Flo's Tunes Of The Month
Tunes For August
Welcome to my 'Tunes Of The Month'for August. I hope to find you all well and staying safe in this uncertain, crazy time with this ongoing pandemic and all the restrictions that go with it. I have been extremely busy with our kids and keeping them occupied over the past few months along with overcoming a fractured foot which has been both frustrating and painful, hence my lack of activity on here for a while. We have been considering a short term trip to Ireland for a few months also and so with everything changing so rapidly in my life, I feel like everything has taken a back seat including my music at the moment. Unfortunately, here in the USA the numbers are not improving and the likelihood that things will return to anywhere near normal are very dim at the moment. My daughter has to resort to remote, online learning and the struggles with getting her to focus and pay attention at just 6 years old on a computer all day feels like an impossible task, another reason we may move to Ireland for a few months. At the very least, in Ireland she will be in a small rural school, that has only 10 people in her class and able to attend 5 days a week. I must say my European counterparts are in a much better position and from what I hear are doing an excellent job containing the virus, taking and implementing the advice of experts and using their 'common sense' in general and taking it very seriously. In reality, there never will be our old "normal". It's a new 'normal' and it is learning to live with this virus until a vaccine can be discovered. Until then stay safe everyone and at least we still have our music!!
I am taking this opportunity to also express my sincere condolences to all the Dwyer family. We sadly lost another legend and that is "John Dwyer". He was from Co. Cork, a fantastic musician, composer and ambassador for Irish music and the fiddle. He will be sorely missed but his memory and legacy will live on through the tunes he composed and shared with us all. I have included a link below if you are interested in learning more about this legendary fiddle player and gentleman. May he rest in peace. Sleep easy John.
I am starting with a little different structure for the "Tune Of The Month" going forward.
I am posting 2 tunes: one tune will be for beginner/intermediate level and be more focused on session tunes and the other tune will be for the more advanced level looking for more of a challenge. You all will notice that there are 2 additional pages added to my website, the first being "Videos" and the second is a "Contact" page.
At the moment, I am working on an idea of a tune teaching video. The intention is to do this every month. This is still very much a work in progress. On the videos, my intention is to teach a tune slowly and I will show you some basic fingering, basic ornaments and good rhythm. I am working out technology stuff and my goal is to have the first video up as soon as I can find the time! I am looking at setting up a YouTube channel for these videos that you can subscribe to the YouTube channel and go back to them again and again as you please.
What's more, the videos will give you an insight into how a typical Skype lesson might go. A Skype/Zoom lesson varies based on what you want to learn and on what I think you might need to work on of course but these videos might give you the courage to jump in and get going on lessons if it is something you have always wanted to do or had in your mind to do. I know a lot of people have reservations about playing or taking lessons over the Internet but I have quite a few students who had those reservations first and they are non existent now and their tune repertoire is a lot bigger if nothing else!
I will update you all when a video is up and running. My intention is for you all to use the videos as a resource when you want to learn a tune or two and enjoy doing it for free ;-)
The "CONTACT" page is going to be where you go to reach out to me and ask questions, suggest tunes, inquire about lessons or if you just want to say hello. I would love to hear from you all with your queries and questions and I will do my best with some of your tune suggestions. Please feel free to send some right away!
So without further ado, I will introduce both tunes!
The first tune is beginner/intermediate level and is "The Peacock's Feather No.2. I love this hornpipe and I first heard it from the playing of Frankie Gavin. It is a simple, yet a musically rich hornpipe. It was most recently recorded by Michelle Mulcahy on her album "Suaimhneas". Michelle is an All-Ireland multi-instrumentalist a born musician as well as being a really nice girl too! Check out her playing if you haven't already. Her sister is Louise and she is also a fabulous flute and uilleann pipe player. Their dad is Mick, he plays accordion and he would always get mistaken for my dad at the Fleadh Cheoil's when we attended the competitions! They looked so alike it was really funny! This tune is played in many different keys but the notation is available on thesession.org if you so happen to need it.
The 2nd tune and more advanced tune is a beautiful hornpipe called "The Pub In The Square" composed by the great and late Paddy O'Brien ( Co. Tipperary)
Source of the tune: The Compositions of Paddy O' Brien (1922-1991) pg 29
The pub referred to in the title of the hornpipe was called "Seamus Harty's and was located in Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Seamus played accordion and his brother Michael the flute. Michael was a member of the All- Ireland winning Ormond Ceili Band that Paddy was a founding member of and I am guessing Paddy had many a good session of music in that bar with the Harty brothers to write such a beautiful tune in its honor.
I have always been a big fan of Paddy's tunes and that will remain so for as long as I can play a note. I just love his music. This tune can be found on his daughter's Eileen O Brien/Minogue fiddle album entitled "Aon l'Aon". She plays another great Paddy O Brien hornpipe called "The Dapper's Delight" before this one and they go beautifully together. We may visit that hornpipe on here sometime too. Enjoy!!!