Checking In…

It’s been a while! We haven’t published any new posts since June and, during the months that have lapsed, Covid19 has ebbed and flowed. Pubs have reopened (and, in Dublin, closed again). While limited concerts and group performances have been staged, there has been no resurgence of open traditional music sessions in Ireland. 

Revisiting normal times – the Ballydehob Session in The Sandboat a few years ago

An interesting article appeared in The Corkman in early August. Since that time, the Coronavirus statistics have improved and then worsened again.

…The idea of a big group of musicians coming together in a socially-distanced way to play tunes is both technologically impossible and even if it could happen, it mightn’t be enjoyable, not in the same way sessions were before the virus… 

…It seems to be an accepted fact that loud music in a venue such a pub will lead to people speaking loudly – it’s an Irish tradition that people continue to talk during a music session whereas they stay quiet during a concert. Speaking loudly is held to be a factor in the spreading of the illness as it is transmitted via ‘aerosol’ from the mouth…

(The Corkman)

On Friday 18 September, Culture Night 2020, the Irish Traditional Music Archive (ITMA) and Clare Arts Office premiered a new film inspired by the music, song and dance of County Clare. This new work originated from a Creator-in-Residence scheme featuring Maurice Gunning and concertina player Jack Talty. It’s an elegiac film essay about Clare but includes some fascinating early footage of traditional music sessions – well worth a watch!

Hopefully we all continue to play in our homes and, when possible, in small Covid-safe groups elsewhere. To keep us going through these times I’m including a (fairly rough and ready!) recording of me playing two recently learned Swedish waltzes on the Dipper GD Anglo Concertina:  Orrängsvalsen and Johan Vals. I hope you enjoy them!

That’s me – but I want to hear from YOU! I’m hoping for some more sound files to come pouring in to celebrate this re-awakening… Keep well, everybody!

3 thoughts on “Checking In…

  1. Hi Robert

    I saw this when you sent it – good lord, is it two weeks or more? I have a tune I shall share. A milking the cows tune. I will send it. How are you doing? both well I hope. We are both very busy doing various things and getting involved in stuff.Did you get much response? I shall be in touch, just need to get over the current task….!! R ________________________________


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