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Aug 10, 2020 - 11:10:34 AM

gapbob

USA

709 posts since 4/20/2008
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While doing some work I looked for some Irish Fiddle to listen to on youtube and came across this:
youtube.com/watch?v=4W_feaIdTEA
The fellow has some chops but his style/taste (or lack of it) is driving me up the wall!

Whatcha all think about his playing?

Aug 10, 2020 - 11:23:33 AM

1797 posts since 8/27/2008

quote:
Originally posted by gapbob

While doing some work I looked for some Irish Fiddle to listen to on youtube and came across this:
youtube.com/watch?v=4W_feaIdTEA
The fellow has some chops but his style/taste (or lack of it) is driving me up the wall!

Whatcha all think about his playing?


Not sure what you're after. Is it too white bread bland or something? I agree he has some chops.

Aug 10, 2020 - 11:45:39 AM

8716 posts since 3/19/2009
Online Now

   Here is another collection of his tunes..: Maybe you'll like this one better? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9mi3BT8bnQ

Aug 10, 2020 - 1:58:41 PM

89 posts since 6/8/2020

No doubt a good player of the instrument. It doesn’t move me. This is closer to what I’m looking for -

youtube.com/watch?v=6oKyL0VAkDw

I hope I’ve linked the above correctly.

Aug 10, 2020 - 2:00:14 PM
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8716 posts since 3/19/2009
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by Johnbow

No doubt a good player of the instrument. It doesn’t move me. This is closer to what I’m looking for -

youtube.com/watch?v=6oKyL0VAkDw

I hope I’ve linked the above correctly.


WOW.. Hey, that is NOT an anywhichway fiddler!!

Aug 10, 2020 - 2:34:28 PM
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Old Scratch

Canada

613 posts since 6/22/2016

That Kevin Burke clip - I love the fact that he gets a terrible squeal a few seconds into it. There may be hope for me yet ......

Aug 10, 2020 - 4:35:59 PM
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1658 posts since 12/11/2008

Yeah, I gotta agree with you guys. Lynch is a little too slick & generic for me. He needs to swagger. He needs to sound less like he's doing music for a TV commercial. Kevin Burke, on the other hand, plays with gusto.

Aug 10, 2020 - 5:36:44 PM
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1797 posts since 8/27/2008

As someone has said, don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Kevin Burke is a wonderful player, but I don't hold that against Brendan P. Lynch and his playing. There's a difference in their playing when we listen to a recording, but we're filtering it through many things, including what someone else has said about it first. Even how it was recorded, EQed and mixed has an affect. So I don't think it's much of a big deal unless gapbob will elaborate. I'm pretty sure he dislikes Lynch's playing but he hasn't said why.

Aug 10, 2020 - 7:23:12 PM

89 posts since 6/8/2020

You didn’t ask me to elaborate Brian but while we’re waiting on gapbob, I might just say that Brendan P. Lynch has probably forgotten more about playing the fiddle than I’ll ever know and same goes for his playing of ITM, which I don’t really do - at least not on the fiddle. He’s definitely a good player, however, his playing seems to me a bit sterile and predictable. In contrast, Mr. Burke’s playing is full of surprises and soul. There are lots of bluesy elements and a certain sensualness. To me it sounds like good OT/ITM as played on the fiddle. I suppose in the end it must be about our preferences as listeners because there must be folks out there who think that B. Lynch is about as good as it gets - they're wrong of course but none the less they're out there :).

Edited by - Johnbow on 08/10/2020 19:35:36

Aug 10, 2020 - 7:36:33 PM
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1797 posts since 8/27/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Johnbow

You didn’t ask me to elaborate Brian but while we’re waiting on Gapbob, I might just say that Brendan P. Lynch has probably forgotten more about playing the fiddle than I’ll ever know and same goes for his playing of ITM, which I don’t really do - at least not on the fiddle. He’s definitely a good player, however, his playing seems to me a bit sterile and predictable. In contrast, Mr. Burke’s playing is full of surprises and soul. There’s lots of bluesy elements and a certain sensualness. To me it sounds like good OT ITM played on the fiddle. I suppose in the end it must be about our preferences as listeners.


Yes, I agree. I assume that is what gapbob is alluding to. I have to say though, that when I listened to the example he linked, I listened for quite a while, and it didn't offend me in any way. Nice to have new topics on the forum to discuss though.

Aug 10, 2020 - 7:44:35 PM

89 posts since 6/8/2020

Yes, sir.

Your quote didn’t grab my edits - slightly embarrassing. I’ll have to remember that’s possible in the future when I’m composing and correcting my masterpieces. :)

Aug 10, 2020 - 8:41:05 PM
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Old Scratch

Canada

613 posts since 6/22/2016

There's lots of very fine fiddling that does nothing much for me - and nobody else thinks much of the fiddling that really does excite me, so ... there ya go ..... Most of the big names leave me cold.
It really is a matter of taste, isn't it?

Aug 11, 2020 - 7:32:20 AM

gapbob

USA

709 posts since 4/20/2008
Online Now

I was listening to it and it gave me that feeling I get when someone drags their fingernails on a blackboard, bad shivers up my neck.

Not sure exactly what there is about it, perhaps a little of intonation being sharp a bit overall? Tone of the fiddle?

The usage of fast vibrato, placement of ornaments where they sometimes seem to be shoved in any old place, the choppiness of the bowing are the things I can identify about it.

Edited by - gapbob on 08/11/2020 07:33:06

Aug 11, 2020 - 9:09:56 AM
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2625 posts since 9/13/2009

I guess I don't understand the point? or why it would drive someone up a wall??

Is there requirement to listen to that recording???

I figure folks have different tastes...  and consider possibility they have made a conscious choice in how they want to play for their taste, and goals.

Aug 11, 2020 - 11:53:46 AM

Old Scratch

Canada

613 posts since 6/22/2016

I'm with Geo, here: a few seconds into a fiddling recording I know if I'm going to like it or not; if I decide in the negative, I stop the recording and move on - life's too short, etc. The exception is when someone else couldn't wait for me to hear some 19-year-old hot-shot in Virginia who they've just discovered on youtube, and then I just grit my teeth and think of England.

Aug 11, 2020 - 2:36:37 PM
Players Union Member

boxbow

USA

2564 posts since 2/3/2011

I'm in no position to criticize the man's technique. It's kind of like calling a pro ball player a bum.

I didn't care for the way the instrument sounded and that was the fault of the recording or the playback. The instrument sounded numb. There was something of that in the Burke recording as well. In the end, I liked Kevin Burke's playing better than anything I heard on the Lynch ytube. It was equal parts tune choice and inflection in the playing that led me to that conclusion. Stylistic stuff, to be imprecise.

Aug 11, 2020 - 3:23:11 PM
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157 posts since 11/28/2018

You must be awesome fiddlers if you are criticizing Brendan Lynch. Speaking only for myself I wish I had half the "style/taste (or lack of it)" that Lynch has in that video.

Aug 12, 2020 - 7:27:55 AM

Fiddler

USA

4105 posts since 6/22/2007
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Good grief! I would just about give my right arm to play like Lynch!! (Listening now. Wow! his take on Margaret's Waltz is just incredible!!)

If you are interested in Celtic fiddling, this is very, very good!

If your taste is more to the unrefined playing typical of OT fiddling, then this is probably not your cup of tea.

Please no flames! I used the word "unrefined" as meaning broadly acceptable intonation, timing, bow control and ornamentation. I know that many in the OT community are playing at the level of Lynch and others. Their technique is quite refined!

When I started playing back in the mid 70s, Celtic/Irish music was the rage. I was deep into it (my record collection is evidence of this!), but my poor technique prevented me from playing or even coming close to replicating what I was hearing. When talking about the fiddlers in this tradition, I despairingly referred to them as "frustrated classical violinists who could get an orchestra job."

When I heard a recording of Tommy Jarrell, I found acceptance of that untrained, visceral fiddling of the southern mountains. It resonated with my soul. However, I am still drawn to the driving fiddling of Cape Breton and Maritime provinces much of which is also shared in Missouri fiddling.

Currently, I feel that with the availability of inexpensive chromatic tuners, there is not excuse for poor intonation! My unfortunate lesson is that I should have paid more attention to this during the first 5 years of my playing! Not to mention bowing, especially on 6/8s!

Aug 12, 2020 - 8:14:16 AM
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Old Scratch

Canada

613 posts since 6/22/2016

@Fiddler

"When I heard a recording of Tommy Jarrell, I found acceptance of that untrained, visceral fiddling of the southern mountains. It resonated with my soul. However, I am still drawn to the driving fiddling of Cape Breton and Maritime provinces much of which is also shared in Missouri fiddling."

In Cape Breton, the Maritimes, and Canada generally, there are what I think of as 'alternative' traditions of 'that untrained, visceral fiddling', although these seem to be gasping their last breaths. There is an assumption that has become widespread that the fiddlers of those traditions played the way they did because they did not have all the modern advantages, but in actuality, most of those fiddlers rejected the sounds and approaches that they did not feel belonged in their tradition. For example, while the New Brunswick fiddler Don Messer became associated with Prince Edward Island, and was widely heard and seen there, few Island fiddlers had any interest in trying to emulate his clean, slick style, quick as they were to acquire tunes from his repertoire and adapt them to their own style.

Aug 12, 2020 - 9:09:21 AM

gapbob

USA

709 posts since 4/20/2008
Online Now

I recall Buddy disparaging Don Messer's rendering (simplification) of "A Trip to Windsor," where Messer leaves out the cuts, which are the heart of the tune, on the first beats of the measures having them.

I am sorry that the fiddling of Cape Breton is being slick-ified, I don't go there and my exposure to the current fiddling style there is basically nil.  :-(

Edited by - gapbob on 08/12/2020 09:12:58

Aug 12, 2020 - 9:44:01 AM

Old Scratch

Canada

613 posts since 6/22/2016

Don Messer didn't record many Cape Breton tunes; I read an interview somewhere in which he says, "I'll leave those to the experts". Most of the CB fiddlers didn't think much of Messer's playing. I'm sure there was some resentment of his success and omnipresence, but it was more than just that .....

There are some (relatively) younger CB players who have some of the old feel, Wendy MacIsaac as an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9znnZioUk4

Aug 12, 2020 - 11:29:35 AM

Fiddler

USA

4105 posts since 6/22/2007
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by Old Scratch

@Fiddler

"When I heard a recording of Tommy Jarrell, I found acceptance of that untrained, visceral fiddling of the southern mountains. It resonated with my soul. However, I am still drawn to the driving fiddling of Cape Breton and Maritime provinces much of which is also shared in Missouri fiddling."

In Cape Breton, the Maritimes, and Canada generally, there are what I think of as 'alternative' traditions of 'that untrained, visceral fiddling', although these seem to be gasping their last breaths. There is an assumption that has become widespread that the fiddlers of those traditions played the way they did because they did not have all the modern advantages, but in actuality, most of those fiddlers rejected the sounds and approaches that they did not feel belonged in their tradition. For example, while the New Brunswick fiddler Don Messer became associated with Prince Edward Island, and was widely heard and seen there, few Island fiddlers had any interest in trying to emulate his clean, slick style, quick as they were to acquire tunes from his repertoire and adapt them to their own style.


Thanks for pointing that out and reminding us that all traditions have this wide intonation acceptance. I have heard some field recordings of Maritime fiddling that would rival any of the crusty fiddlers in the OT tradition. What has made it on commercial recordings tend to be exceptional and shape my view.

I do recognize that those who are fully immersed in a tradition will know what fiddling style represents them. I know that I am only on the surface of Cape Breton /PEI/Maritime style. I don't fully understand the nuances nor do I pretend to know them or even play it that style. All I know is that I like it!

Aug 12, 2020 - 11:41:28 AM

89 posts since 6/8/2020

Fiddler - what do you mean by “wide intonation acceptance”? Are you referring to a certain looseness in placing the 3rds, as part of a given style/genre or in generally being out of tune? I can’t imagine any group of listeners of any style/genre would be particularly enamored of out of tune fiddling.

Aug 12, 2020 - 1:24:30 PM
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Old Scratch

Canada

613 posts since 6/22/2016

It's one of those things you either get or you don't - I've seen and participated in endless arguments and discussions on intonation in fiddling, and I've never seen anyone budge an inch yet.

Aug 12, 2020 - 3:38:10 PM

1658 posts since 12/11/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Johnbow

Fiddler - what do you mean by “wide intonation acceptance”? Are you referring to a certain looseness in placing the 3rds, as part of a given style/genre or in generally being out of tune? I can’t imagine any group of listeners of any style/genre would be particularly enamored of out of tune fiddling.


Don't get me started on 3rds.  My ears and fingers want to put them in probably three different spots, depending if I'm going up the scale, down the scale, or just doing a major triad.  Then there's the Blues Third, where I tend to start at the Minor Third and then choke upward (I mean slide upward, of course) up to the Major and beyond.

Aug 13, 2020 - 9:57:27 AM
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dstans

USA

3 posts since 6/9/2020

This seems to be a dangerous topic, but I wanted to add my own personal take on this. To me, the stylistic difference between Burke an Lynch is akin to the differences between OT and bluegrass fiddling. I've been an OT fiddler for 30 years and what initially drew me to it (and keeps me passionate about it still) is its focus on complex/driving rhythms (bowing) and subtle/emotive phrasing - with less concern about melody, tone, and intonation (although I personally strive for good intonation). The more purified/melodic approach of bluegrass simply doesn't move me - it feels like the notes are getting in the way of the music to me. There are plenty of OT fiddle tunes/fiddlers that are quite notey, but I tend to reduce such tunes to a more foundational state, then rephrase them to suite me. I suppose music is in the ear of the beholder.

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