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Irish Folk Music with Dorain



โ€Š ๐Ÿ“ Welcome to Zeitgeist Radio, the podcast for music lovers to expand their horizons into new and interesting musical subcultures. I'm your host, Morgan Roe, founder of the Zeitgeist Academy. Each episode, I interview someone from a different musical community. Zeitgeist means spirit of the times. And my goal is to make that spirit come alive for you and help you appreciate musical communities you may not know much about.

Before we get into the episode, head over to zeitgeistacademy. com slash radio. You can see episodes and transcripts and also sign up for my newsletter. There's always more to a topic than can be covered in one conversation, so each week I send a deeper dive into something related to the topic. You'll also be able to access the archives to see past content.

That's z e i t g e i s t academy dot com slash radio.

โ€ŠMy guests today are Iain Dove McAfee and Cara Weggler Menge, members of Irish folk band, Dorain. welcome to Zeitgeist Radio.

Thanks so much for having us, Morgan. It's really good to chat with you today.

This is going to be so much fun. Can you both explain who you are musically?

Sure. Yeah. So, uh, my name's Iain Dove McAfee and I dabble around in a lot of different things in the Irish and Scottish musical world. I have a lot of really random things in my background, uh, but I primarily play traditional Scottish and Irish music on the flute. on the Scottish small pipes and the guitar and I sing in Scots Gaelic and we play together in our band Dorine, uh, and just get out there and have as much fun as possible.

Yeah. Um, this is Cara Weggler Menge. I want a second to definitely have as much fun as possible part. Um, and I've been playing the violin for 28 years. I can say that now I am classically trained, but then I came to. Irish music later in life, but, uh, really enjoy it. And in addition to playing violin, I also took up another instrument called the bouzouki, and I enjoy playing around the sessions around town, enjoy playing with our band, and, uh, have traveled to Ireland and enjoy playing there too.

Nice. Uh, and then just fun connection for people to know. Um, I have made music, well, with Iain a lot. Fun fact, Iain and I have traveled worldwide making music together. Yeah,

we went to Japan and that was awesome. That was awesome.

You've been doing Irish music for quite some time. What was the first, like, what first brought you to interact with Irish music and fall in love with it?

Totally. Well, um, I kind of tell people that I came to Irish music by way of Scottish music, um, cause that's kind of more my family's heritage. Um, so my, my grandfather on my mom's side was, uh, Highland Piper. Um, and so just having that be in my life as a small child was really influential. I was really excited every time he brought them out.

Got some pictures of, like, him holding out his bagpipes for me, and I'm standing on my tippy toes, trying to blow into the bag.

Oh, that's adorable.

It's one of my favorites. Um, yeah, so, like, the music was around me growing up. Um, and, like, my parents listened to a lot of both Irish and Scottish music. And they kind of got me as a little kid by playing this compilation record called The Celts Rise Again, with nice, overly dramatic name.

Um, because there was a track on it, uh, with a tune called Iain's Jig on it. And so, I was like, look at this! And then, sure enough, that tune is frickin awesome. And so, I listened to that album obsessively as a child. And to this day. I still go back to that album and it remains like one of my, some of my favorite Irish and Scottish and even like Breton tracks of all time are on there.

Um, yeah, so that just like gave me the bug. And then someone gave me a tin whistle for my, I think eighth birthday. It might've been, um, I can't remember this point. And so then I would just pick it up and noodle around on it. Try to pick out like common song tunes like either hymns from church or just like common Songs that kids know like Yankee Doodle and stuff like that And then when my grandpa died he When we were looking through his things one of the things he had was this book for teaching yourself the tin whistle.

Um, and so I took that and just taught myself how to play it, um, over like the next several years, just completely by myself, not really knowing the technique behind it. Um, and so there was a lot of relearning that had to be done. Uh, but when it really kind of took off was when I got to college, uh, at Macalester and they had the Flying Fingers Ensemble there.

And so I started playing the music with other people more often and started taking like bagpipe lessons there. Not going to lie, one of the biggest reasons why I came to Macalester in the first place was to take bagpipe lessons. Uh, and then studying abroad in Edinburgh was like kind of the last big thing that just like cemented it and going to sessions there and playing the music with people and, uh, just absorbing it the more traditional way.

While I was there, uh, just my playing took off. Way more during that time. And it just was cemented as like, this is going to be a part of my life forever while I was over there. That's me.

And I think that's a great story. Um, and this is again, Cara Wegler Mangy. Um, I will say that for me, the, I came to the music due to the influence of many different people, and first I want to say my, my violin teacher that I started with, Sherry Neubauer, she had the foresight as I was like an eight, nine year old.

Just starting my instrument and kind of could tell like the Suzuki stuff. I wasn't getting into as much. And, and we had someone who was actually from the twin cities, originally down in Tulsa, Oklahoma, who played Irish music. And, um, she was like, you know, I think let's hit pause on Suzuki. And why don't you take a few lessons with my colleague here to, to, to get you still interested in playing the violin.

Like she. She kind of saw right away if we only did classical, she might lose me, but if like she shows some other influences, like she might get me to have the bug, as you say. And she did, like I took a few lessons, I thought this was great. I love still learning by ear. Um, that was always a thing for me.

Uh, so. So I took a few of that and then I, then I did classical for a while, but I would say that I, Irish was always a little bit there. Like my, my parents got me this, uh, book of, they're actually, we're Scottish fiddle tunes, uh, that I still have to this day. And we actually incorporated one of the tunes or a couple of tunes actually from it.

Um, in our, in our band's repertoire. And then, uh, going back to Iain's story of Flying Fingers, which was the folk music group on campus. I also came to that group. I was playing Klezmer music in that group. And I think Iain, you were playing Irish music. And what was hilarious at the time was Macalester College was having a fundraiser and they're like, Hey, that folk music group, could you guys play something for this fundraiser?

And. Probably, this should be no surprise to people, but sometimes folk music groups aren't always the most organized, so none of the bands themselves were, like, organized enough to, like, play, but we were, like, you know, a part of the, like, the committee, if you will, so we were just like, okay, well, between the two of us, we've got to figure something out.

We'll throw something together. So we got in an afternoon. And we were just like, you know, I was like, well, I, I, I have played some Irish music, which was a surprising thing to Iain at the time coming from Klezmer. Cause he was like, I haven't played that much Klezmer. And we just put some things together.

And honestly, that was the most fun I've ever had. And what was hilarious is like, people thinking that's the day Dorian started. It's like, well, actually it was more like, we'll see you in two years. Cause like, Iain was a year ahead of me and like, we ran in different circles, but then we never forgot that moment because then when Ian came back from Tacoma, I would say that's when he, And this is, so if Sherry Neubauer led me to, I have to say Iain Dove McAfee, then helped get me into the scene here because he was like, Hey, there's this place called Merlin's down where I live.

Maybe you might enjoy going with me to these sessions. And I'm like, what's a session. And then I started, that's really when I got the book, I would say is going to sessions with Iain.

And Cara committed the faux pas of ordering a PBR at her first session. Oh no.

The server definitely gave her a look when she ordered

that. Yeah, I was like, Oh, it's one of those. So most starters don't order PBRs at any session you go to for the first time. Better, better to order like a water.

I'm not sure I was not put off by sessions by that moment.

Well, I feel like that's an important word that we'll be using a lot.

So can you share? Cause people probably don't know what a session is. I barely know what a session is.

I, I really am curious to see how Iain describes it and I'll, I'll describe it my way. Okay. How would you describe it, Iain?

So a session is, um, it's, they're actually a relatively recent phenomenon in the world of, uh, traditional music because all of the music we play is first and foremost dance music.

Um, it was made, To be played for dancers at like these, like Kayleigh's and house gatherings and well, house gathering and Kayleigh mean the same thing. Traditionally Kayleigh just is like the Gaelic word for to visit. Um, so it's just like, you know, these house dances is what they're really for at the end of the day.

Um, but with the changing of the times and like, when this music was in danger of starting to go out, um, and just like go extinct. Then in the 1960s, people started rallying around it and trying to revive it. And so 1 of the innovations. Of that was, I mean, this had been happening prior to the 60s too, but the 60s is where it really got a big boost was, you know, gathering in pubs and just sitting down and just playing the music without the dancing, uh, in pubs, uh, just to sit down and share tunes together.

So I would define a session as, um, getting together, usually in a public place. to play tunes together and just enjoy conviviality.

Nice. Yeah. And I want to also explain it in the sense that, um, this music did originally come from like really itinerant musicians that would be traveling for different events, um, whether it was a barn raising or if it might've been just, you know, someone's wedding.

Um, and that, that was then when people would dance, um, and show their joyous traditions. And then really, yeah, it goes back to really Irish independence, trying to reclaim, um, that heritage, um, and then that people would play in the pub. So for me now, um, modern day Irish sessions generally are a group of musicians sitting, hence why session, usually sitting down together, um, and playing music.

And it's, it mostly takes place usually in a pub, but I will say there's other public places that it can take place too.

Nice. Thank you for explaining that. Um, before we get into that, I can already tell this is, this is going to be quite like an amazing conversation. Um, so Irish traditional music is, is a bit of an older tradition, right?

A lot of these tunes are quite old, sometimes several hundred years old. So I'd like to kind of hear from you. Why does it speak to you now? Like in this day and age, how is it relevant and how does it speak to you now?

Um, I'll take this question first. So I will say, uh, that the thing that that has been so incredibly awesome about this music is it's a living tradition is what we like to call it.

So it has. So even though we play many tunes that were written in the 1700s, we probably play them in a slightly different way. Then they would be played. And then what's amazing to me is then people are doing these different variations and bringing in different music, like actually instruments, musical instruments to play these tunes.

Um, and there's something really amazing that I can think to myself, I am playing something like connecting to something that someone hundreds of years ago. Is still connecting with and there's this kind of tie back from the past to the present that I really enjoy kind of thinking on, but then at the same time, we have people in this tradition.

I'm going to shout out some names here, but Liz Carroll is a is a famous. Fiddler from Chicago who writes her own tunes and they, they sound probably to other people who have never heard of Irish music. Oh, this is just an Irish tune. What's the big deal. But the fact that she's writing these modern tunes that are also crafted just helps to, I would say, layer onto the tradition.

So we're, we're continually adding to that. So I, I guess I kind of, I kind of like this, this music because I feel like I'm connecting to a past, but also helping to bring forth this music to so it lives on to the present.

To me, it's just never mattered that it, that these tunes are all that old, because at the end of the day, I play this music and I listen to this music because it sounds awesome.

You know, like, like that's why it's had this longevity is just. You know, when you walk into a room and there's Irish music playing, you know exactly what you're listening to and it gets people excited. You know, people like walk over to the session table at the various pubs we play at just to walk over and be like, what are they doing?

Um, it, yeah, I, I don't know. It just is so full of life. Um,

It's got a zeitgeist.

Yeah, exactly. That's why I love

that word. Both of you are like, that's exactly, it's alive. It, it, you're, you're feeling the spirit of the times in the music and whether that's modern or connected to several hundred years. That makes me happy.

Um, so Dorrine, what Does that mean? And how did that happen? And I know we don't have all of the members here, so can you kind of explain how all of you got together?

Totally. Well, um, Dorian kind of came from, like, a merger of two different, uh, like, musical projects. That I was a part of at 1st, um, so there was like the Cara was describing with us playing together, uh, towards the end of college, following college 1, you know, I moved back to the twin cities.

Um, and then on the other hand, um, I have always played music with my brother growing up. Um, and as we got older, that became more and more a part of our, like, brotherly relationship. Um, and. Alexander, my brother, really loves to record music in his home studio. So we just would do these goofy recordings of like drinking songs, even though like, neither of us had any idea what we're talking about with drinking.

But we just like, Oh, these lyrics are hilarious. Uh, alcohol. Um, and then, uh, then Alexander decided to move up to the twin cities. Uh, and so. I just, like, invited everyone over to, like, have some tunes together, and it just kind of clicked right away. Uh, because we had, like, all these songs and tunes already that I played with Cara, all these songs and tunes I played with Alexander already.

And so it just clicked together, like, a couple of puzzle pieces that were always meant to go there. Um, and then eventually, you know, we added to the band because we were looking for maybe a guest musicIain to sit on a track with us. And we said, well, you should, you know, just play with us for a lot of the songs during the album release.

And we're like, well, we're just having such a good time playing with you. Do you want to just join permanently? Um, as for the name when Cara Alexander and I were working on, you know, trying to figure out what we wanted to call ourselves. I don't know if you've ever gone through the process of trying to name a band Morgan.

Is that something you've experienced before?

Um, I've been on the fringes. I've never been. Yeah. I've been on the fringes.

It's the worst trying to come up with a band name. Is like friendship torture.

I mean, we should have kept a log of like all the ones we didn't name ourselves. So people, you should have, but yeah.

And we like have an agreement that whatever we chose had to be unanimous. Um, because like, we didn't want anyone to have regrets over what we called ourselves, uh, or like want to change our name later. Um, So we, you know, we rattled through a whole bunch of things. A common thing to do is like name your band after like the title of a tune.

Uh, but nothing was really clicking there. And then another thing people often do will like just pick a, an Irish or a Gaelic word for the name of the band. So we started going with that route. I was flipping through my Gaelic dictionary. Um, and we noticed that a lot of the songs we had been choosing kind of had this nautical theme.

So we're thinking of like. Ocean related things. Um, but you know, you, you can find a lot of words that would sound good as a band name, but trying to spell it would be very difficult on people. So we had to pick something that was at least anglicizable decently well. Um, and so eventually the first word that we hit on that sounded good as a band name, kind of clicked with that theme we were going for.

Um, and was possible to spell in a way that people might have some prayer of knowing how to pronounce was Dorein, which is just like the Scots Gaelic word for otters.

Oh, cute.

And we wanted to have that like playful connotation in there. Um, and it just lent itself to like all our otter themed band artwork that we have.

So, uh, still pretty happy with that choice.

Yeah, I would say it, it definitely is a way in because sometimes people, they do look at it like, uh, do rain? Like they're not sure how to say it, but then when you kind of explain like, we're the otters, they just say exactly what you said, Morgan, which is cute. It is

cute.

Oh, so let's talk about the community really quickly. So you've already mentioned sessions, um, and you've briefly touched on Caeli and Caeli. Um, also my understanding is, is that's a social dance as well, right? Right, right. It's not just a house party at someone's house. Like there's an active dance element to that.

Um,

yeah.

Yeah. What other spaces are there in this community?

Take off from the Caeli because this is a, this is a, a really great phenomenon that's happening called, and especially I heard it talked about in New York scene called Galey's, which is social dance. That's happening in gay bars, which are the social dance of, of, of like Irish social dance happening in gay bars.

Um, so I just, again, going back to what we were saying about living tradition, And here is this, you know, like these dances that probably happens like hundreds of years ago that are now being done with the LGBT community and celebrated. So I love that. Um, I'm, but, uh, going back to just the community at large, um, what's interesting a lot is that I would say music, even though the musicIains always play with the dancers, it's hard sometimes to find.

Those spaces that we both come together. Cause sometimes it's like, there's something, especially competition wise. It's like, this is for musicIains and this is for dancers and neither of the two shall meet. And sometimes how it is in competitions. And what's amazing though, is I, I think, um, there's been more done to try to have some of that mixing, um, going on, especially, um, with, I think.

It's not happening in the competitions as much as it possibly could, but I am noticing with the festivals that there's been more of both coming and goings of that. Um, and I was also going to say, um, a shout out to our community here in, um, the Twin Cities with the Center for Irish Music and the Celtic Junction.

Um, Um, we have a dance school that's in the Celtic Junction Code of Shea Irish Dance, as well as Center for Irish Music, and I've noticed that there's a lot of, of collaboration between those two.

Um, I would say, like, the, the kind of natural habitat of the music is just in the home, you know? Um, so kind of the most natural place to find it is, you know, People inviting each other over to like have a cup of tea and play a few tunes.

Right. Um, we, we mentioned Caelis before. Uh, but one thing that a lot of people don't understand about Caelis is that traditionally they're not just a dance. Like a lot of the time people think, Oh, we're having a Caeli. So everyone just comes out and dances these folk dances. Um, but really what they are is.

just a community gathering that's almost more like an open mic set, um, set more than anything else because people just gather around. They would do some dances, but then in between people like take turns is what it's called. And so it's like, who wants to do a turn? Um, and so someone might like the old guy in the corner who doesn't play any music, but he might go, well, let me tell you the story of old Tom's goats.

And, um, Like, kind of go on the storytelling tangent, um, someone might sing a song, uh, people might, uh, just like tell some jokes, uh, just all kinds of things, like, uh, I remember when I lived on Iona, this tiny Scottish island, you know, we would have Kayleys every Monday, and for the turns, like, Obviously people like always wanted me to play the bagpipes, so I would like begrudgingly take them out and be like, well, okay.

I'm really out of practice, but okay. Um, but then you would also get stuff as random as like, my friend Linnea just taught everyone. The dance to baby shark and everyone village hall. So it's like

traditional American dance,

you know? Um, and so sometimes people call like the more traditional Caelis like fireside Caelis to emphasize that it's not just a dance and that maybe.

It's the emphasis on more the other stuff. Um, some other spaces you can find like Irish music though is just like concerts, like the Celtic Junction Arts Center in St. Paul has a wonderful series of concerts going on, where they get some really just world class musicians in there, uh, coming to play. Uh, you can also, there's also, uh, Irish pipe bands, similar to Scottish pipe bands, like the Irish war pipes are very similar to the Scottish Highland bagpipes.

And so they play in a very similar way, but focus the songs and tunes more on Irish tunes than Scottish tunes.

There's a lot of festivals too, that are in America, Ireland. And also I was going to say like, shout out to the Irish diaspora. There's, there's a vibrant Irish scene in Japan and Australia. Um, so like you can go to different festivals across the world that will also be like a plane and celebrating this music.

Um, and the other thing I want to give a shout out for, that's a resource for both finding, um, places that you might want to listen to this music in addition to finding the tunes themselves is the session. org. Um, is, is a great resource and so for example, sometimes I, if I'm traveling to a place like, like I'm going to the Bay Area, I want to see what sessions are around.

I can just type that in and then there's a resource that will be like, okay, here at this pub or this restaurant at this time, this is, this is where you can go listen. So that's another way.

That's amazing. Um, do either of you dance? Not really.

Like I can mostly play on my own in a Kaley setting, but like Maddie is the dancer of the band.

Yeah. Matt is, I would say the true, um, dancer. Uh, I, she is very gracious. Um, we have, we have, I've been her partner in the Kaley's and she's very gracious as I stumble through most of the steps. Um, but yeah, I w I would say I'm, I'm not a very good dancer, but I do enjoy watching the dancing.

Yeah. Nice. Um, so at these events, and you've, you've mentioned before that the tunes are tied to the dances.

So can we kind of get some, uh, some words going here, like definitions, um, what are a few different types of tunes slash dances that you would see or that you play?

Totally. Um, some of this is very regional to different parts of Ireland, but. Like, the big ones that you can find pretty much all across the country and all across the diaspora are jigs, reels, hornpipes, and then like some different types of jigs, like slip jigs, um, are pretty common across the board.

And then there's like some more regionally specific tunes like pokas and slides and highlands, things like that. And, and then what, what distinguishes them all is just their rhythms, uh, from each other. Uh, so you got reels, which originally were from Scotland and then got ported over to Ireland. Um, are just have that driving like four, four, pretty fast paced, da rhythm.

Um, and so you dance all kinds of. The Kali dances sometimes have all these random names attached to it that almost have like a storytelling element to it.

I think the waves of Tory is one that's, that's, that's done a lot, which is actually really fun to watch. Cause what will happen is the dancers will lift up their hands and people will go underneath them.

And then you have, then the next time you're going underneath, so they're taking alternating turns and makes it look like there's waves going on in the dance floor, um, which is really cool.

Oh, and the Virginia real on the Scottish side of things is a Scottish real Caeli dance. Um, jigs have the 6 8 rhythm, the da da da da da da da da da da da da, and those have a bajillion, like the Siege of Venice, I know, is

Haymakers.

Haymakers jigs. The Haymakers,

and then on the Scottish side, like, Strip the Willow is one that you dance to that. Um, where people are doing a lot of, like, linking arms and swinging around each other, like Or sometimes grabbing hands in the middle and using, like the scene in Titanic under decks, where they're like grabbing hands and whirling each other around at top speed.

Like that's something that would happen to a lot of like jig, uh, Caeli dances, like Strip the Willow. Um,

I also, I guess, um, the other thing that I wanted to, to call out here is set dancing, which could be that it was like more of four people that were doing the dances. Um, Sean O's dancing is also separate than step dancing.

Um, and it, it wasn't necessarily like. people all in a group. It would just be people who are really amazing dancers and they would kind of start and they might also dance with like a partner or, or three others, but they would do their own kind of steps to it. And a lot of, um, we are really, um, I would say lucky here.

We have some amazing Sean O's dancers as well.

Yeah. And Shondos is just Irish for old style. So it's just the old style dancing that, you know, at first glance looks kind of similar to like Irish step dancing, but it is like distinct. And you'd have to ask a dancer to explain the intricacies of that.

Yeah.

I probably should have one on the podcast. It sounds like there's a lot to it.

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๐Ÿ“ ๐Ÿ“ ๐Ÿ“ ๐Ÿ“ ๐Ÿ“ ๐Ÿ“ ๐Ÿ“ I am very excited to share that Iain, Cara and Mattie are joining forces with the Zeit guest academy to teach our upcoming class called Irish immersion. This class is for people who play and love music, any instrument will be able to join. The main designations used in the curriculum are melody or rhythm.

For example, a flute is a melody player. A guitar is likely a rhythm player. This class is also for a wide range of levels. Iain and Cara are so good at breaking down complex ideas, into simple accessible pieces while also giving plenty of space for more experienced players to spread their wings and try something new. Also Maddie will be sharing all sorts of information about Irish dance.

And you may even learn a few of these dances that Iain and Cara are mentioning in this episode. Head over to zeitgeists academy.com for more information and to enroll classes begin May 20th, 2024.

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โ€Š ๐Ÿ“ ๐Ÿ“ โ€Š ๐Ÿ“

At the end of this interview, I feel like I have more questions about the Irish folk music scene than when we started. One thing I wanted to talk about was the instrumentation. There are a lot of unique Irish instruments. You don't really see elsewhere. So instead, I'm going to send an email out with pictures of the instruments listed here, as well as links to a few resources, Iain and Cara recommend. If you would like to receive this email and others, like it, go to guest ๐Ÿ“ academy.com/radio and sign up for my newsletter. My goal is to deliver interesting and relevant material to you. And help take away any ๐Ÿ“ barriers to learning cool things about different musical subcultures.

That's Z E I T G E I S T academy.com.

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โ€Š, what are some differentials between Irish and Scottish? You've mentioned several times that they're distinct. Are they something that someone who doesn't know a lot about either one? Like someone like me could just differentiate like, Oh, this is Irish versus, Oh, this is Scottish.

The lines get blurry in some spots.

If you think of it like a spectrum, like there's part of the spectrum towards the middle where they can be extremely similar to each other, but then there's like further out parts on the spectrum where they can sound massively different from each other. I would say like. The biggest differences, uh, in terms of Scottish versus Irish is instrumentation and like how the rhythm is felt and some tune types that are really specific to those two different traditions.

So tune types that they have in common would be like the ones I just rattled off of, jigs, reels, horn pipes, and slip jigs. Those are all shared between both traditions. But, um, I would say in Irish music you typically feel more of a swing in the rhythm. With, with all of those, like, um, in an Irish reel, you might have more of like a, to exaggerate just.

Whereas in Scottish music, you would tend to play the reel more straight, um, but with a lot more syncopation, especially in modern Scottish tunes, or like, sometimes there's a rhythmic device called a scotch snap. Where, uh, you usually would notate it as a 16th note, followed by a dotted 8th note. So it has this g'da, g'da sort of feel to it.

Um, and it's very distinctly Scottish. Very few other musical traditions have it in it. Although now, like, modern rap has kind of taken that on. So you hear scotch snaps in, like, a lot of modern rapping, like, Cardi B and stuff like that. Um, but, so if you hear the scotch snap though, it's almost certainly a Scottish tune, unless it's a Highland, which is a type of tune from the very north of Ireland, which has a lot more in common with Scottish music than further south on the island.

Then, like, in terms of specific tune types, in Scottish music, kind of the most iconically Scottish tune type is called a Straspe, where that Scotch snap rhythm is Um, so like strass bass can have this sort of rhythm to them. Um, and you would like never hear that in Irish music. And even in like Donnie Gall music, that'd be smoothed out a little bit more.

Um, whereas like on the far other end of that spectrum, way in the south of Ireland, you have polkas and slides. Which are, like, endemic to the Schleif Luchra area, um, which is, like, Which is crazy,

because I totally thought the pokas were, like, a Norwegian, like, thing.

Well, they are, too, yeah. Like, these, I, I, I think you even do, like, the same dance step to them that you do for, like, continental pokas.

But just, they sound so different just because they're Irish. Um, yeah.

Pokas are fun. I have danced pokas. They are exhausting. Very energetic. But they're fun. Wow. So much information. How in the world? And, and, Carol, can we start with you? Like, You're classically trained, and yes, you learned a bit by ear, um, and Suzuki, going back to that, is a method of learning violin specifically.

It's a method of learning, uh, music, but I think it's super used in violin specifically. But, um, what was it like coming from that training to learning all of these, uh, These two types and you learn it by ear, is that correct? Can we talk about that? Like what was it like learning all of these in the beginning?

There are so many.

Yeah. So to build on what you're saying. Yeah. Um, Suzuki, um, his method was, was like, instead of learning straight from the, the Looking at like reading music. Yeah. And then writing notes. His whole thing was you should listen and you should know these, this, these classical pieces by heart, by listening first, and then it will be easier for you to play your instrument that way.

And so in a, in a way, having that as my background did make it a little bit easier to then come to, uh, Irish music, which is very much an oral tradition, har like hardly ever. Are you going to see a sheet of music when another player is going to teach you a tune? You're going to learn tunes, um, by listening by ear.

But, um, I was going to say like, you know, it, it, it was challenging because I, I would hear something. It was like, Oh, that sounds really cool. But how do you do that? And I, there's a lot of ornaments within, um, Irish music. I'm going to say one ornament being a role, which is you, you like play up a note. You play up the note, down the note, below the note, up and up the note, so da, da, da, da, da, like, is, is like a roll.

And I, I would hear people do these like really light and fast ones. And I was like, Oh, that's really cool. And then of course I try and I, it just sounds not what they did. Right. And, and so I had to kind of sit down with it and really, you know, practice those parts to make it sound. I would say more Irish.

I, I would say coming from a classical background, I could get the notes. But I couldn't get the style first. So first I was, I was really good. I could get those notes. I could get what I would say, like, were the bare bones of those tunes. Um, and, but then to really make it sound like that style, it really took, um, talking to other fiddlers.

I would say like, I, it was great to have other fiddlers that were open to me about how they play. Um, I want to shout out to, um, Danny Diamond, Mary Benorni, Uh, who are here in our, um, music community, but they, they've really helped me along the way to, to listen to those, um, to the Irish style and get to know that better.

Um, and also thank you to, uh, Center for Irish music for having a Minnesota Irish music weekend where they bring in these amazing artists. So I learned more from some, some musicians that I may never have crossed paths with. Uh, but I think the hardest thing, um, was. really letting go of this perfectionism, I think that kind of comes sometimes of, of, from classical where it's, it's like, you need to play this vibrato in this way.

And like, oh, from classical violin, I will say the biggest thing you have to give up is vibrato. It's like, you're so used to at every note when you're playing an orchestra, it's vibrato, vibrato, vibrato. And then in Irish music. You're like, you hardly ever do vibrato. The only time it comes out is again, it's like an ornament and it only really comes out in airs, which are, are this tune type that come from songs.

Like you're emanating a song. And so maybe you're kind of emanating the voice a little bit. So you might do a tiny bit of vibrato, but it's, it's not nearly like classical music. And so I think letting go of that perfectionism and realizing, taking more of a learning mindset of like. You're not going to know every single tune that everyone plays.

And that's the joy of it. You're going to be learning every time that you come together. And so that's the amazing thing is then you can be like, Oh, what was that tune? And, and someone will give you the name of the tune. And hopefully you, while they were playing, you had your phone out or some kind of recording device and, and you've pressed play and you recorded that, and then you say, Oh, thank you.

And then you kind of know, and you list that on your recording device and you go home and you play it for like, you know, hours and hours and hours on pond that week, and then hopefully you'll see the person in weeks to come and you'd be like, Hey, can you play that tune? You know, the one that you played and then you'll be able to play along with them.

And I think that, that was the, the, the difference for me is not thinking that you needed to come so well practiced before being there as a part of the practice. Being present is part of the practice.

That's yeah. Because I, like from the classical world, that's obviously my background. And I haven't branched out into, uh, I branched out into a few other styles, but that is a challenge for me.

And I know that's a challenge. I've had a lot of other people come on this podcast who are classically trained. And that is a challenge that I think just comes from the training is like, like if I were to Play with you. I would want to know what the songs were. And I would look up the sheet music and I would, you know, practice by staring at the sheet music.

I would come and, you know, and to show up and not the idea of showing up and intentionally, like, like I just knowing I'm not going to know what's going on. I think for some classical folks that could make us feel pretty uncomfortable.

Yeah. Which is why I will say the other thing I want to say to people who are, are Irish music curious or curious about going to a session.

It is okay to come and just listen and not expect to play just to be there. And just to be like, I'm just absorbing this music. That is, that is a very welcome thing. And I'm part of it. Um, I will say one of my. Favorite going back to, I think you used to talk about zeitgeist moments. Some of my favorite zeitgeist moments are when i'm playing and I look up and there's a Child, it can sometimes be a child at heart.

It can be an adult, but they're just dancing Not not necessarily doing, you know The step they're just dancing to what they they want to dance to this music because it's moved them to that point And that I think getting that joy From that is, is, uh, back to your, your phrase is a zeitgeist moment.

Uh, so let's shift to when you are performing this music.

Um, so can you speak to some things that, that may be going on under the surface that other people may not know about? For example, um, melodies, you've talked about variation, uh, being really important. Um, I, I. Vaguely know that there's a specific form to some of the songs, stuff like that. Like, can you speak to maybe some structure or other things going on under the surface of these tunes?

Totally. Yeah. I mean, um, part of that is going to be very, very context dependent, right? Cause how it is when we're playing at a session. Is very different from when we're playing it for a dance, which is very different for when we're playing it as a band on a stage. And all of those have like different expectations and whatnot.

And we would arrange it differently. I did want to point out format though. So when we're playing for dancers, the main thing I always have to think in my head is three A's. So usually tunes have an A part and a B part, and they might have more parts than that, but. Usually we do a part twice, B part twice, go back to a, but when you play for dancers, you're kind of playing an intro to get them used to it.

So you have to remember to play the a part the first time, three times, because the first time you play through the a is like the intro, you're getting the feel, the beat, and then you kind of start with the dancers. So three parts, a. two parts B, and then, and then it goes two parts A, two parts B, and, and, And what the

dancers don't see, because they're distracted trying to figure out the rhythm, is all the musicians looking at each other dead in the eye, like, Don't go to that fucking B part.

Yeah, yeah, like, like, don't, don't have it up. Like, don't F it up because it does F up their dancing if you did that, like, so you, you have to make sure you don't F it up.

Sorry. I don't know if this is a swearing podcast, but that's a big thing with dances. And then like with dances, it's also, you know, when the dancers are done dancing, yeah, just stop playing.

Okay. Hold on. Hold on.

Yeah. Yeah.

So. Again, my classically structured brain doesn't like that. What do you mean you just stopped playing? Like, is there like a, like a little hook at the end? Like, how do you, what?

No, you just like finish the part you're playing. But like, if you're in the middle of the A part and the dance is, Dancer's just finished.

You're like, okay. And so usually someone will kick out their foot or one of the, uh, musicians will go, huh, and then that's the signal to like wrap it up. This is the last time we're playing this tune and we just finished at the end of the a part we don't go on. And that is actually a thing that happens in all three settings is the kick or the hub to signal either to move on to the next tune or the like, it's basically the signal, this.

Tune is coming to an end, whether that means we're about to switch tunes or it's time to wrap up the set.

And Iain means that all three settings, whether that's in a session or that's playing on stage or that's playing for a dance now going to, um, going to more performance, like when we're playing on a stage.

I would say that's when, um, these tunes are definitely more arranged, like we have it. I would say that's the most like classical train. Yeah. Where you're kind of like, Mm-Hmm. . There is a plan. Um, and even though there might not be music in front of the musician, like they, they know the roadmap and the, and then that's where you kind of get, um, like interesting, um, different arrangements.

Like for example, one of, um, the tune types we play, um, Newmark house. I'm thinking is like Iain's playing like just droning on his bagpipes while I play the tune and then we play a tune together. And then what's amazing too, is then we have Maddie coming on the harp and she's accompanying and like, this is all been practiced.

This is, this is all like, you know, we've intricately arranged this arrangement. I'm also thinking like when we do a, we do like, um, Uh, Lady Dicey, like we sat down and specifically arranged our guitar and bouzouki part. Like, so, so there it's like, I would say are more intricate arrangements versus going to a session.

Now, if someone starts playing the tune, if you know it, you play along. If you don't know it, you sit out and there's no, and, and in a session, it's generally thought that if you For the most part, usually you play that tune three times and then move on to a different tune. Does the tune

encompass the entire A, B structure, like A part, B part?

The whole thing is a tune. Okay.

I will say, so generally tunes are A and B. There are some really nifty tunes that are more parts A, B, C, A, B, C, D. ABCDE, um, those five part reels are fun, but also a little bit draining to play. It's like as many parts as there are, that is how long the tune is. Um, and, but back to what Iain's saying, the universal thing is to hop or to raise a foot, to stare down someone that you know is playing loudly, to know like, Hey, I'm, I'm going to be moving on to the next tune.

Um, people are aware of that. This, this is coming to a close. We're going out to a new tune.

But I would say, like, probably the biggest thing, like, it, what Cara is talking about with this variation, or that, that arrangement stuff is just, you were asking about variation, Morgan? Yeah. Like, in a band setting, the variations are planned out.

Right. You know, like, we're going to play it this way the first time and this way the second time. We're going to put this twist on the melody. We're going to like put this syncopation in there that wasn't there the first time, all of that stuff. Um, and like, we do harmonies a lot in our band. Not everyone does harmony in this music.

In fact, it's like not exactly a native concept to Irish music to do harmonies. Um, whereas like in a session, no harmony, like if anything, someone might jump to the third of the chord at, on the very last note. And so you get. That at the very end, but that's about it. Um, like the harmony just comes from like the drones of the Ellen pipes or whatever.

Um, and then the variations in a session are going to be more spontaneous and a little less obtrusive because if what you're playing at a session will clash with what kind of the standard version of the tune is, um, don't do it, like, don't be a jerk and try to like draw the attention to yourself. Like it's a communal experience.

I'm trying to show off. Whereas like on a stage, like people will do all kinds of crazy variations that, you know, even if it's not pre planned, like they might deconstruct the tune and put it back together a totally different way, and that's just great on a stage, just, you wouldn't do it in a session.

Yeah. I want to give an example here. So there's this tune that we play as a band called Alexander's Hornpipe that last time through we are being very show offy. It's like. We're like, we're doing all these triplets, like up and up and down, but we never would play that that way in, in a traditional session.

We actually do have a friend who plays it. Um, and when he's playing it, I'm not going to start trying to play it. Like I play it on stage. Cause again, going back to what Iain was saying, like, that's, that's kind of like kind of, uh, interrupting the community vibe because you're trying to, Be a part of the community, not, not to be like, you know, apart from the community.

Right, right. So we've got Iain's jig and Alexander's hornpipe. Is there a Cara, Cara dance? Cara's real?

Yes, there is. Thanks for asking. Um, there, there's a Cara Roe jig as I would say that was, that would be my, my one, although it's not spelled, it's spelled, it's spelled C A R R A R O E I think, but yeah.

And that's your dad pun from Cara of the episode.

Just the one? I only get one? Yes,

I'll take out the electric shock device I have under the table if you bring out another one.

Oh my gosh.

So I know Maddie isn't able to join us today. I do love one thing that she said, uh, once, which was that hard shoes are like a percussion. They're like, you can consider them a percussion instrument. So what is that like playing, performing? playing with a dancer, with a live dancer. Um, first of all, just like the, getting the rhythm and all of that together with the dancer and, and incorporating that percussion when, when there are hard shoes.

And then also just a more, way more general logistic, like, where do you do that? It's gotta take more space, like if you're performing, right? So what's it like? Cause I don't think I've seen a lot of Irish bands have a dancer as part of them. Is that? Special to you guys or is that more

common? It's not uncommon.

Um, but I just want to take a moment here to say that Maddie Ernst is, is an incredible musician and dancer. And we are so lucky to have her a part of our band. Um, because in some ways she's able to translate to us as musicians, what she needs as a dancer, which is amazing. Like that sounds so valuable. So it's, it's very helpful.

Um, I would say for, so as far as for us playing with Maddie. It's very seamless because she's able to translate what she needs. And usually what she needs, I would say more than anything is tempo. So she, yeah, really, um, for, I believe it's real, right? Yeah. You need to play really fast, really fast. She's just like, play this unbelievably fast.

Cause the faster real is it's easier to dance to, um, which is kind of counterintuitive as a musician. And then, but

dancers have to deal with this thing called gravity.

The thing is like, you know, the dance and the tune were meant to go together all along, and so it's just like playing with a really good accompanist. You know, one of the instruments in this tradition that gets. That's kind of the most, uh, flack is the bar on which is the circular Irish frame drum, which my brother plays.

Um, and part of why people, uh, complain about it so much is that if you have a bar on player that doesn't understand how the rhythm is supposed to go. It can just you can find yourself playing the music and you find things starting to like slow down Or and just the energy gets sucked right out of the music by a bad bar on player um or same thing for a bad guitarist like It can just like totally drain the energy of its music by adding this rhythm instrument I have never had that experience with a dancer in hard shoes because like they know the rhythm better than the musicians do, you know?

Uh,

and then as for where, just like, I don't know, usually even when we're playing in a cramped, like pub on St. Patrick's day, packed all the way up there, just, you know, Maddie finds a little quarter in the stage and, you know, people see her stand up. So people will like back up and make room for her if need be.

Um, in most stages. are big enough to accommodate a dancer. They just might not get to do as much traveling around on the stage as they might do otherwise.

Also dancers, a lot of dancers, if they're playing around, they bring their own boards a lot of times. Um, and I was going to say there's like these These, uh, TikTok influencer brothers that have been doing.

Oh my gosh, the gardener. Yes. The gardener brothers. So I was going to say like, now I believe you literally can hard shoot anywhere thanks to the gardener brothers, because I'm like hard shoot all over the place, including like. in various countries. So, um, I think if you have a dance board, we'll travel.

People are, seem to be now, thanks to the Gardner brothers and that influence are now like, Oh, I know this dancing and are more gracious to seeing it, seeing it around.

Yeah, I know. I just know there's a lot of kicks and moving. Um, so I was trying to reconcile that with like, you mentioned the St. Paddy's day gig where you're in a bar with all these drunk people and you're kicking and I mean, and then like your amps, like even as a singer, like you're standing on stage and you've got the amps and the cables and the, like, I don't know.

I don't know. It sounds stressful.

St. Patrick's Day is stressful, not gonna lie. It's fun, but oh my god.

Yeah, we could do a separate podcast of how do Irish traditional music players think, actually think about St. Patrick's

Day. Oh yeah, no, give me, give me the five second version.

I think the five second version is So you think that you should only play this music one day a year?

And no, we don't play Galway Girl. Yeah.

Um, so you also sing and you sing in Gaelic. Is that correct?

Yeah. Um, I picked up Scott's Gaelic while I was studying run in Edinburgh and then I kept learning it after I came home. And I was specifically learning it originally just because I wanted to. Sing in the language.

And then while I was there, I learned that, oh, wait, it's actually still a living language that people use in their communities. And so that got me really pumped about just learning it as a language in and of itself. And so nowadays, most of the songs I bring to the band are in Gaelic.

So it's Gaelic, the language, Gaelic, the, uh, the gay dances at the gay bars.

Okay,

got it. Gaelies, Gaelies. Gaelies, okay. Gaelies combined with Gaelies. So I, I want to really give a shout out to Iain here that he, he brings these beautiful songs that are in Scottish Gaelic. And then he. He will translate them for us a lot of times. So we, we know about what we're talking about. So it's not just, you know, just gobbledygook to us.

And then what's amazing is, and he'll break it down by syllable. Um, we do this, um, one song, Kalamskara, Kalamskara, where he basically just broke down the syllables, but then the harmonies that we do of it, like, you know, it's, it's very powerful and moving. Um, and. Um, honestly, um, some of the most beautiful songs I think we do are in a Scottish Gaelic language.

And, um, I suppose, Iain, do you want to talk maybe more about how, like, the differences or whatever have you to Irish?

Oh, sure. Yeah. That was so nice, Cara. Thank you. The question you just asked about, like, Gaelic versus Gaelic, um, there's this language family called the Goidelic languages, and that's Irish.

Scots Gaelic and Manx and so Gaelic is kind of like the umbrella term for all three. They're all Gaelic languages, because they're all spoken by the Gaels of all three countries, but. Uh, no one really refers to any of those languages as Gaelic if you're, like, in the know. Like, in Ireland, it's Irish, or Gaelic.

In Scotland, it's Gaelic. And, uh, in the Isle of Man, it's Manx. Yeah.

And do you speak Irish as well? Do you sing in Irish?

It's like one of those things where those languages were definitely like one in the same once upon a time. They all came from like Old or Middle Irish. Um, and so they kind of were more of a dialect continuum at first.

Uh, like, you know, the old adage, like a language is a dialect with a Navy.

Um,

uh, so, you know, I'm sure that had Scotland and Ireland's not been. You know, chopped up into 2 different countries, people would just all refer to all of it as Irish, you know,

yeah.

Um, so I can often understand I can understand written Irish more than I can spoken Irish.

A lot of the time. Um, I know that speakers of Irish from the north of Ireland can sometimes have, like, more mutual intelligibility with. Like Scottish Islanders, like the, uh, just reigning Queen of s Scott's Gallic music, duly Fowles. Her husband is from northern, not Northern Ireland, but the north of Ireland.

And like, you know, they can speak to each other in their respective like Gaelic languages and understand each other just fine. Uh, even though they're technically 2 different languages, um, but yeah, I, I can only sing like a couple Irish songs and some of the Irish songs that I know have them been translated over into Scots Gaelic, like the one we do called on our 2nd album is an Irish song.

Irish song, but I had to look up a Gaelic, uh, version of it, uh, because I just don't want to butcher this language that I don't know. I want to butcher the language I do know.

Yeah. Yeah. And Iain mentioned, uh, a name of a great musician, um, Julie Fallis. I would say go check out her, her version of Blackbird.

She translated into Scottish Gaelic. So it's, it is the Beatles Blackbird translated into Scottish Gaelic if you just want to taste. Nice. Nice.

Amazing. What do you wish people generally the public knew more about Irish music?

Uh, I want people to know that you don't have to be Irish to play this music.

Amen to that .

Um, I, I also want, want people to know that you don't have to be white to play this music. So that, that also is, is hard. 'cause I will say, I, I do want to talk to this, um, a little bit more in that, that this, uh, I would say this music space tends to be predominantly white. Because of the ties to the country of Ireland, and then that being predominantly white, but there have been a lot of inroads to talk about this and breaking open that, um, that space to make it more, I would say, tolerant and open to others.

To that, I do want people to know there's a really great book called Trad Nation by Tess Leminsky, in which she is talking a lot about, um, she's taking a gender and, um, LGBTQ lens to studies, to traditional music. Um, and I will say it's, It's in the musicology bent. So this might be just some more of people who want the nerd out to this kind of stuff.

It might be less for the masses. It

is a very like, kind of like dry academic read, but it is a really impressive book,

but it's impressive. And I will say, um, I appreciate, uh, a lot of the commentary that's going on with that. Um, there's a lot of really amazing, uh, traditional Irish musician players. I want to point out, uh, one of them is, is coming to Minnesota Irish music weekend.

Josh Dukes. Um, he's incredible. Uh, so I just want to point out that yes, you don't have to be Irish to play this music. You just have to love the music.

Oh, I

love

that. Uh, okay. Well, I could obviously talk to you for hours and hours. And in fact, when I do see you, we talk for hours and hours. I have one last question for you.

So you've already mentioned Zeitgeist. I, you were, you know, a Zeitgeist moment. I won't define it here for you, but, um, But as far as a recent or a particularly memorable zeitgeist moment, I'll, I'll give you a moment and I'll go first and I'll share one of mine that's specific to Irish. Well, yeah, I love what you said about the living tradition, Cara, because so my biggest way that I interact with Irish influenced music is in Contra dancing, which is a completely American thing, but it's done to Irish tunes.

And I've been doing this since I was eight. Um, I've had, um, you know, Contra Dance Callers on the podcast. It's a community I care a lot about. And I remember a moment where, um, this, um, it was, I think it was a, a special dance in Portland. It was like a New Year's Eve dance or something like that. And there was a band, the Great Bear Trio came out from, I forget where they are based.

And they were playing, typically it's, uh, it's pretty straightforward Irish tunes, But then their energy was just amazing. And all of a sudden I realized that they had, they were mixing in the Beatles, like, and all of a sudden you have, there's just this moment where it's still in the Irish, like, like there's the feel of it, it's very Irish, but then you have, you know, these hundreds and hundreds of dancers.

Who have been smiling and dancing for hours and all of them just start singing these, this Beatles tune that was kind of woven in. And to me, that was such a special moment because it was like something that's very traditional and hundreds of years old. And then there's something that's very traditional American, less, you know, hundreds, but still quite old in America.

And then the Beatles and then the people playing it, they're, they're, they're They're fairly young and it was just this like amazing coalescence of history and vibrancy in this, this moment. So that was, that was one for me. And I would love to hear, uh, from both of you what, uh, either a particularly memorable or recent Zeitgeist moment was for you.

So the, my understanding is that like Zeitgeist,

It's like the collection of all of the forces, everything, what it feels like to be like, like, like if you picture what it feels like right now in our culture versus what it feels like, you know, in the two thousands or in the nineties or, you know, the, the zeitgeist is very different. And if you can, the whole idea is if you can plug into.

All of those other forces, like the, the music comes alive in a zeitgeist moment where it just like all kind of, you feel something, you feel part of something bigger than yourself. You're connecting to, uh, the music and the culture and every, just kind of the universe on a much broader, uh, than just listening.

Yeah. Well, I would say, um, like there's one night in particular I'm thinking of. When I moved back to the Twin Cities and I started coming out to, uh, the sessions at the Merlin's Rest Pub, um, and I, you know, I hadn't learned the flute yet. All I had was, you know, You know, my, my whistle, uh, which is, you know, a lot quieter.

Um, and it was very humbling starting to come to sessions here and realizing just how many tunes people knew and just how good they were, like picking things up by ear and realizing like, okay, all this that I've learned so far is like a drop in the bucket. And so initially there is kind of like this sense of just kind of like grinding, uh, to get into the space and into the music and like trying to get anywhere on the same level as these other musicians.

And then I had kind of the same experience when I was brought on to be an instructor at the center for Irish music. Cause I was like, okay, now I'm like a decent musician, but what the hell am I doing in this room with like these. absolutely, like, jaw dropping, world class musicians. I don't belong here.

Like, I can't hold a candle to, like, my colleagues here. Um, and so we have a yearly fundraising event there called AICSHA, which is just Irish for, like, outreach, basically. Um, AICSHA is Center for Irish Music. Um, and, Uh, all the instructors are supposed to get up on a stage and play together in these 2 groups and I basically said, you know what?

That's okay. Like, um, I don't really belong on the same stage as these people. I'm just going to, like, show up and, uh, you know, I'll, like, play in this little session at the start as people are filtering in, but I don't belong on the same stage as these people. And then our friend Mary, who's, uh, Cara was mentioning earlier, was one of her fiddle teachers there.

Uh, basically, uh, after they had already sound checked and did their rehearsal on stage, She just walked up and said, Iain, which, which group are you playing in? No, you're playing in ours now. And she just like brought me, I was like, but Mary, I don't know these tunes. Like you guys have arranged all this. You just did all the soundcheck.

She's like, oh, Cormac can throw another mic on there. You know, these tunes. And she just sat down and played them all for me. And like, I just like pick them up on the spot. And then I got up there and played with all of, you know, the other instructors and just had this feeling of like exhilaration and liberation and above all, just inclusion.

And finally feeling like you are like a part of the family is just, to me, what Irish music is all about is that sense of like togetherness that you get from it.

Yeah. Um, I'm going to give you two moments. I'm sorry. I can't. No, please.

I'll get

that electric shock. I love

these because this is like why we do what we do, right?

This is like why we do music. Like, yeah.

So one of the, it's, it's related to, so. If, if Iain was feeling that he couldn't share the same stage, we had this, um, fabulous musician that unfortunately we lost and, uh, a couple of years past now, um, named Martin McHugh. And he would always, he was a amazing box player from, um, Conoma, Ireland and came to the twin cities and, and lived here.

And, um, he would always say to you, ah, it's, it's, it's like, it's. Great to share the same stage with you. It's always great to share the same stage. A pleasure sharing the same stage with you. Yeah, sorry, that's a pleasure to share the same stage with you. And the amazing thing about this man was when I was starting out playing in the 2010s, He had heard that Merlin's rest was kind of where the younger folk, shall we say, were going to play.

And he made it a point to come out and then he would play his tunes. And if we didn't know his tune, he would slow it down. And it was when he was doing that. And I was like learning these things, but you're that I kind of felt like here he, he is, he is extending his arm out to us and saying like, I want you to have this.

Yeah. And if you sorry, I'm choking up a little bit about him because he's no longer with us. But if, if you want to, here it is, and you can learn this tune for me. And that, that was a moment when I realized like, Oh, this is really This is a gift. This is really amazing gift to have. So that is one Zeitgeist moment.

And the other Zeitgeist moment would, I would say happened just a week ago for me. I was playing, um, I, I will say back to Mary Vanorni, she has helped to bring together some, some fiddlers, all who are women to play music together. And we're playing some tunes that are, that are either made famous by women or written by women.

And we were just playing these tunes that were written by women. And I was just kind of. Jamming along. And I was just looking around like, how awesome is this? That I will say like, here are all these female fiddlers that were all playing these tunes written by women. And it's, it's very like girl power.

So that was my, my other Zeitgeist moment. Sorry. I had to pick two.

Well, Iain and Cara, thank you so much for being on my podcast.

Thanks for having us.

Yeah. Thank you, Morgan, for running Zeitgeist Academy and so graciously having us. It was

so fun talking to you. Yeah.

โ€Š ๐Ÿ“ Thanks for tuning in to this episode of Zeitgeist Radio. If you'd like to take the next step in your musical journey, head over to zeitgeistacademy. com slash radio to join my newsletter. Seriously. It's fun and informative, and I never spam or sell your information. That's zeitgeistacademy. com slash radio.

Music for this episode was created by Ian Boswell. Please hit that subscribe button and tell all your friends you found a cool new podcast. See you next time.

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