Summer 2021 @ Burren Fiddle Holidays

I write from home today as my favourite traditional music festival – The Willie Clancy Week – takes place online for a second year running. We’ve got a ban on any kind of indoor social or sporting activity here in Ireland at the moment as the pandemic continues; my understanding is that this may only change pending the introduction of a vaccine passport, details of which to be announced on the 19th of this month. My mood felt cloudy earlier as I realised that we still have a long road ahead, then I went for a walk in the Burren and that all lifted. Despite the clouds, some good things have happened in the last few months.

Corofin Market in May with students and friends

A village market now takes place outside the village hall in Corofin. It’s once a month of a Sunday. On Sunday 31st May I played there with fiddle students and friends, and what weather we had. This past Sunday was rainy and so we were unable to play inside the hall, however we all enjoyed it so much the first time that I’m on the look out for the next community event to bring us all together (any suggestions are welcome!). Some local pubs and hotels have put great effort into their outdoor dining set-ups and spaces, making places that are possible to play in even when it’s raining, and even in some cases organising music according to the forecast; I am thankful for these opportunities to hear and play live music again.

The Sunday before last I hosted a second online fiddle recital for my students, following on from the one at Christmas which was really successful! We had seven students and myself playing, and an audience of two parents and two grandparents. Again the online format allowed us to get together from different locations – Ireland, the UK and Canada. A few others of us were missing in transit or enjoying well-earned stay-cations. It was a social occasion as well as a performance opportunity, and it was commented on how our music has evolved since the last time.

In-person teaching takes place less often these days, however as we can have visitors from one-household or many households if vaccinated, my doors are open. Similarly it is possible to stay at Burren Fiddle Holidays again, with proper distancing measures in place. I’ve enjoyed hosting three sets of guests so far, from Dublin and Sligo, and teaching one introductory fiddle class.

Some of us pictured during the Christmas recital

My last post referenced sound recording and video making, and I can report that I’ve made at least some progress with the former. Step one was buying some equipment – I now have a Tascam USB audio interface with 4 microphone inputs (In case I might want to record other people as well!) and the use of a condenser and a ribbon microphone. The Digital Audio Workstation I’m using is caller Reaper – it’s really affordable and as far as I know it’ll do everything I might ever want it to. I’ve a couple of rough tracks I won’t share with you yet! I’m secretly ambitious but also a perfectionist. I’m introverted yet I need social interaction for motivation and inspiration; this combination of traits combined with the lack of social activity over the last few months means that progress is not where the ambition in me would have hoped at this point! However at the very least it is a longer term project and means that I’m open to other recording projects as well.

That brings us up to date. I hope you’re all doing okay out there. If anyone would like to join the fiddle crew for online lessons – please do get in touch with me here at Burren Fiddle Holidays.

Best Wishes – Laura