Music, Quebecois Music

Session tunes status check!

As of this post, I appear to be able to pull “Si Bheag Si Mhor”, “Road to Lisdoonvarna”, “Swallow Tail Jig”, “Morrison’s Jig”, and “Banish Misfortune” out of my brain and into my fingers, at least on the piccolo, without resorting to sheet music. I can’t do them (well, the latter four anyway, as Si Bheag is played slowly) at speed, and I can’t do them reliably–but they’re in the fingers now. Practice will make them stronger.

“Blarney Pilgrim” is on the way. I’ve got the A part in my fingers, though I don’t have the B and C bits down yet.

I think my next direct targets are going to be “Apples in Winter” and “Cliffs of Moher”, as the latter is in Matt’s handy tunes PDF and the former, pulled off of TunePal, is frequently paired with session. Meanwhile, in terms of tunes I TOTALLY want to learn just because of all the Quebec music I’ve been listening to, “Jig of Slurs”, “Irish Washerwoman”, and “Atholl Highlander” are now all on my radar because La Volée does such an awesome set of them on their live album. And, I have discovered to my glee that several tunes of Quebecois derivation DO appear to be in the TunePal database–all I had to do was search for “le reel” and “reel du”, and I got several hits of tunes that are all over my La Bottine albums.

My advanced homework remains parsing the nameless tune of M. Demers’ in “Lanlaire”, though! 😀 And other advanced homework will be starting to try to think about not only what tunes I like the sounds of, but also which ones might go together amusingly in combination. One of our experienced session players is strongly in favor of not chaining too much E minor together, which makes me want to think about what transitions of keys are good. There’s also the question of figuring out if a jig-jig-reel combination would work. A lot of instrumental tracks in my collection do that and it would serve me well to emulate their example.

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