It’s St. Patrick’s Day, and we all know the level of crazy this can mean about town, and frankly, the whole world. I was up before dawn to accompany my young dancer to a ‘Kegs and Eggs’ event at one local Irish establishment where she and some fellow McGing Irish Dancers stomped their steps in front of a packed house as well as the local news crew. Then it was off to the school day for her and a couple hours in the studio for me. She heads back out to dance the bar circuit later today and I will join my musical friends for a couple of gigs ourselves. It’s High Holy Season for Irish musicians. And we love it!
Before I head out and get lost in the tunes and the mayhem, I figured I would engage in a little paint play, exploring the many facets of the lovely color of the season.
It’s a greening time of year, so the green theme is appropriate I suppose. Traditionally though, I have heard that St. Patrick actually wore the color blue…..
I am grateful for this day, the one day when Irish music is sought after by the unwashed masses, and we get to play, play, play the day away. It’s really a gift. If you are local, a few of us are playing at the Brazenhead Pub in Mason, Ohio between 4-5.
After that gig, we will meet up with a few others at a favorite venue of ours, The B-List bar in Bellevue, Ky.
Do stop in and give us a wave hello as we do our thing. This crazy thing called Irish music. Here’s a taste:
I had cause to celebrate yesterday as I was able to pick up my new flute from Dave and Marlene at Celtic Lands Irish Flutes. It is gorgeous and has a lovely sound already, even though I have not adjusted to playing it yet. Every flute is slightly different and so a flute player has to adjust to the instrument over time. I am really, really thrilled to have it!
Dave’s flutes all come with a case but I wanted something a little more funky than a gun case, plus I need something to carry my whistles as well. So my son Jack and I scoured some antiquey stores and found a cute vintage Samsonite suit case into which I built foam and supports to keep the instruments safe and sound when traveling.
Every month on the Full Moon, some of my artist friends and I get together to celebrate this monthly natural occurrence as well as our intuitive, feminine way of making art. Yesterday was the Full Moon so last night Lisa, who just landed a position teaching ceramics, came over with some clay and taught me how to make lovely spherical rattles that, when I looked at them, reminded me of the moon that brought us together. Here’s Lisa’s nearly complete…
“All your life you are told the things you cannot do. All your life they will say you’re not good enough or strong enough or talented enough; they will say you’re the wrong height or the wrong weight or the wrong type to play this or be this or achieve this. THEY WILL TELL YOU NO, a thousand times no, until all the no’s become meaningless. All your life they will tell you no, quite firmly and very quickly.
AND YOU WILL TELL THEM YES.” (from a Nike ad)
For the past two years I have been learning to play the Irish Tin Whistle. I have no previous musical training or experience but love the tunes and feel like I am waking up this whole other part of my art-brain that didn’t even know it existed. Although the whistle is, in and of itself, a wonderful instrument, I have often wondered if I could step it up a notch and learn a more complicated instrument, like the flute.
Today I had my first lesson on a borrowed flute with amazing flute player/teacher John Skelton. The subtleties will take years to manage, much less master, but it felt really good to just begin with the basics. When I first started the whistle, I wanted so badly just a be able to play a few tunes in a session with my friends. I now do this on a regular basis and it brings me a ton of joy. Maybe a few years from now I will be able to do the same on the flute. ‘Til then, I am enjoying the process of learning something of which I never thought I was capable.