Píobaire, An, Volume 1, Issue 8, Page 4
Píobaire, An, Volume 1, Issue 8, Page 4
Na Píobairí Uilleann
(66)TE MONFECtI lN 4It wu geriera y accepted, by all who were there, that ihe food and ser ice Boiiymahon, 1970,could have been vost y improved upon. But what music the e was was my own first annualTior!ol as a full member,, llving in, so to speak, (I had atter.ded Bettysrown , .199, as anobserver, camped and cooking up the rood) and was overwhelmed by the friendliness of theatmosphere, and the sheer profusion arid availability of the music, lt was, thought, an exper-ience re er to be repeated. So I viewed rather doub*fully the prospect of having another goodweekend in 1971. Besides, the very venue filled me wi+ dread. Being cityborn and reared,had neve had any contact with Irish Countrywomen, that is to say, with members of theAssociation, imagined them to be wholesome in the most offputting sense of the word. Buthad my views rapidly changed. As soon as I stepped into the hail in Termonfechin and sawike place w&d be staying in for three days, I knew that there could be nothing wrong with anAssociation who would keep a lovely house in such lovely shape. As well as this encouragingflrst impre5sion, the weather was glorious. So with the feeling that we had both the elementsand the LC ,A. behkid us, my mind wac put distinctly a ease, and I started looking forwardto the kapper ngs of the weekend.I was welcomed, egissered, and brought to my room in no time, and halfanhour after arriv-ing I was chatting away to my hearts content with other drinkers of tea. Afterwards I wentOn a tittie Four of inspection of the house, Everything contributed a little atmosphere, Fromthe tapestries and corn- dollles on the floor to the discreet 1 bar in the bowels of the building.At the back of the house a fine theatre houses our roving museum, and in one of the frontrooms there was a large collection of tapes of pipers and of previous Tionolta available forhewing or copying. The coliedllon of material in the museum was well set out and displayed,ard has never been o uch good advantage.There wasn 1 t a great deal of music on Friday night, due, I suppose, to the fact that everyonewas tired after the journey down, but there was talking and laughing going on until theearly hours just the same. Or Saturday morning things gor under way in earnest. After anexcellent breakfast, Dan ODowds reedmaking demonstration got going in the courtyard,with a arge attendance. Here we had the only tam of the weekend, which drove us indoorsafter a while But Spirits were high, and soon the. only sounds to be heard were the soundsof gouging, sanding, waxing (if waxing produces a sound, I think t does; mine did anyway),and towards the end of the session, the squeaks and screeches of postulant reeds. Nearlyeveryone rhere managed to produce something which ooked llke a reed, and many of themmade a good sound when tried.Dinner was what we would hove expected of the I .C . A. and in the afternoon we heardPadraig OMadles learned talk on the use of harmony with the ppes, illustrated with tunescollec ed by Bunting and others. The talk was well pepoled,and well attended, and a lotwas learned from it,The evening was given over completely to music, and it was to be found everywhere in thehouse in the theatre and downstairs in the bar pipes were brought out and tuned and themusk didni stop hI rhe following day. Seamu Ennis played for hours in the theatre to adevoed ard app eciative audience, and pipers trying to ploy in the bar had to play one afterthe other, so that some eventually went to other ports of the house, and later in the nightthere was beau*ifu m ic being made in many of the bedrooms, the musicians seeming tohove a fanatic i m ord sr glemindedness which drove everything but the music out of theirminds. Ai y quesions odd essed to them were answered with a glassy stare, as if they werelotF to, or k deed incapable of expending energy or anything but their music.Between 5.00 and 6.00 a m. on Sunday morning, on my wanderings through the hotel, Isaw a group of rnu: kiun tran ferring themselves to the lawn in tront of the house for fearof waking those who had finally given up and gone to bed. The sky was lightening andhird were singing. I wandered down to the Museum and had a chat with a couple of upallnights I found there. he news of what hou t was soon broke up the conversation,howevc , and I went hack to my room at the front of the house o go to bed. Coming upthrough the ha l I heard music, and looking out, I saw the session in full swing on the lawnin broad doyllght. I went over and listened for a while,, and then returne.d to the houseand went to bed, the sound of music still coming from the lawn, I dont know what timethey ended at. I suppose only God, the five musician,, and Ronnie Wathen, outsidewhose tent they played, do know, and I heard Ronnie to say that he had slept all throughit and didnt know it was happening at all.
issue Publication Date