Friday, January 28, 2011

Lessons in the key of traditional tunes

"Is it possible to pick up a tin whistle and be playing tunes in little more than a week? With the right teacher, and the right attitude, it just might be, as ARMINTA WALLACE discovers

IT’S NOT EVERY day you meet a woman with a whistle on Grafton Street.

But there she is, the PR liaison from Tradfest, standing on the corner with a Walton’s bag and a huge smile.

“We got you a cool black one,” she says. It’s featherlight, and it has six unevenly spaced holes on the top. “It’s in the key of D,” she calls after me. Helpfully. Let the lessons begin."

Monday, January 24, 2011

Making beautiful music

"If you enjoy Celtic music, chances are you have a fondness for the tin whistle.

This portable instrument has certainly gained a local following, as a group of students is meeting at the Lintuhtine Music Academy of Oromocto every second week to learn to play.

Many of them began in September, but a few came on board in January after taking a private lesson with the instructor. No matter their level of experience, already this group is making beautiful music together.

Lynn Thomas-Grattan is one of the people who has been taking the tin whistle since September.

'I've always wanted to play an instrument and I like the sound of the tin whistle and the Irish music connection,' she says. 'I'm from Newfoundland, so that helps.'

Learning the tin whistle has been a great experience so far. She says it's not difficult to learn either, once you get the basics down."

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Popular bachelor was part of a vanishing Ireland - The Irish Times - Sat, Jan 15, 2011

Popular bachelor was part of a vanishing Ireland - The Irish Times - Sat, Jan 15, 2011: "JOHNNY GOLDEN: JOHNNY “GOULDIE” Golden of Doogarry, Killeshandra, Co Cavan, who died last year aged 73, was part of a traditional Ireland that has largely disappeared. He featured in the book and website Vanishing Ireland.

Gouldie was a typical Irish bachelor of the older generation. He lived by himself in a small, local authority pre-fabricated dwelling in the countryside. A gifted traditional musician, he was able to produce a tune from a fiddle, tin whistle or flute. He was a fine traditional singer and a noted step dancer.

Besides music, his other big passion was vintage tractors. He could find the rusted hulk of an old tractor and fix it up so it was roadworthy. He enjoyed working at anything mechanical and his talents extended to photography."

Sean Reid's Reel

Tune from

Marcello Oboe Concerto played on Tin Whistle (penny whistle)

The Kesh jig and Kid on the Mountain, Irish Trad Seoul December 2010