FluteFling Aberdeen Weekend 3-5 November

FluteFling goes on the road this November as traditional flute playing in Scotland focuses on Aberdeen. Following 4 years in Edinburgh, the successful format of weekend workshops, concert and informal sessions over 3-5 November will give you and your music a boost ahead of the winter months. Come and join us on the excursion to the first FluteFling Aberdeen Weekend and be part of the traditional flute revival in Scotland!

The weekend’s tutors will be Davy Maguire from Belfast and Sharon Creasey from Dumbarton. Davy has a wealth of music from Ireland, including the northern tunes that cross over into Scotland and music from the distinctive Breton tradition.

Davy is in great demand as a teacher, from Belfast to Brittany and Italy — he will arrive immediately after teaching and playing in Brittany — while Sharon is one of the foremost exponents of traditional music on the Boehm flute in Scotland and returns with her Fermanagh, Irish and Scottish repertoire. Regardless of the type of flute you play, you will be in excellent hands.

A concert on the Saturday evening will be headlined by Davy Maguire with support from many others including Kenny Hadden, Sharon Creasey, Malcolm Reavell and Gordon Turnbull. And there will be plenty more music too with sessions on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday — a great opportunity to let your hair down and catch up with everyone. We hope to see you there.

Tickets for the weekend and the concert will go on sale in the next day or two. The event’s web page has further details, including links to tickets.

Davy Maguire has taught with Belfast Trad since its inception and teaches and performs regularly both in Ireland and abroad with various groups and as a solo performer. A frequent visitor to Brittany, Davy has toured and played at the Festival Interceltic de Lorient and the Festival de Cornouaille in Quimper with several different line-ups, including Dealán Dartha and Commonalty as well as in duo with Jamie McMenemy. In Ireland he has been adjudicator for several county Fleadhanna Cheoil and has recorded a CD of music for traditional set dancing along with the cream of Northern musicians.

As a taster, here he is (extreme right hand side) with Harry Bradley, Michael Clarkson, Tara Diamond and Brendan O’Hare at the Gradam Ceoil Irish Traditional Musician of the Year Award 2014:


Summer term begins this week

Pentland Spin by Barney, on FlickrA quick update to remind everyone that the Summer term resumes this week with the Slow and Steady class. The Improvers and Beyond class resumes next week.

There are five classes and no mid-term break. All dates can be found on the Diary page.

A reminder to book for the Scottish Flute Day on 10 May if you haven’t already done so. Booking is not through me, but through Tradfest. The response has been promising and spaces are limited, so make sure you aren’t disappointed.

Image: Pentland Spin by Barney, some rights reserved.


Winter at Dalmeny Kirk 2013

Winter at Dalmeny Kirk 2013Back in early December, FluteFling returned to Dalmeny Kirk to play some of our music for our own enjoyment in an amazing setting, with a handful of friends listening in.

This is the fifth time we have had an excursion and the second time we have been to the historic Dalmeny Kirk. Thanks to Ian Slee and Dalmeny Kirk for their kind hospitality. You can find out more about this amazing and  historic church at their website.

These are social and informal occasions and we hope that you enjoy listening to the music too:

Jack Broke Down da Prison Door and other news

We finished up the term a few weeks ago with a third Shetland reel to complete our set, Jack Broke Down the Prison Door.

The tune is in G and fits flutes and whistles very well. It’s in a few collections, some from Hand Me Doon Da Fiddle, which did much to popularise many Shetland tunes. There’s a recording of us all playing it in the class and the music can now be found on the Flute Fling classes Resources page.

A discussion of the tune on The Session quoted from the original source:

From the book: “Hand me Doon da Fiddle” (Tom Anderson, Pam Swing).

Dis een wis made up be an auld fiddler named Jack Goudie frae da Ness. Some said dat he’d hed a dunt on his head whin he wis young dat gave him queer turns. He wis a very good fiddler an made up loks o’ tuns. Wan night in Lerook wi a dram in him he got a queer turn an the poliss lockit him up ida auld prison. He waited til dey wir sleepin an dan he brook doon da prison door an made fir hame as fast as he could. Da poliss wir awaur it he wis gaen, bit tocht it better to let be fir let be, so dey didna geng efter him. Whin Jack got hame he took his fiddle an made up dis tun an caaed him, “Jack Broke da Prison Door”. If da listens to da first twartre notes du can hear hit sayin dat.

Further background can be found at the Tune Archive website, including a list of printed sources.

One of the books listed is Irish Traditional Fiddle Music by Randy Miller and Jack Perron (1977), who transcribed the tune form the playing of Aly Bain and Mike Whellans. Containing primarily transcriptions of tunes from commercial recordings, I have found it to be an invaluable book that appears to be little-known on these shores. I happened to come across it many years ago and even had my original copy stolen. You can get an updated edition of the book directly via their web site, although some shops may carry it. I found that link via Alan Ng’s useful Irish music site, which has a page on publications.

We ended the term with a few of us going to The Dalriada pub in Joppa and played a few tunes together as part of the regular session that goes on there. Gica Loening from Fun Fiddle was also there and we all shared some positive ideas for the new year that it will be good to follow up.

Flute Fling post-workshop events

After the Flute Fling workshop on Saturday, there are a couple of open traditional music sessions taking place in the Portobello area that people are welcome to join.

Firstly, you might like to head along the seafront to The Dalraida Bar to catch the end of Sean Paul Newman’s afternoon session, which runs until 6pm. Then there is enough time to get something to eat before returning for a session at 9pm for a St Patrick’s Day session organised by local artist/ flute player/ whistler and singer Mike Kinnane.

As if that wasn’t enough, I will be playing with the band for Absolutely Legless, who will be performing spectacular Irish dancing on Sunday afternoon.

All of these events will be free.

Photo of Cauldstane Slap in session at the Dalriada (c) Gordon Turnbull