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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Celtic Night Project 1

Friday October 29th, 2010

I've decided to launch a new project, and track the project over the course of the next year. If everything goes well, we will post some youtube videos, and see if we actually get good at playing this type of music.

I have been a musician for a long time. I play many instruments and have played many styles of music. I have always been interested in Irish music, but have never really played any of it.

This project came about because of several threads that seemed to finally converge, and made it seem that it was finally the right time to give it a shot. Last year I played in an Irish steakhouse, and though I played mostly pop and blues music, the posters and maps hanging on the wall awoke in me an interest to find out more about the music of a country that I have always wanted to visit. Around the same time I was working the steakhouse, Sting came out with his "Winter" album, which, despite his reticence to call it a "Christmas" album, I really loved.  I enjoyed the instrumentation, and the feel, and I wanted to do something similar.

I asked several friends of mine in New York if they would be interested in playing, but we just couldn't get together to play. So after moving back to Indiana, I happened to mention to my friend Dana, who used to play violin, if she was interested in Celtic music. She was, but hadn't played violin in several years. It turned out that her violin actually needed some repair, which I was able to do, and the Celtic Night project began.

The question that we had initially was, "What are we going to play?" So I surfed around on the internet and found that there was a great songbook full of Irish tunes called "O'Neill's Music of Ireland," by Captain Francis O'Neill. The collection has over 1800 tunes that we could work through and practice.

So here we are playing and enjoying the company, the music and the dream of the Emerald Isle. Turns out that Dana's actually been there, and she said it's as green as we imagine.

My son, Liam, who is the only one of us so far that has any Irish in him, due to my wife's background, is learning to play drums and bass. He decided to use the djembe, clearly not a traditional Irish instrument, but we're making due until his bodhran comes in the mail from Musicians Friend. Should be in Monday or Tuesday, so hopefully he'll have it for the next jam night. For a 9 year old, I thought he did pretty well. I'm pretty proud of him.

My wife Trevor had the great idea of filming us on her phone, so soon we'll have some video to post of our jam.

So here's to the first week. We'll keep you updated on the journey!

God bless,


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