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TOPIC: Sessions, chemistry or chimera?

Sessions, chemistry or chimera? 2 years 10 months ago #179

  • Tunni
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Sessions come and go. Sadly around here, Leicester, they have mostly gone somewhere unspeakable. To my mind a good session is a noisy affair where silence is only achieved when the crowd realise someone is doing something special and shut up not somewhere the crowd are expected to sit silently and wait the presentation thereof. A good session is also an inclusive event, not where a small, often paid, clique should exclusively dominate all proceedings. Worse still are club nights masquerading as sessions, be honest for heaven's sake, you know suffering when you've travelled for a day to find the session consists of a dozen accordian players of mixed abilities!

As a player I want to hear good music but don't want to be affraid to drop a note or bungle a tune, a good session doesn't create the atmosphere where this really matters. Similarly as a player I try and be honest and not barge into tunes I can't really play or demand attention when I can. Sessions can encompass a wide range of abilities but ought never be hung up on this to the point of giving the evening up to a succession of dreadful dirges and poor players, most sessions are after all invited to a place as entertainment. Forgetting this fact will see a session fail quicker than just about anything else. Loose the public, loose the pub. A good session is always fun to play in and fun to attend. A good session will grow a crowd and attract players. A good session will manage the good and bad players it attracts.

I have come to view sessions as cyclical and ephemeral beasts. They are exceptionally hard to find and hard to sustain. Even in the suposed homelands of folk music they are often seriously flawed and indifferent affairs. So I ask what makes a good session work for you and where is it? Although by the time I get to visit you I half expect it won't still be there...
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Re: Sessions, chemistry or chimera? 2 years 9 months ago #211

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I fear a lack of response sadly reflects the general state of the session scene. Anyone for Skye?!
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Re: Sessions, chemistry or chimera? 2 years 9 months ago #212

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Tunni wrote:
... Anyone for Skye?!

No Ta! ...I'll save me pennies for Barga ;)
hamishmoore.org/barga-2012/ .... I reckon it'll be a tad warmer B)

Nothing against Skye, I've been up to SMO for the past 3 years on Button box and 'garlic' courses :lol: ...usually great atmosphere & craic but the beer's expensive :(

On the main subject of sessions.... a Code of Conduct:

www.thesession.org/members/display/707

(:P )
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Re: Sessions, chemistry or chimera? 2 years 9 months ago #217

A good session, yes a rare beast indeed.
accoustic sessions are even harder to find.
as a should practice more/needs to practice bod, often on arrival at a newly found session the big question is, do i leave my pipes in the car or take them in an never get them out?
generally i visit a few times then after a pint of the local malted barley drink, when theres a lul in proceedings, i chip in with one of my more practiced tunes.
i`ve found most sessions daunting afares but am strangly still drawn to them.
maybe i think somehow the players skills might magically envigourate my fumbling fingers, no, i just love the ambeince, the music and above all that buzz to the ears when the session is is full flight.
a very good session if any one is travelling down the M6 is on thursday nights in the Gregson Centre (community arts type pub)in Lancaster. very rarely vocals but lots of everything else including pipes a plenty.
i believe the `good session' is alive an kicking especially along the M6
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Re: Sessions, chemistry or chimera? 2 years 9 months ago #220

I heard that Sandy Bells in Edinburgh is a good place for sessions. My wife and I certainly enjoyed ourselves. Seemed like a friendly (lively) atmosphere to us.

Cheers!
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Re: Sessions, chemistry or chimera? 2 years 9 months ago #226

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Ear Plugs Needed wrote:
generally i visit a few times then after a pint of the local malted barley drink, when theres a lul in proceedings, i chip in with one of my more practiced tunes.
i`ve found most sessions daunting afares but am strangly still drawn to them.
maybe i think somehow the players skills might magically envigourate my fumbling fingers,

Before I got my first set of small pipes and a long time after I had left the pipe band sessions provided me with much of my inspiration musically for my GHB playing. I used to love trying to give 6/8 and 2/4 marches a bit of a slap dash makeover to 'folksie' them up. I enjoyed it so much I never did go back to pipe band stuff and all that pointing and chopping. I learnt loads from tollerant session musicians particularly at the much missed 'Yellow Kangaroo' sessions in Cardiff. For tradition pipe bands have bucket loads of that up tight, upper eschelon 19th century prim and proper form, for musicallity good folk musicians generally lay down a tune in a much more approachable and popular manner. At least until you get up to the higher grade competition pipe bands and your SFU's, FMM's and SLOT's.
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