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  • Gallery « ICTM Ireland
    the following address irishworldacademy ie semictmforum Expand reply retweet favorite 10 Sep ICTM Ireland ICTMIreland Really looking forward to the SEM ICTM Joint Forum in Limerick City next week 13th 16th September ethnomusicology ictm sem Expand reply retweet favorite 28 Jul ICTM Ireland ICTMIreland CFP The online journal for ICTM Ireland invites articles for publication in its fourth Spring 2016 edition pic twitter com zs4E Expand reply retweet favorite 28 Feb ICTM Ireland ICTMIreland Day 2 of ICTMIreland annual conference with MusicDkIT great papers and discussion Expand reply retweet favorite 27 Feb Music DkIT MusicDkIT ICTM Ireland Annual Conference 2015 ready to kick off shortly with the postgraduate forum hosted by Professor fb me 6FkLtvrCy Retweeted by ICTM Ireland Expand reply retweet favorite 27 Feb Musicology Review themusicologyr ICTMIreland Please RT CFP for Issue 9 of The Musicology Review Abstracts due 27 March 2015 More details here goo gl xFjNQ2 Retweeted by ICTM Ireland Expand reply retweet favorite Follow ICTMIreland Recent Journal Posts Editors Preface April 9 2015 Jaime Jones Singing the Way Music as Pilgrimage in Maharashtra April 9 2015 Conor Caldwell Dancing in Southwest Donegal Historical and Contemporary Perspectives April 9 2015 Liz Melish Performing local identity Place

    Original URL path: http://www.ictm.ie/?page_id=20&album=3&photo=41 (2016-02-16)
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  • Gallery « ICTM Ireland
    following address irishworldacademy ie semictmforum Expand reply retweet favorite 10 Sep ICTM Ireland ICTMIreland Really looking forward to the SEM ICTM Joint Forum in Limerick City next week 13th 16th September ethnomusicology ictm sem Expand reply retweet favorite 28 Jul ICTM Ireland ICTMIreland CFP The online journal for ICTM Ireland invites articles for publication in its fourth Spring 2016 edition pic twitter com zs4E Expand reply retweet favorite 28 Feb ICTM Ireland ICTMIreland Day 2 of ICTMIreland annual conference with MusicDkIT great papers and discussion Expand reply retweet favorite 27 Feb Music DkIT MusicDkIT ICTM Ireland Annual Conference 2015 ready to kick off shortly with the postgraduate forum hosted by Professor fb me 6FkLtvrCy Retweeted by ICTM Ireland Expand reply retweet favorite 27 Feb Musicology Review themusicologyr ICTMIreland Please RT CFP for Issue 9 of The Musicology Review Abstracts due 27 March 2015 More details here goo gl xFjNQ2 Retweeted by ICTM Ireland Expand reply retweet favorite Follow ICTMIreland Recent Journal Posts Editors Preface April 9 2015 Jaime Jones Singing the Way Music as Pilgrimage in Maharashtra April 9 2015 Conor Caldwell Dancing in Southwest Donegal Historical and Contemporary Perspectives April 9 2015 Liz Melish Performing local identity Place community

    Original URL path: http://www.ictm.ie/?page_id=20&album=3&photo=40 (2016-02-16)
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  • Gallery « ICTM Ireland
    at the following address irishworldacademy ie semictmforum Expand reply retweet favorite 10 Sep ICTM Ireland ICTMIreland Really looking forward to the SEM ICTM Joint Forum in Limerick City next week 13th 16th September ethnomusicology ictm sem Expand reply retweet favorite 28 Jul ICTM Ireland ICTMIreland CFP The online journal for ICTM Ireland invites articles for publication in its fourth Spring 2016 edition pic twitter com zs4E Expand reply retweet favorite 28 Feb ICTM Ireland ICTMIreland Day 2 of ICTMIreland annual conference with MusicDkIT great papers and discussion Expand reply retweet favorite 27 Feb Music DkIT MusicDkIT ICTM Ireland Annual Conference 2015 ready to kick off shortly with the postgraduate forum hosted by Professor fb me 6FkLtvrCy Retweeted by ICTM Ireland Expand reply retweet favorite 27 Feb Musicology Review themusicologyr ICTMIreland Please RT CFP for Issue 9 of The Musicology Review Abstracts due 27 March 2015 More details here goo gl xFjNQ2 Retweeted by ICTM Ireland Expand reply retweet favorite Follow ICTMIreland Recent Journal Posts Editors Preface April 9 2015 Jaime Jones Singing the Way Music as Pilgrimage in Maharashtra April 9 2015 Conor Caldwell Dancing in Southwest Donegal Historical and Contemporary Perspectives April 9 2015 Liz Melish Performing local identity

    Original URL path: http://www.ictm.ie/?page_id=20&album=3&photo=39 (2016-02-16)
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  • Gallery « ICTM Ireland
    downloaded at the following address irishworldacademy ie semictmforum Expand reply retweet favorite 10 Sep ICTM Ireland ICTMIreland Really looking forward to the SEM ICTM Joint Forum in Limerick City next week 13th 16th September ethnomusicology ictm sem Expand reply retweet favorite 28 Jul ICTM Ireland ICTMIreland CFP The online journal for ICTM Ireland invites articles for publication in its fourth Spring 2016 edition pic twitter com zs4E Expand reply retweet favorite 28 Feb ICTM Ireland ICTMIreland Day 2 of ICTMIreland annual conference with MusicDkIT great papers and discussion Expand reply retweet favorite 27 Feb Music DkIT MusicDkIT ICTM Ireland Annual Conference 2015 ready to kick off shortly with the postgraduate forum hosted by Professor fb me 6FkLtvrCy Retweeted by ICTM Ireland Expand reply retweet favorite 27 Feb Musicology Review themusicologyr ICTMIreland Please RT CFP for Issue 9 of The Musicology Review Abstracts due 27 March 2015 More details here goo gl xFjNQ2 Retweeted by ICTM Ireland Expand reply retweet favorite Follow ICTMIreland Recent Journal Posts Editors Preface April 9 2015 Jaime Jones Singing the Way Music as Pilgrimage in Maharashtra April 9 2015 Conor Caldwell Dancing in Southwest Donegal Historical and Contemporary Perspectives April 9 2015 Liz Melish Performing local

    Original URL path: http://www.ictm.ie/?page_id=20 (2016-02-16)
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  • Conferences « ICTM Ireland
    in a PDF document Alternatively details can be found on our webpage here Posted in Conferences News Comments Off on Call For Papers for the ICTM Ireland 2015 Annual Conference Tracks Less Travelled Call for Papers ICTM Ireland s Postgraduate Conference 2014 Posted on Sep 8th 2014 by admin Call for Papers Voicing the Other s Dear Postgraduate students This year s Postgraduate Conference will take place in Dingle Co Kerry on Saturday November 29th We invite postgraduate students at all stages of their study with an interest in music performance ethnomusicology and education to submit papers for 20 minute slots We welcome papers on Posted in Conferences News Comments Off on Call for Papers ICTM Ireland s Postgraduate Conference 2014 Call For Papers 43rd ICTM World Conference 2015 Posted on Sep 8th 2014 by admin You are cordially invited to participate in the 43rd ICTM World Conference which will be held between 16 and 22 July 2015 at the Kazakh National University of Arts in Astana Kazakhstan The ICTM World Conference is the leading international venue for the presentation of new research on music and dance Many new initiatives emerge at World Conferences and perhaps Posted in Conferences News Comments Off on Call For Papers 43rd ICTM World Conference 2015 Call For Papers Joint SEM ICTM Posted on Sep 8th 2014 by admin SEM ICTM Forum Call for Proposals Transforming Ethnomusicological Praxis through Activism and Community Engagement 13 16 September 2015 Limerick City Ireland We are inviting proposals for an international forum sponsored jointly by the Society for Ethnomusicology and the International Council for Traditional Music Proposals should be 200 300 words in length and must be submitted to http www ictmusic org civicrm profile edit reset 1 gid 33 by Posted in Conferences News Comments Off on Call For Papers Joint SEM ICTM Last Call for Papers ICTM Postgraduate Conference Posted on Sep 27th 2013 by admin The last Call for Papers for the ICTM Postgraduate Conference 2013 Music and Ownership UCD November 9th Send in your abstracts to Sheryl Lynch by tomorrow September 28th email Education ictm ie http www ictm ie page id 1098 Posted in Conferences News Comments Off on Last Call for Papers ICTM Postgraduate Conference ICTM Postgraduate Conference 2013 Call for Papers Posted on Jun 13th 2013 by admin ICTM Postgraduate Conference 2013 Music and Ownership Call for Papers This year s Postgraduate conference will take place on Saturday November 9th in University College Dublin We invite postgraduate students at all stages of their study with an interest in music performance ethnomusicology and education to submit papers for 20 minute slots Although the Posted in Conferences News Comments Off on ICTM Postgraduate Conference 2013 Call for Papers Misneach 2012 Accommodation and Directions Posted on Oct 11th 2012 by admin The following buses go from Nassau street to UCD 46a 145 and the 39a this leaves you at the bus terminus on campus Directions from Main Entrance to UCD Off the N11 Restaurant Directions

    Original URL path: http://www.ictm.ie/?cat=4 (2016-02-16)
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  • Tim Cooley « ICTM Ireland
    calling for a final break with the romantic notion of the ethnic as the harmless and colourful folklore on the remote peripheries of our own societies Stokes 1994 p 7 While benefiting much from Martin Stokes call for a nuanced look at the use of music in the active constructions of ethnic groups within contested plays of power and domination I wonder if now it is time to take it further by stopping with the first half of Stokes phrase and to break with the romantic notion of the ethnic altogether Are we entering a post ethnic age Perhaps so perhaps not But I do know that focusing on musicking and surfing demands that I conceive of group identity constructions anew since there are no models in ethnomusicology for studying affinity groups that form around a sporting affinity group or that form around something other than place belief systems occupations or occasionally musical systems Here is how I am approaching this post ethnic affinity group of surfers As suggested by my use of Christopher Small s coinage musicking my study takes a broad view of human musical activities associated in any way with that other human activity called surfing The gerund of the verb to music musicking is any active engagement in musical performance including listening to musical sounds live or recorded dancing composing playing a musical instrument and so forth Small 1998 p 9 Small s coinage is an effort is to de objectify music and make it an activity again what I like to call a cultural practice and I interpret both musicking and surfing as cultural practices This emphasis on verbal music king surf ing and adjectival musi cal cultu ral forms draws from Arjun Appadurai s influential critique of modernity However while Appadurai found that his focus on the cultural moved him toward discourses of ethnicity 1996 p 13 I find that it allows one to move beyond ethnicity and toward other ways of social grouping and identity construction such as affinity groups Also Appadurai was concerned with modernity where my interests embrace notions of postmodernity that foreground at least theoretically malleable and multiple self and group identities This approach corresponds well with current interpretations of surfing from the field of sports studies Booth 2004 and from sociology Ford and Brown 2006 that place the activity of surfing squarely within cultural contexts of individual and group identity construction Yet as a fundamentally experiential and embodied phenomenon surfing is only secondarily communicative Perhaps for this reason many surfers find it desirable and even necessary to cultivate communicative cultural expressions musicking among them In the interest of time I will not delve further into to my adaptation of twentieth century theories of ethnicity for interpreting twenty first century affinity groups other than to mention that I see it as a logical extension of my past work theorizing the construction of Polish Górale ethnicity Cooley 2005 which builds on general theories of ethnicities and traditions as cultural constructions and human inventions e g Anderson 1991 1983 Hobsbawm and Ranger 1983 If we can show that human identity frames such as ethnicities and nation states formerly considered natural or at least immemorial are in fact social cultural historical constructions might something as presumably temporal as an affinity group share some of the same potential for revealing how humans create community Might postmodern elective affinity groups be for the twenty first century what nation states and ethnicities were for the nineteenth and twentieth Surfing is arguably the prototypical lifestyle sport sports that can be distinguished from what are called in sports studies achievement sports institutionally supported football rugby baseball track and so forth that teach values of competition and teamwork Lifestyle sports are called many other things including alternative sports new sports Bourdieu 1984 and especially in the USA extreme sports as promoted by ESPN s X games Wheaton 2004 pp 2 3 Rinehart 2000 p 505 Sports scholar Belinda Wheaton prefers the term lifestyle sport since in her ethnographic research she found that this was the term participants used hence it is an emic term and that those participants were actively seeking a distinctive and often alternative lifestyle through a sport that offered them a particular and exclusive social identity Ibid p 4 emphasis in original My ethnographic work with surfers agrees with Wheaton s For example surfing musician Brandon Boyd of Incubus does not like to consider surfing a sport but rather a lifestyle in Donnelly 2005 p 91 Surfing is also interpreted as a lifestyle by Nick Ford and David Brown in their book Surfing and Social Theory but for them it is a subcultural lifestyle 2006 pp 60 68 Just a few very quick points about this affinity group of surfers It is a group that individuals move in and out of and may constitute a portion of a fractured multi layered identity the hallmark of postmodernity as I am using the term here Though cultural expressions of surfing often do pay homage to Hawaii and California the surfing community is today truly globalized if limited for the most part to coastal areas of our globe Surfing may be an expression of coastal cosmopolitanism Though the mid twentieth century revival of surfing carried some suggestion of counter cultural identity the lifestyle today reflects many of the qualities and problems of the dominant societies in which it is practiced Thus while there are many exceptions to each of the characteristics I list here surfing in the twenty first century tends to emphasize competition and technology i e surfboard and wetsuit technology and is highly commercialized It can also be described as youth oriented masculine though increasing numbers of women are surfing and hetero normative Stedman 1997 Many critics claim that surfing is predominantly white and middle class but my observations are that in many cases it is heavily working class and only slightly more white than any given host community Surfing and Musicking It is an ethnomusicological truism that groups of people tend to engage in musicking What of this surfing affinity group and musicking In a feature story in Surfer magazine Brendon Thomas wrote The connection between music and surfing is undeniable 2005 p 188 and surfing has been incorrectly called the only sport with its own music This assumed connection between music and surfing seems to be gaining traction recently with a number of articles in insider surfing media on music and surfing as well as at least three DVD s that consider the same topic one of which Live A Music and Surfing Experience Parsa 2008 was mentioned earlier Perhaps most striking however are the surprising number of former and even current professional surfers who have second careers as popular musicians For example Tom Curren is a 3 time world surfing champion and is considered one of the most influential surfers of the late twentieth century Today he still competes but he has also released an album Tom Curren 2004 and performs professionally Australian Beau Young is a two time World Longboard Champion and now focuses his energy on music and released an album in 2005 Waves of Change Eight time World Surfing Campion Kelly Slater released an album in 1998 Songs from the Pipe with other professional musicians in a band called The Surfers Both Donavon Frankenreiter and Jack Johnson were sponsored surfers and now are successful popular musicians And the list goes on Rather than asking if the connection between musicking and surfing claimed by individual surfers is real or myth it is more productive and ethnographically appropriate to accept it as a cultural construction worthy of study This is key to the whole enterprise of my project since I cannot begin with that typical ethnomusicological pairing of a people and a music Instead I have the refreshing opportunity to observe how people link musicking and surfing from the ground up For this interpretative analysis I have been considering the ways that musicians talk about surfing and surfers talk about musicking and I note a few themes here that have particular implications for the significance of people musicking together for playing together In my analysis two themes return frequently First musicking and surfing as self expression and sharing and secondly musicking and surfing as being the same thing as being homologies To illustrate and interpret these themes I now turn to surfer s voices and how they talk about musicking Self expression and sharing The concepts of self expression and sharing are intertwined in telling ways when surfers talk about musicking and surfing Self expression is often mentioned as one of the ways surfing and musicking are like one another but sharing often being offered as a point of contrast surfing you do alone playing music you share For example retired Australian pro surfer and musician Lucas Proudfoot proclaimed that Both surfing and music allow a person to show their style whether it is a fast driving bottom turn on a nice 6ft day or a funky guitar riff on a lazy Sunday afternoon jam session quoted in Crockett 2005 p 61 Free surfer Dave Rastovich also Australian notes that both surfing and music are improvised spontaneous and impermanent No wave is the same no turn on a wave is the same and when improvising music he never plays the same thing the same way twice in Kimball 207 p 83 Similarly Peter Kenvin of San Diego California finds both surfing and musicking to be ways of expressing himself artistically As a singer Peter believes he can do whatever he wants when performing music as when surfing p c telephone 29 March 2006 Surfing and musicking together as a shared experience changed fundamentally in the twentieth century Up through the first half of the century it was common for surfers to surf together as a group often with multiple riders on a single wave The relatively gently breaking waves found at Waikiki on the island of Oahu Hawaii and the strikingly similar if colder waves at San Onofre in southern California south of Los Angeles are classic examples of locations where photographs from the early twentieth century show surfers sharing waves Figure 4 Fig 4 Out of the water on the beach similar musical practices also developed in both places Figure 5 is a photograph of the Waikiki Beach Boys taken in 1963 for an LP cover and features notable surfers and musicians including Duke Kahanamoku the individual most identified with globalizing surfing in the twentieth century Fig 5 The San Onofre Bamboo Room Philharmonic Figure 6 as they call themselves is clearly a mimesis of Hawaiian beach life as imagined first by 1930s California surfers but continuing today as seen in Figure 7 a photograph taken in 2006 Surfing together and musicking together was the ideal sought by some of the early California surfers and that ideal continues today at San Onofre Fig 6 Fig 7 Technological changes in surfboard construction and design contributed to a changing socialization in the water ending for the most part the practice of sharing waves With the advent of lighter smaller and more manoeuvrable boards the concept of one wave one rider developed and this is the etiquette today Also in the later half of the twentieth century the number of surfers worldwide has mushroomed leading surfers to refer to waves as limited resources for which one must compete and spawning a well documented surfing wanderlust in search of uncrowded quality waves worldwide While surfers seek solitude in the water they seem to crave human connection back on land Professional Californian surfer and successful popular musician Donovan Frankenreiter captures the tension well Surfing s more of an individual sport while you can share your tunes with people quoted in Thomas 2005 p 190 Australian Jim Banks draws the line sharply To me jamming is completely different from surfing because surfing to me is a completely individual thing quoted in Crockett 2005 p 61 Dave Rastovich on the other hand speaks of sharing in both musicking and surfing at least among friends The jamming thing is sharing For me that s where it s at the sharing thing Some of the surfs I have had by myself have been amazing but I know they would be far more enhanced memorable if I had just one other person to share them with A lot like jamming together feeling the same thing without talking quoted in Crockett 2005 p 57 In my research I note a desire even a need to create community while surfing and this may spill over into the parking lot for shared musicking post surf This literally happens at Manhattan Beach part of the greater Los Angeles area where as seen in Figure 8 from left to right Laurie Mike Al and Gene surf together most Saturday and Sunday mornings followed by a music session in municipal parking lot 26 In a recent email exchange Mike offered a nuanced interpretation of the desire to share the experience of surfing According to Mike this begins with shared understanding and mutual respect Fig 8 An understanding of the reading of the conditions An understanding of the effort involved in maintaining your physical ability to enjoy the sport An understanding of engaging in a sport that is seen by some still as counter culture and self centred While it is true that each surfer is surfing alone they are really amongst a whole orchestra of other surfers sharing waves when appropriate and dominating when necessary but in the end hopefully they all share a session that allowed each person to advance their ability while not inhibiting the more advanced or truly gifted to also enjoy and express their skills The same could be said of musicians When they get together and jam there is an immediate shared understanding of an experience and ability to perform Each person has their own skill level I have been in many jam sessions where accomplished musicians essentially tutor neophytes but in the end everyone has had a good time p c email 29 January 2010 Fig 9 E J Oshier seen in Figure 9 around 1935 down the coast in San Onofre spoke to me a few years ago when he was 90 years old in quite similar ways about the joy of sharing music with similarly skilled musicians and the pleasure of virtuosity as well as the need to mentor less accomplished musicians In my interviews with Oshier he also frequently commented on the surfing abilities of the musicians he mentioned It was all part of the bigger picture With these amateur musicians and surfers the ultimate objective is clearly shared musical participation even if individual virtuosity must be sacrificed in the service of communal pleasure Homologies At least as common among surfers talking about musicking as discussions of sharing are statements about music and surfing being similar or even the same thing These statements usually take one of several forms First is a homology between sound waves and water waves A second common response is to speak of rhythm as either a metaphor or an important feature in both musicking and surfing Finally a more general response is that surfing and musicking generate the same affective feeling or peek experience sometimes called flow a term that I will adopt for reasons explained below I believe that this type of talk among surfers about musicking is where we find the most information about why musicking is important the role it has in creating a sense of self and group identity and some of the ways it is effective in not just expressing but also creating an experience similar to that of surfing Surfer and musician Samuel Bonanno proprietor of Kapa Boutique and Music Store on the Hawaiian island of Kauai note 14 xi 06 Kaua i Hawaii put it to me in an informal conversation eloquently Music and surfing are the same thing Sound and music are both just waves He went on to say that the origins of life are where the sea meets the land and that we all descend from this place Music for Sam replaces the feeling of surfing when he can t be there in that meeting zone actually surfing For Sam musicking and surfing are not only in essence the same but they are the essence of being Tim Donnelly in the beginning of his Surfers Path article on music approaches the same idea in a poetic mixing of metaphors The waves of sound and the waves of water are the translucent and connective engines that universally flow through our saltwater veins 2005 p 76 Rhythm is a second common theme in this category I am calling homologies I will let eight time platinum selling popular musician and former professional surfer then film maker Jack Johnson introduce the concept Johnson I always sing a song when I m riding a wave Especially somewhere where the wave s long enough to get going and forget the fact that you ve taken off Then you just start getting a song in your head and you kind of get this rhythm going sometimes Somewhere like Rincon where you can really start to get a rhythm going and having a nice groove in you head kind of helps out Narrator Ultimately and most basically creating a flow on a wave is an expression of rhythm Parsa 2008 DVD chapter 14 Surfer and popular Hawaiian musician John Cruz talked about surfing and rhythm this way Melodies there s always rhythm The water always rhythm When you re swimming bouncing floating on top with little bubbles that form on the board there s always rhythm When you re working a wave it s all rhythm get the groove and figure out what pattern this wave is gonna be When I watch surfers that have the spot wired they almost know what song they re going to play in Donnelly 2005 p

    Original URL path: http://www.ictm.ie/?p=330 (2016-02-16)
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  • Niall Keegan « ICTM Ireland
    the author only had the power to mix writings for my informants their power is in the creative practices of their music but their language practice can just as creatively frame and enable these practices What primarily informs what we say and write about traditional or any music and its processes is a tradition of saying and writing The power of the author or speaker does not come from the relationship of word to music but rather that of word to word This is arguable the root of the contemporary western division and disjuncture of music and musicology To engage process in music we initially and primarily engage philosophical academic and political language processes and structures I would that a critique of these language structures is essential for a meaningful academic engagement with music In traditional music today there are discourses and vocabularies that are privileged above others They are usually associated with issues of authenticity locality and the solo performance which is perhaps perfectly understandable and to be expected in our globalised environment with multiple performance practices jostling for attention They also seem to be the most identifiably Irish although it is arguable that their form and structure is a lot more general They are also implicitly more emic by this I mean they are understood by cultural insiders in a scale directly equating to the individual s relative insideness Such terminologies are built around issues of regional style and past privileged practice We could take a post structuralist approach and argue that the establishment of privileged language structures to account for Irish traditional music performance reflects the interests of dominant established groups within the community of sound to evaluate and encourage or discourage performance practices Such vocabularies would perhaps be accounted by Bakhtin as a trend towards a musical monoglossia see Bakhtin 1981 However contemporary concert bands as we shall see have a peripheral role in relation to these more traditional privileged practices accounted for by such vocabularies The music practices that these monoglossic vocabularies relate to are emerging from perceptions of the first mass mediated sources of this music and organized along lines which are relevant to issues of locality and value The contemporary concert band is conceived as a new phenomenon one that in popular folklore was started by Seán Ó Riada and Ceóltoirí Chuallann in a classical context and which was then moved onto a popular music stage in the 1970s by Planxty and The Bothy Band Ensemble is essentially a social activity and so naturally engenders objective and representational descriptive vocabularies for its own needs However one of functions of language about ensemble is to maintain a connection with the native tradition and that tradition s vocabularies recognizing the centrality of authenticity in word Bahktin s monoglossia and practice while allowing for potentially contrary practices Language in Making Ensemble To collect language used in the creation of ensemble I recorded the rehearsal of a large ensemble consisting of seven musicians The make up of this rehearsal was primarily traditional musicians with a substantial amount of experience of traditional Irish music or related traditions such as Scottish or North American fiddle playing Some members had a little previous experience of institutionalized learning of music and framing of ensemble but this situation is not unusual among the communities that create ensemble in a contemporary context indeed some commentators have referred to the classicalisation of the tradition through such processes None of the band members in this case had worked significantly in ensembles in a western art or popular music context The language used in this setting proves to be reasonably consistent and operational This ensemble was at a stage of development where they were all familiar with the repertoire and they were producing and trying to remember a fairly intricate arrangement by Irish ensemble standards of a barndance a dance tune that can be accounted for in 4 4 time with a symmetrical eight bar structure They consistently used general language from western music note names were used to teach counter melodies or correct and enquire about perceived mistakes octaves are referred to i e You play down the octave there Structural terms in particular note and bar were common One term taken from western popular culture and used a lot to account for repeated melodic lines is riff Interestingly there were references to harmonies on accompanying instruments but no more harmonic operational language than that provision of harmony and accompaniment was left to the backer and melody players did not ever give harmonic direction despite the fact that many of them would have had the skills to do so Indeed some of the melody players sought direction from the accompanists when they had a counter melody or other harmonic role in the performance The furthest some of the melody players went in reference to harmony is to talk about the tension of a particular chord and it resolving The fiddlers commonly use the term Pizzicato or Pizz while the rest of the ensemble members refer to notes being staccato There was a considerable amount of structural language that envisages the performance as a narrative with discrete parts Terms such as first part second part first round second round A part B part first B part second B part provided structure tools for the musicians to engage their music It is evident from the recording that some are taking notes while others are not that is attempting to remember the arrangement without aids No ensemble member was using manuscript paper although all would have been able to The musicians spent a lot of the time communicating in the following way So the second half of the barndance the second time through the second part the very last B altogether band member A brings in the riff you re doing EBA harmonies band member B s doing harmonies to the other tune not the barndance I m doing the dronie riff thing and then band member A takes the riff out of the barndance So it s just the fiddles and the piano and then you the piper come in with the the piper shrieks into the tune Because we do the riff twice through and it speeds up the third time through it s actually the third part yeah exactly oh yeah Of course there is much operational language that is necessary for the social and performed functions of the tradition to be heard here There is little ambiguity about instrument names although some have perhaps less than perfect synonyms keyboard piano fiddle violin and there is one instance of an accordion being directed to play in a melodeon style i e reminiscent of a single row rather than a two row button accordion Also there is much reference to the speed of the tunes rehearsed as members often question whether a piece is too fast or too slow The rest of the operational language for creating ensemble is essentially made up of more mundane metaphors particularly ones that are spatial and embodied taken from our physical engagement with our environment to fulfil particular needs One member asks Do we need to work on it as if the tune was a material to work at to transform it or refine it There are constant references to coming in and dropping out strangely perhaps the expression coming out isn t used at all The arrangement is often being built up while tunes are being dove tailed into each other Harmonies can be intrusive while someone can run away increasing in speed and sometimes it s important to make the rhythm really bouncy while one member of the ensemble was very fond of looking for power in the ensemble Perhaps its only a coincidence but this comment came from the only man in he group Interestingly the recurrent self criticism is that things are too messy and need to be tighter These spatial metaphors and there are more may seem mundane and run of the mill but they are absolutely essential for the creation of ensemble Language in Accounting for Ensemble About ten years ago I engaged in some research where I played excerpts from thirteen separate traditional music recordings to a group of eight traditional musicians These were mostly taken from commercial recordings and included three from what would be regarded as concert bands the rest were from solo recordings dance bands or sessions I asked them to describe what they heard and let me know what they thought of the performances The language of response here is more easily characterized as representational or descriptive as none of the language was recorded in a setting where ensemble was being made However in their responses we can still see more operational western musicological terms being used in this category perhaps naturally enough as the informants are all musicians themselves and would use these terms in operational contexts Some refer to a bit of harmony while others refer to counter melody and some speak of the musicianship of members of the band There are several sets of more mundane everyday metaphors used to describe and account for ensemble the majority of which are spatial Informants complain of performances being cluttered usually referring to harmonies and sometimes the tune gets lost or the accompaniment is overbearing some speak of messing around implying a lack of purpose and over elaboration obviously related to the mess metaphor as we have seen used in creating ensemble many informants speak about the balance of the band being good or bad for instance the balance is bad when the accompaniment is overbearing Sometimes more emotive words are used such as exciting sad or relaxing More embodied metaphors sometimes implying agency or the lack or it are also prevalent some performances are regarding as having great life while others are dead Other common metaphors used by respondents are physical and tactile Some performances are seen to have fire while arrangements can be perceived to be rich presumably a metaphorical extension of texture rather than economic wealth although the two could be considered to be related There is very little peculiar to ensemble or even to Irish traditional music in these metaphors but it is interesting to note that they work around two axes the perceived effectiveness of their rhythm life fire etc and the effectiveness of the arrangement and its relationship to the main melody cluttered messing about losing the tune etc More recently I conducted interviews with three members of prominent professional traditional music ensembles asking them about the ideas behind their bands how they relate to audiences through speech introductions stories etc and what they found most satisfying and liked most about playing in a band Two of the ensembles would be regarded as concert bands in a standard popular format Danu and Munnelly while the last is a new band consisting of just three Donegal fiddle players Fidil The language of Muireann Nic Aoimhlaoibh singer and flute whistle player in Danu and Kieran Munnelly flute and bodhran player in Munnelly is business focused and their performance lives revolve around contemporary performance practice occurring in concerts and CD recordings When asked about their favourite numbers in a gig they tend to contextualise them first in a recording and then to talk about their affect in performance Indeed both present their material differently to different audiences so much so that Muireann conceptualizes performances in two different contexts completely differently giving them different names You have to tailor it language introducing numbers to the audience A concert in America is very different to a gig in Ireland even the language we use to describe them are not the same thing They ve got a concert you ve got a gig you know Kieran on the other hand only seems to be concerned about the perceived traditionality of his performance closer to home I don t worry about that presenting non traditional material until we come to Ireland or Europe where people expect it traditional material To all the informants a central concept is of difference between performances as described by Kieran There s one set that we re playing for years I like it because over the years it s grown through live performance through us being not afraid or not stagnant something that has changed and is different every night Also central to all the informants is the difference between band members as described by Aidan O Donnell from Fidil You can probably hear the three individuals in the band there s layers of sound to work with then And difference from other bands is as well described by Aidan We were playing what we learned at home The interest was to try and go to that than not try and sound like other bands We were interested in the traditional tunes but trying to put a Fidil stamp on it Each of these bands seems to have a very different central philosophy to their performances Muireann says about her band Danu perhaps the most mainstream of the three groups mentioned here that their central idea is to get across the feel of a session on the stage She says We like to think of ourselves as a trad band not a very frilly one not always the slickest or the most adventurous in arrangements but the heart of it is the session format really and we don t really stray from that too far It s kind of an old fashioned trad band The thing that works the best for us is to keep it simple and to keep it honest When we were younger we spent a lot of time coming up with very complicated and very fairly fancy arrangements and chord progressions and harmonies that I enjoy but at the end of the day we have reverted back to good old tunes and songs that we can t really go wrong with Certainly Danu is the band musically closest of these to what is perhaps the prototype traditional dance tune based band The Bothy Band Muireann speaks of the rejection of complexity of arrangement and harmony depending on the value of traditional material the virtuosity and musicianship of its members and the overall blend in the band blend is a metaphor like balance or mix which is commonly heard in comments in and about a number of performance practices Also interesting and common is the use of honest to describe uncomplicated ensemble performance of older traditional music Kieran presents Munnelly as a band that is a co operative Involving of a number of different musical approaches that do not compromise but where band members allow each other to express their own preferences and aesthetics For both Muireann and Kieran important metaphors for their sound are life and energy Aidan O Donnell presents a different but not unconnected aesthetic for ensemble Like the band Altan Fidil attempt to represent the music of their particular region Donegal or perhaps even more specifically that of south West Donegal although this was not a distinction made in my interview with Aidan They want to reflect their roots and unlike Altan reject many of the musical conditions of contemporary ensemble performance Aidan tells me about Fidil s sound The basic sound was to go back to the roots in terms of listening to Doherty and Frank Cassidy Every CD we heard even if was a solo fiddle CD still would have bouzouki or guitar even though it was deemed solo So what I wanted to do and what Ciaran wanted to do was to break that down using just the fiddle Obviously you had to do something else with it you couldn t just leave it static it challenges you to do something new and different but at the same time the route was through the old octaving the old Donegal players Central to every aspect of their performance is what he regards as traditional Donegal fiddle performance although he does admit in taking some liberties for the sake of individuality Even the way they introduce the tunes is important We try and bring a lot of folklore that went with it introductions It s not just about the music it was made socially relevant they tell the story about the place and about the tune that relates the tune to the audience It s not just about the music like We try and get the audience At the end of the day you re trying to break down a barrier to make these people comfortable and enjoy it probably the way we enjoyed learning it We enjoy ourselves first and foremost but then when we do that we try and get the old stories the way we heard them from the likes of Vincey Campbell and especially the likes of Danny Meehan and all It makes the stuff more accessible I suppose Aidan is here presenting perhaps an extreme form of a more recent type of ensemble that focuses deliberately on more privileged traditional practices such as regional styles For example Altan as stated do this for Donegal music and the Band Sliabh Notes do so for Sliabh Luachra music However these bands do so in the musical context of the model for the concert traditional band that was set by 70s by ensembles such as The Bothy Band Fidil have gone so far as to reject that format refusing to have accompaniment from guitar bouzouki bodhrán or keyboard They also refuse to go with the standard inclusion of a singer However it must be remembered that a significant part of the life of Fidil is more substantially modeled on contemporary performance context the concert stage featuring standard length sets contemporary technology and contemporary business practices Aidan refers just as much as the other two informants to such contexts the concert the session and the ubiquitous CD Conclusion The responses I elicited to musical excerpts from

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  • Desi Wilkinson « ICTM Ireland
    two of them played West African traditional instruments Kora and Jenbe were plugged into a fully functioning sound system and had established the idea of a stage set up already The Irish musicians had worked with PA systems but a fully set up sound system did not figure in our rehearsal imaginings at this early stage The Senegalese musicians however had come to the project from quite a long experience of performing in the particular environment of the world music scene As western rock music is in sonic terms at any rate one of the formative influences in the world music soundscape they were arguably more linked into the rehearsal modus operandi of western rock and jazz idioms In any event the electric bass needed to be plugged in to function properly As Jocelyne Guilbault has pointed out the strategy of adopting elements of the musical language of the dominant traditions and in the case of world music this is the western rock idiom and juxtaposing this with elements of their own traditional music is albeit apart from any active aesthetic consideration on the musicians part a commercial calling card with which to enter the industrialised countries networks Guilbaut 2006 143 3 Looking at the situation in very simple terms that is the electric v acoustic juxtaposition one could argue that these two groups of musicians were on the face of it mismatched Equally true however is the fact that all of us were players who were both individual creative practitioners and representatives of our respective folk traditions In addition we were all experienced public performers who understood the imperative of show time All that remained for us to do at this point was to get on with making music and this we did with great enthusiasm and energy Adopting the role of accommodating hosts the four Irish musicians made a quick decision to enter the scene as set and amplified our instruments appropriately Retrospectively this decision may have influenced the type of musical offering that eventually emerged in that a certain volume level became quickly established as the group norm Thus set up however the manner of exchanging musical information was essentially the same everyone worked without reference to written music and the only information committed to paper were sparse directions concerning arrangements and the making of a set list and running order In principal we decided that each individual would come up with an item and arrange it to their liking and by and large this strategy was adhered to There were eight of us in the group and this was by happy coincidence a good democratic basis on which to deliver a gig lasting an hour or thereabouts A significant aspect of the different approach to performance that also emerged during rehearsal was the high priority the Senegalese players gave to free solo improvisation over an established repetitive rhythmic and melodic pattern This type of approach typical of free Jazz is not so familiar in Irish vernacular traditional music performance where in ensemble contexts solo improvisation is habitually more understated if indeed it occurs at all and a form of collective heterophonic virtuosity is most highly valued It was a highly enjoyable activity for all of us however and the Irish players though not accustomed to this in their usual performance practice took to it instinctively Even though we did exchange and integrate both Senegalese and Irish tunes into the set it must be said that the common ground the mediator between our traditional musics was probably our shared knowledge of western rock and jazz practise more so than an exploration of the nuances of Senegalese and Irish traditional themes per se The rehearsals were fun filled and full of positive energy and I appreciated the fact that because I could converse in French I was able to speak to all of the Senegalese musicians individually only one of them spoke English fluently and he took on a similar role to me in that he could converse freely with all the Irish players In this way I came to know of some of the issues existing between them that I may have remained unaware of otherwise Among these were retrospective individual fee negotiations with the organisers and personal perceptions of roles I will attempt to make some sense of this dynamic in the section below Observations on the Experience Two of the players were urban based from Dakar and the other 2 were griots from rural Senegal Mali 4 Transposed to a foreign environment where their musical identities roles and status were less clearly defined than at home it is likely that they were negotiating a change in status perceptions among themselves In traditional society in Senegal Mali griot musicians poets come from well known musical lineages that stretch back generations and they have high symbolic and musical status In our circumstance the situation was different on occasion in that the bi lingual urban musician among them often took a lead role in rehearsal organisation That said a genteel respect for the Kora player in particular was clearly evident In addition the fact that he always had his instrument with him at meal times and while strolling around at the ready to play at any time perhaps by way of commentary on the scenario was in some way reminiscent of the important role of the griot as the maître de la parole master of the spoken word utterance in West African society see Camera S 1992 and Hale T 1998 Although less dramatic possibly because of my familiarity with the individuals and the culture the Irish musicians too began to assume quite definite roles in the search for a personal comfort zone These creative tensions were to manifest themselves in many interesting amusing sometimes confusing and even spectacular ways during the course of the week In all musical groups individuals display varying levels of passivity and proactivity and at different time s different skills as much to

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