Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Slow Session Cancelled for March 15, 2017


No Slow Session in March

When the Voorheesville CSD is closed, so is Old Songs. Therefore I am cancelling the Old Songs Irish Slow Session for tomorrow. Besides, I'm not sure I'll be able to get out of my driveway until next week.

I hope you are all faring well in this weather. Please take care and remember that the Albany CCE Session (slow and fast) will be held on Sunday, March 19th at 2:30 p.m. at the Capital District Irish Center, 375 Ontario Street, Albany, NY 12208. Learning session at 2:30 p.m. followed by regular session at 3:30 pm. People attending the sessions are encouraged to bring snacks to share. Admission is free. 

I'll see you in April for the next trad Irish slow session on April 19th.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!



Monday, March 13, 2017

The Snowy Path...

What Wicked Weather This Way Comes?

As I write this blog post, the sun is shining outside. It's brutally cold, but the sun is shining. By this time tomorrow, it will probably look like the photo above. I guess we always say this, but doesn't it seem like this winter has been very weird? 70 degree days followed by below-zero cold snaps and then right back up again! The flowers and trees must be as confused as we are. If you made it out to the St. Patrick's Day parades this past weekend, more power to you! Eric and I were traipsing around the area playing music all weekend but all that happened INSIDE.

Professional Hazards Can Be Fun!

Sorry I missed you all the last two weeks, but the days were crazy and I just didn't have time to blog. I think that's the hazard of being an Irish musician during St. Patrick's month. The good news is that once this craziness is done we can keep on going with our tunes and our craic!

Wednesday: Impending Doom or Just Another Winter Day?

I'm really looking forward to Wednesday, but it's hard to tell what the weather will be like and whether or not the roads or the parking lot will be clear enough for us to brave the elements. I will decide whether or not to cancel by 6:00 PM on Wednesday and I will post here, in my email list and on the Old Songs Facebook page, so stay tuned.

First Things First!

First of all, Happy St. Patrick's Day! If you are looking for something to do around this time, fiddler/singer Padraig Timoney will be playing at Noon at Stoney's Irish Grill in Schenectady, at 4 PM at the Pig n' Whistle in Burnt Hills, and at the Rivers Casino & Resort at 9 PM (with Emerald Dawn) that day. Also, The New World Celtic Band (Ian Warpole, Sarah Underhill and special guest Aldo Lavaggi) will be playing at New World Home Cooking on Friday. Tickets are essential - get them on Facebook or call the restuarant. The Comhaltas (http://albanycce.com/events/) Session will be held this coming Sunday, March 19 from 2:30 to 6:00 p.m. Also, announcing CD Release Party/Concert featuring Copley Street (fiddler Nathan Gourley and piper Joey Abarta) on Friday, March 24th at 7:30 PM at The Hangar, 675 River Street, Troy. A session will follow the concert. 
Website: www.copleystreet.com   Youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Nuw35YlzgA

Plans for Wednesday

OK,assuming we meet - we will start, as always, with our learn-by-ear tune. Then on to our new tune "The Flowers of Red Hill", a revisiting of last month's tunes, followed by a round-robin. Please think about what tunes you'd like to do. Take a look at the tune repository and the old lists. Work on the new tunes without sheet music if you can. I've included sound files for most of the new tunes, so you have that to start with.

So...assuming the weather is good, I hope to see you:

Old Songs Trad Irish Slow Session
Wednesday, March 15, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.
Old Songs Community Arts Center
37 South Main St., Voorheesville, NY 12186
Questions? Hilary at 518-424-8701 or hilary.schrauf@gmail.com



Monday, February 27, 2017

February Wrap-Up

A quick look back at February's fun at the monthly Old Songs trad Irish Slow Session.

Image of an Irish colleen in a shawl by Photoglob Z├╝rich, reprinted by Detroit Publishing Co. [Public domain], <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AIrish_colleen_with_green_plaid_shawl%2C_1890s.jpg">via Wikimedia Commons</a>

Yeah, I went there. It's been a crazy week. Crazy month, really. We've looked at reels, polkas, hop jigs and an even a practice tip. I've got three things for you this week:

  1. the link to Flowers of Red Hill PDF (sorry, Gary told me I linked both links to the audio file. But it was really nice playing by Paul, wasn't it?)
  2. an audio file of February's Learn-by-Ear tune, the Clare Polka #1, and
  3. a question that I'd love to hear your answer to...

Flowers of Red Hill

Here's the link to the sheet music. (PDF) I'm really looking forward to playing this tune with you next month.

Clare Polka #1

I did a little more close listening to some of the recordings I have for The Clare Polka, and discovered that I had been playing a few notes differently from the recordings. It's a G tune, so you start on a "middle" G, and go up from there. The most notable difference is in the A part, second phrase. I WAS playing a DED but I believe I am playing a DCD instead. (That's a C natural, I believe). Note that the first phrase in the A part is NOT syncopated.

Here's the link to the audio file (m4a) of the Clare Polka

And here's a great video that John found on YouTube:

This fellow has some pretty nice versions of tunes on his channel. It's just solo concertina and the tunes are played really clean. 

Question of the Month

Hey, gang. I'm really curious about what methods (tricks? bribes? treats?) you all use to get yourselves to practice. And stay motivated to practice. Would you share with me? Or all of us? You can email me at hilary.schrauf@gmail.com or share in the comments below! I'm really interested - it can be hard to stay motivated, and hard to keep up with the repertoire when we're all so busy.

I hope I hear from some of you!

Happy Monday!


Our next Trad Irish Slow Session will be held on Wednesday, March 15 at 7:30 PM.

I'm working on securing a location for our First Wednesday Slow Session. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, February 20, 2017