are in many cases more than just ‘dots’ and opportunities for ~ … The above confession tinged with a bit of cayenne is very much tune specific, and I don’t just mean the title of the tune. You might need to have been there, at least at some point in your life ~ and yet again, maybe not. It is wordy, but was edited to protect the innocent and guilty alike, excepting me, guilty by de faults…
There is another ‘influence’ I won’t go into any depth about here, something I was purging my system of by playing certain music very loud with all my car windows open, like Santana, The Baha Men, Ibrahim Ferrer, Capercaille, Klezmer, various Blues, Boogie and hard lived rock and roll… For the last week or so I have been out of my element and feeling just so ever slightly under pressure and poisoned from having to deal with too many alien influences, and a few a**holes… As sometimes happens to me, I not only turn to music for realigning my chakras, but the music quite often turns on from the inside, possesses me, and this tune just came out of that maelstrom while I was eating the ham and cheese sandwiche, making a mess of it, and thinking about those turd laying machines mentioned previously…
Dow made me do it. No, he’s not one of those ~ … I overdid my answer to his often repeated plea for ‘comment’…
I don’t quite understand the alternate title someone has given this ~ "The Price of Limboness", suspecting by ‘limboness’ you mean ~ ‘the state of being in limbo’. Are you saying I should check in at the counter and confess all bold facedly, or is it my balancing act between heaven and hell? And if that literal ~ who’s heaven and hell??? Valhalla rescue me, I have fought the good fight, and the dirty one too…
The lyin’s and the lie-ins ~
& digers & bare…
Hey, first I want to say - an excellent jig! I think all musicians should at least have a go at writing music, and it’s great that this traditional music is being pumped full of new bits and pieces all the time - and if people worry about there being ‘too many’ tunes in the end, they needn’t worry - history will inevitably filter out the best from it all!
Also it was very open-hearted of you to write that long account above and I admire that, being very open about your personality and past etc. I also agree (and certainly not just because I’m a classical musician in the main) about musicians learning to read sheet music. I suppose the fact that it has its roots in classical music suddenly makes it very uncool, the usual story. Also many may be afraid to admit what they see as a weakness, and so defend it by pretending they’re not at all interested in such blasphemy. And also I wonder (with more understanding) if people worry this process would formalise the music and take the spirit out of it.
But all it does, in this case, is show you what the rhythm is and where the fingers go - which in essence is no different to learning by listening and observing players! (stylistic features aside). Sheet music doesn’t dry out the music, it just passes you the clay and you have to work your wizardry to make it come to life! (and you proper fiddlers know infinitely more about that than me!) So in fact, it could be an exciting challenge, to test the fiddler’s skill at bringing to life a tune he/she hasn’t heard before! And that brings to mind another benefit - instant accessibility to many more tunes than you might hear or memorise in the same space of time. The pursuit of knowledge as you have exemplified is a noble thing, and learning to read sheet music opens many doors anyway.
Anyway, I didn’t mean this to be a preach about sheet music, that was just a tangent!