•May 4, 2013 • 3 Comments
My friend and flatfooting buddy, Alex Barron recently sent me this video.
Anyone who knows me will not be surprised to learn that I freaked the heck out. I have watched this video many, many times in writing this post and I am still in awe (and “aaaawwwe”) at the simple, beautiful spirit that this man is living. His timing is impeccable. His phrasing is perfect. He is dancing as he plays. He is joyful and so expressively ALIVE. And he is living proof that the spoons (much maligned and with good reason) really CAN be an instrument.
Mostly, what grabbed me is that you can SEE the music in this man’s body. When I teach, especially in the context of teaching Irish music on the bodhran, I talk a lot about the idea that the music is not in the drum or in your hands but in your body. Playing well demands that we not only listen to the music, but actively hear and express it with our very molecules. This embodying of the music is something I see in all of my very favorite instrumentalists and dancers, regardless of musical form or idiom.
This is also one of the great challenges of being a student of music. To embody music in this way, you have to learn not just how to listen to the music, not just actively hear it as you are playing… you also have to learn how to make it a full-body, physical experience. I would offer the opinion that any good musician does this after a point, without thinking, whether they realize it or not. It is what makes their music exceptional.
I really cannot get enough of this guy. Spoons Playing Man, I salute you.
Well played sir!
•April 8, 2013 • Leave a Comment
Where is the place to be this Sunday? Why the Takoma Park Community Center of course? Why you ask? Well…
We are organizing and co-hosting a sean nos dance concert with Institute of Musical Traditions!
- What: Awesome tunage will be provided by Billy McComiskey, Dan Isaacson, and Graham Dezarn. Dancers: Shannon Dunne, Megan Downes, Kate Spanos, Rebecca McGowan, Emily Oleson, Kelly Smit and myself will shuffle, batter, jig and otherwise attempt to tear it up.
- Where: Takoma Park Community Center Auditorium, 7500 Maple Ave Takoma Park, MD 20912
- When: Sunday, April 14th, 7:30pm
Hope to see you there!
•March 13, 2013 • 2 Comments
It’s easy to forget that my dad is kind of famous. Easy because he’s not stopped-at-the-mall famous. In fact, unless you play Irish flute, you have probably never heard of him and never will. But to a curious subset of the world’s population, well, he’s kinda special. And I am very proud of him.
And hey, if a documentary gets made about your dad, you’re allowed to brag, right? You can join us in Charlottesville for the Virginia premier of Jem Moore’s brainchild, March 16th at 7pm. We’ll watch the film and celebrate at Cville Coffee.
Oh, and FYI, the aforementioned establishment makes these things called oaty snacks, or oat bites, or hmmm. I can’t actually remember what they are called. But they are as close as you are likely to get to nirvana without some serious meditation. Not kidding, your eyes will roll back in your head, and you may make a sighing noise. They are worth the trip even if we weren’t going to screen a film about awesome flutes and their awesome makers…
•January 8, 2013 • Leave a Comment
Need we say more? You should definitely come. These are some of my very favorite people to play music with. This thing is going to be awesome. As a special bonus, if you come say hi after, I will teach you a clogging step in the lobby…
•December 9, 2012 • 1 Comment
My wife is awesome. An article she wrote for Dance USA just came out. You can read it here and here in two installments. It deals with the questioning of categories in dance and whether they are as distinct as we would like to believe. Is there such a thing as a distinction between “art dance,” “concert dance,” and “commercial dance?” What about “entertainment?” “Traditional?” Why are there so many “quote marks” in this post? We are left with more questions than answers…
•September 21, 2012 • 5 Comments
We will be teaching at the Flatfooting Fiddle and Banjo weekend in Harper’s Ferry, WV. November 9-11. It is going to be amazing. You should come!
•June 23, 2012 • Leave a Comment
Hi Folks! We’ve launched our Kickstarter campaign for Vaudevival. Please stop by, check out our sweet video, (it features our daughter and some “unsuspecting shop clerks”- we are pretty excited) and consider donating to the project:
Hope to see you at the show, next weekend, June 30th and July 1st at Dance Place!