Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Roma McMillan: 1911-2007

The old-time/traditional fiddling community was saddened early in the month to learn of the passing of Roma McMillan one day before her 96th birthday. As I did not know Roma, or ever hear her play, I cannot provide a personal commentary on her passing. Several of the news media articles about her life appear to require online subscriptions. In lieu I did find a good account, however, of her life story HERE in section 4 (iv) (c) and it is well worth the read. Our sincere condolences to the McMillan family and the music community on the the loss of a champion in both life and music.

Saturday, 14 July 2007

House Concert - The Parting Glass

Friday night the craic in Ottawa was here and it was good. Last night, House Concert attendees enjoyed the inspired playing of Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin and local guitarist Ian Clark. Gearóid’s historical interjections provided fascinating historical context to the tunes we don’t often get in regular sessions, or concerts. The selection of tunes and their playing was often quite moving. The humour was good and plentiful, too, coming from both musicians and guests. Tough crowd! After the main two sets, we were further treated to the talents of gifted local musicians: Ellen MacIsaac (songs), John Dahms (fiddle), and Don Kavanagh (harmonica). This of course was followed by a house session with these, and more, local musicians! This was the first house concert I’ve hosted. While it is a bit of effort to put on the opportunity to host such talent and fine people in your own home is well worth it. It was a pleasure to host and meet all of my guests. As I can’t play an instrument well at this time this was also one way to give back to the session musicians who I enjoy on a regular basis. Heartfelt thanks to Gearóid and Ian, and all guests. See you in the pub!