Birthday Video   (2017July30)


Sunday, July 30, 2017                                              3:17 PM

Birthday Video   (2017July30)

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The summer rushes on—July reaches an end and the lonely, hot month of August is all that stands between us and the coming of another tilt of the global axis, anti-sunward. My daughter’s daughter, my granddaughter Seneca, had her first birthday—and, of course, her first birthday party (with balloons and cake and presents). Ah, youth—just to look at her makes me feel younger. I, for one, can’t wait for this August to end—because the three of them will be visiting afterwards—and that’s worth another winter.

Claire is painting and printing and charcoaling and pen-and-inking and oil pastel monoprinting and doing pencil portraiture and life studies and plein-air landscapes—it’s been summer art camp for the Bear this year. She’s fantastic and I’m hoping she’ll let me make a video out of a retrospective of her sketches sometime—but not everyone is comfortable splashing themselves all over the internet like I do, so we’ll have to see about that plan….

Spencer has been doing yardwork and home repair—on the one hand, I’m jealous because that used to be my favorite part of being a homeowner—but on the other hand, it’s great to have a real strong man around to do the stuff that needs to get done. I don’t know what the problem is with ‘failure to launch’—we couldn’t get along without Spencer’s help—I’m grateful that he hasn’t felt the need to move far away.

For now I’m having a great old time using baby videos to add a spoonful of sugar to my piano-playing videos. I figure it doesn’t really matter about the playing—how many people can ‘go to the videotape’ to review the first year of their lives? It’s not like it isn’t a happy story. And I’m not quite done yet. I’m listening to Borodin’s 2nd Symphony—it’s nice and long, and good music, which makes it perfect for working at the keyboard.

I’m working on the new batch of videos—this time ‘round, I’ve recorded a bunch of songs from my Dover Music Publications’ “The Ancient Music of Ireland – Arranged for Piano by Edward Bunting”. I include “Molly My Treasure”, “Plangsty Hugh O’Donnell”, “The Jolly Ploughman”, “Slieve Gallen”, and “Give Me Your Hand” (also known as “Tabhair Dom Do Lámh”, the track title used on the Chieftains’ “Chieftains 5” album). I can’t tell you how delighted I was to realize I was playing one of their favorite songs of mine. I practiced and practiced, but I could never approach the speed and vivacity of their recording.

The improvs—well, what can I say. They’re there—that I have the strength to sit on the bench at all is a minor victory, so there you go. It seems that the more tired my playing gets, the more adorable the baby becomes—so, she’s pulling most of the weight on these videos—thank you, Seneca!

Well—back to work—I can’t post this thing without the videos.

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Twelve (12) excerpted from “The Ancient Music of Ireland” by Edward Bunting


“The Ancient Music of Ireland”,
arranged for the piano forte

-to which is preffixed
“A Dissertation on The Irish Harp and Harpers,
Including an Account of the Old Melodies Of Ireland”

by Edward Bunting
[published in Dublin by Hodges and Smith in 1840]

first unabridged republication (2000) by
Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, NY

12 Pieces from “The Ancient Music of Ireland” by Edward Bunting:

No. VI “Ossianic Air”,
[sung in the Highlands of Scotland.
Presented by the late Sir John Sinclair, Bart.]

No. IV “It’s Pretty To Be In Ballinderry”

No. III “Irish Cry”
[sung by a single voice in praise of the deceased]
The Goll.

No. V “The Battle of Argan More”
[in the time of Ossian.]

No. I “Feaghan Geleash — or Try If It Is In Tune”
[An ancient prelude for the Harp]

No. II “Lamentation of Diedre for the Sons of Usneach”
[Very Ancient.]
(The Air is Repeated in each Stanza of the Poem.)

“Sit Down Under My Protection. [1.]”
[Very Ancient; Author and date unknown.]

“Lady Iveach [2.]”
[Thos. Connallon, 1660.]

“The Blackbird and the Thrush [3.]”
[Very Ancient; Author and date unknown.]

“Huish the Cat [4.]”
[Author and date unknown.]

“The Merchant’s Daughter [5.]”
[Very Ancient; Author and date unknown.]

“Did You See the Black Rogue [6.]”
[Very Ancient; Author and date unknown.]