Traditional Irish Music
Well, I finally took the plunge and signed up for a master class with Matt Cranitch last Tuesday at the Conradh Na Gaeilge premises in Dublin. I have to admit to being quite nervous beforehand, as I had never done a class like this before and didn't know what the standard would be like!
Well, my fears were unfounded. Three of us turned up and Matt welcomed us all and ensured that the atmosphere remained very relaxed and informal. We all gave a brief history of our experience then played a jig so he could assess our standard. He then discussed jigs, the rhythm and structure, and got us to learn 'Old John's Jig', a nice simple tune. Then we played certain bars over and over again to emphasise the rhythm. He moved on to slides then, and showed us how one player could play the tune at a lower key, which creates a lovely harmonic effect within a group of musicians. After slides it was on to bowing techniques in reels and before we knew it our two hour class was over.
Later that evening I went with Tony Lawless to see Matt Cranitch and Jackie Daly play at "The Steeple Sessions" in the Unitarian Church on Stephen's Green. A wonderful performance with plenty of "real tunes" (slides and polkas)!! Very much in the Sliabh Luachra style. A very entertaining evening, with Matt even dedicating a reel to his students of that afternoon!!
All in all, if you haven't attended a master class, or are just thinking about it, I would say, go ahead and do it. You will learn a lot and come out feeling the benefit. You might also get to meet a real traditional music legend!!
Thanks to Matt, A master musician and true gentleman.
Thats awesome! Thanks for posting your experience!!!
Thanks for your kind words. It certainly was a wonderful experience..