Whitby Folk Week 2016…. Folkin’ brilliant.

I’ve had a great time at Whitby Folk Week so far. The inaugural #Tunesday #Toesday #Troubaday concert was a great success. A big thanks in particular to my #Tunesday contributors, Bryony Griffiths & Will Hampson, John Garner, Clare Trevitt & Brian Gilmer and my trusty Bodhrán partner Ciarán Boyle. We’ve also had fantastic sessions in the Granby Hotel with Irish and English tunes melding beautifully.

My daughter has been carving out her own Whitby experience, attending the daily craft activities, she calls it ‘Folk School’, hanging out with her folky mates. As she told us earlier this summer during our Asturian adventure she is more fiesta than siesta.

My wife has been working hard teaching Rapper & Highland Dance and dancing with Gaorsach Rapper and Step. Congrats to Suzanne Fivey, Gaorsach box wizard for winning The Speed The Plough Competition. Lightening fast and precise.

It was great to be back leading the first of two workshops on Traditional Irish Music on the Flute at Whitby Folk Week. On Tuesday we had a good mixture of levels of experience. We worked on posture, relaxation, tone, learning by ear and began to learn the Jig ‘Paddy’s Return’. We had a go at lilting the tune to help with learning, some serious lilters were discovered on Tuesday!

Here’s two versions of ‘Paddy’s Return’. Thank you to all who came and I’ll be posting some short videos on some of the topics we covered for those unable to come to the second workshop on Friday 24th August 2016, 11.30 a.m. at the Rifle Club, Whitby. If you have any further questions, would like a Skype session or another workshop please get in touch. Details are on my ‘Traddad For Hire’ page.

I’m also leading a session at the Middle Earth Pub on Thursday 25th August at 5 pm. It would be great to see some lovely people there. It’ll be largely Irish but I’m hoping that some of the brilliant English tunesmiths I’ve played will come along too. I might throw in a couple of Asturian tunes as well.

Paddy’s Return, basic version.

Paddy’s Return, fancy version.

 

#Tunesday comes to life at Whitby Folk Week 2016.

Over the past 12 months I’ve been working with friends from Whitby Folk Week to bring you monthly recordings of tunes from England, France, Ireland and Asturian. I have been so luck to get to play with some fine musicians from across Europe. I’ve learned new tunes and recording skills (still a work in progress) and hopefully raised the profile of the festival.

The initiative has taken flight and proved hugely popular. So along with the Tuesday dancers from #Toesday and singers from #Troubaday, Whitby Folk Week is presenting the #Tunesday/Toesday/Troubaday Concert on Monday 22nd August 2016 at 5 pm at the wonderful Coliseum.

It will be a real feast of sparkly folk.

Check www.whitbyfolk.co.uk for further details.

IRISH FLUTE WORKSHOPS & SESSIONS!

Come and play a tune with me at the following Whitby Folk Week Events:

Tuesday 23rd August 2016: Traditional Irish Flute workshop 1. Rifle Club. @ 11:30
Thursday 25th August 2016: Trad Irish Session @ Middle Earth. 17:00 to 19:00.
Friday 26th August: Traditional Irish Flute Workshop 2. Rifle Club @ 11:30.

Here’s the final #Tunesday recordings from July and August I recorded in Asturias, Northern Spain.

Thank you to all who participated over the past year.

JULY 2016:

AUGUST 2016:

Asturian FieldWork Podcast

Today i’m just back from 6 weeks in Asturias, recording and interviewing musicians, concert organisers, journalists and cultural activists for my PhD in Ethnomusicology. I have a mountain of material to work with and have been overwhelmed by the generosity I was met with. When I catch my breath I’ll write about some of my experiences but here’s an interview I did with musician and blogger Alberto Ablanedo. Alberto is best known for his work with the Asturian Group Tejedor.

This is the first English language podcast for ‘2 Degrees of Separation’. The Castilian versions have included a wonderful variety of talented professional musicians from the world of Asturian music. I hope you enjoy it.

Irish Flute Workshops with Michael Walsh Whitby Folk Week.

I’m delighted to be asked to run two Irish Flute workshops at Whitby Folk Week this year, 20th to 26th August 2016. You can also join me in a session and I have an another special surprise to announce shortly. More details to follow shortly.

www.whitbyfolk.co.uk/workshop-leaders/michael-walsh

Album News: Working with the Lathe Revival.

I’ve been playing Traditional Irish Music for 41 years now and in the back of my mind I thought I’d like to make a flute album. A few years ago I decided to make music a central part of my everyday life and see what  might happen.

Last year the great flute player Aoife Granville posted a link to the Ó Riada Gold Medal competition in Cork and suggested I entered (There’s details about the competition on another post on here). Although I didn’t win, the weekend in Cork, playing with other finalists and musicians and attended workshops on working professionally as Traditional Musician, gave me great inspiration. It’s leap year this year so on that extra day of this year I took a leap and told people that I was going to make my first solo album.

By coincidence I had a message from Michael McGoldrick about teaching the child of a friend of his. The conversation turned to my project and Michael offered to record the album at his studio in Manchester. So far guide tracks have been recorded and I am working with a number of musicians on arrangements.

I’m juggling this with being a stay at home dad (I am very lucky to be doing this), teaching privately and at the University of Sheffield Music Department as well working on my PhD on Asturian Flute playing.

The first track is complete, recorded up in Newcastle with the wonderful Lathe Revival. The video below is a taster of the track and explains how it came about. I hope you enjoy it. The full video will be released shortly. Let me know what you think and what it evokes for you.

Cheers,

Mike.

 

Whitby Folk Week #Tunesday Tunes for May & June 2016

I’ve been very lucky to have some great friends to play with over the years and especially in Sheffield. Some of these friends came up trumps with some fabulous music in May and June. We were also joined by some of the Birmingham trad massive, Oisín Cooke and Sean Stapleton.

Thank you to everyone who has participated so far. Some great music was added on the Whitby Folk Week Facebook Community Page from China, England and Wales. Take a look if you get a chance.

July #Tunesday will come from Asturias……. feel free to record and add your own…….

Salud!

 

 

 

Whitby Folk Week Tunesday April 2016

I was delighted to persuade my very talented wife, Sarah Dalrymple and my old pal Bridie Cox to make some music. I also added a video of me playing a a jig I wrote for my Daughter.

Dr Sarah Dalrymple playing a Breton tune. She’ll be performing with Gaorsach Rapper & Step during Whitby Folk Week 2016.

Bridie Cox, my neighbour growing up in Stockport and now resident in County Clare, lilts the Chicago Reel:

I play Celeste’s Jig on my Ormiston Flute:

More special guests to follow next month. Don’t forget to check www.whitbyfolk.co.uk for all the latest on who’s been confirmed for Whitby Folk Week 2016.

 

Whitby Folk Week Tunesday Videos March 2016

We’ve continued building up a lovely archive of recordings in 2016 here’s some of the latest videos:

March 2016:

More to follow….

 

Irish Tin Whistle Workshop for MA Music Students @ The University of Sheffield

Over Easter 2016, 10 distance learning music students came from across Europe, North Africa and the USA came to The University of Sheffield Music Department to take part in a residential for the M.A.’s in World Music and Music of the British Isles. Participants come from a variety of backgrounds but with a shared interest in what FRoots Magazine so aptly describes as ‘local music from around the world’. It’s an opportunity for students to meet each other, have face to face contact with lecturers and get hands on experience in playing music or an instrument that maybe somewhat different from their own specialism.

I was asked to provide a workshop on Traditional Irish Music on the Tin Whistle. Apart from one Irish musician, the musicians had little or no experience of playing Irish music and all were more or less starting learning from scratch. It was a great advantage that they were talented musicians in their own field. A big focus was learning by ear, that is learning without the use of written notation. For most Traditional Irish musicians this is a skill developed early on in the learning process but for others used to staff notation in particularly classically trained musicians, this is quite a challenge. The students took the task with gusto, covering the basic scales of D and G, cultural and geographical contexts, ornamentation (Cuts, taps, rolls and crans) and the importance of posture and relaxation when playing. We covered several lessons’ worth of information in 2 hours, learned the first part of the Mountains of Pomeroy March played on very challenging Clarke’s Whistle’s and by request, I played a couple of tunes on my flute form Asturias and Ireland. The students were a great group of people to work with and a good bit of laughter was had as well as a couple of beers in the bar afterwards. I want to thank them for tackling the task with such great spirit and at the end of the session they made a lovely sound.

Michael Walsh with students from his Trad Irish Tin Whistle Workshop at The University of Sheffield

Michael Walsh with students from his Trad Irish Tin Whistle Workshop at The University of Sheffield

I was inspired to teach a march by two things recently. Firstly discussing the flute band tradition in Dingle, Ireland with Dr Aoife Granville and the recent use of marshal music as part of the Centenary Celebrations of the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland. The Mountain’s of Pomeroy was part of the first March set I learned from Marian Flannery (Egan) at St Wilfrid’s Comhaltas Branch in Hulme, Manchester during the 1970’s. I still love playing a March when I’m playing with The Leeds Céilí Band.

Here’s the March we were learning and below is a list of references I mentioned during the presentation. There’s also further information on Sligo style music in some of my previous blogs.

Dr Aoife Granville’s work on Marching Traditions in Kerry.
http://www.academia.edu/13415326/Musicking_and_Marching_through_the_Year

Relaxing whilst playing: ‘The Inner Game of Music’ by Barry Green. London: Pan 1987.

Guest blog for Whitby Folk Week Website

Delighted to be asked to write a guest blog on the Whitby Folk Week Website. Please take a look. Lots of interesting info on a great family folk festival.

http://whitbyfolk.co.uk/so-whats-tunesday-all-about-then-michael-walsh-writes