Traditional Irish Music
Recently I've been collaborating musically with tradconnect and "The Session" member Jim McAuley (fiddle4U), initially to help him format his own compositions in neater and more accurate ABC. Jim,,, is a creative speller and typist, and composer of over 100 tunes. I got Jim to select a smaller list of his favourite compositions and began work on "tweaking" them into shape. I threw in a few edits here and there where notes were missing or inapt, and Jim liked the edits. One of the tunes in this collection was Jim's "Joe and Adele's Reel". Jim made a Youtube presentation of this one in collaboration with his friends Joe and Adele Greene from Kildare (tradconnect members dulahan-IRL).
These collaborations are ongoing and recently Jim has been putting up Youtube clips of his fiddle over my guitar MIDIS of my own compositions. Initially Jim liked my reel "An Damhán Alla (The Spider)" and recorded this as a solo fiddle piece with a slide show of photos of arachnids.
Jim's second youtube clip of my music was of my jig "Minnie Sullivan's"
Next along came my spliced together jig and reel named for my townland of residence "The Castleboy Jig" and "The Castleboy Reel". Jim learned these compositions of mine and played fiddle over a guitar MIDI I had made and sent him. The resulting Youtube presentation is below:
Since then, and through Jim, I have been in contact with Joe and Adele who kindly agreed to look through my book "108 Original Compositions in the Irish Traditional Style" which was then at a preparatory stage prior to publication. I was hoping to get my manuscript proof-read. Imagine my delight when they started recording wonderful Youtube presentations of themselves playing their favourites of my compositions. The first of these was my reel "Cruisin'" which they played beautifully and at a much slower tempo than I had originally intended it to be played. I was very impressed their version. The sweet fiddle playing and tasty backing guitar are both excellent in my opinion.
I would probably never have thought of playing it as a slow reel, but it seems to work very well at that tempo and Facebook friends who have heard it have commented that "it has a lovely haunting quality". The next composition of mine they tackled was another G minor tune, my slip jig "An Bónas (The Bonus)".
Another earlier collaboration was with young accordionist Keelan McGrath (tradconnect's Mc G) from Limerick who learned one of my hornpipes "Minnie Sullivan's". Keelan's parents put up a Youtube clip of Keelan playing this one at home on the sofa.
As a means of showing my appreciation of this I wrote three tunes for Keelan: A Jig, a Hornpipe and Reel. Below is another Youtube clip of Keelan playing my reel for himself "Keelan McGrath's Reel"
Back to Jim and now this is where the word collaboration has real meaning. Jim sent me a "sketch" preview mp3 of a title-less tune he had been working on. After a bit of emailing and discussion I edited it and finished it. We were both very happy with it. When Jim asked for ideas for a title for this "Ril Gan Ainm" I suggested "The Collaboration Reel" and it stuck.
I later went on to make a jig from that reel and named it "The Collaboration Jig".
I was wondering if there are more musical collaborations out there, and if so, maybe they'd like to add to this blog and let us know how things are progressing.
27th January 2012
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