Thursday, September 16, 2010

... The Instrument Can't Play Music!

You might be a little puzzled by the last two or three postings... but not me! For you see, I am reminded of something said by Victor Wooten in his book, The Music Lesson. "Music exists inside each one of us. An instrument offers different forms of expression and allows others to hear how musical you are, but you don't have to play a note to be musical. Music cannot be found in any instrument... an instrument laid on the ground makes no sound. It is the musician who must bring Music forth, or not." Music isn't created. It is there in each of us and there, just waiting to be discovered.


I make every attempt to truly listen to a performance, so whether the music is from the highland or lowland pipe, the guitar, the voice... whatever... it makes very little difference to me. The previous posts were some of my favourite pieces of music, each setting me adrift in a different world; each providing a mood for the listener. If I saw music as simply notes, I would be only observing a mechanical display of sounds, much like those of the rolls of the player piano of old. But such is not the case.


I am often reminded of what has become the norm in so many music classes - reading the notes with correct duration, but not really playing music. Music is a passion. It transcends obsession. It is a language and not an alphabet. Their are many voices and just because one plays a particular instrument, we shouldn't feel that it is only that instrument that plays that music. For sure, the instrument doesn't play music at all... it is you, the musician... and anyone can be musical whether they play an instrument or not! So enjoy your favourite music played by your favourite musician, regardless of what medium is used.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Galway Girl - Mundy with Sharon Shannon

One of my favourite performers of all time has to be Sharon Shannon. A few years ago I had the great experience of attending an evening with her and friend's at Dolan's Pub in Limerick. This video was taken at the same pub and gives you a feel for the atmosphere that is experienced perhaps only in the west of Ireland.

Cliffs of Dooneen - Paddy Reilly

A few years ago, John Walsh introduced me to a pipe setting of the Cliffs of Dooneen, a beautiful aire sung here by the great Paddy Reilly. I searched for these cliffs many times. According to the lyrics, you can see Kilrush and Kilkee on the west coast of Co. Clare. But like the evasive leprechaun, I never did lay my eyes on them. I am sure there would be a pot of gold at the end!

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Fields Of Athenry - Paddy Reilly

How is this great Paddy Reilly song for stirring the emotions? Regardless of one's tastes in music, they are bound to swept up in its strong sentimental lyrics... I know I am.