Notes from Nowhere

mánudagur, ágúst 22, 2005

Walking the West

Doolin, the late hills awash with blue clouds moving fast, the atmosphere here silent yet celebratory, stark and homely. A culture whose ancient continuity endures, sentimentalised, even perhaps Americanised, but not yet reanimated, alive still as those sage hills awash.

I walk the mile between the three excellent public houses with my instrument in my hand, happy to tread this ageless way once more. I reach O'Connors on Pier Road, perhaps one of the best venues of this old and yet youthful music, where my friends are whiling away happy time playing misère ouverte and sipping smooth, black and white drinks.

There is already a full circle of world class musicians around this little table, I watch and listen and learn. Eventually, the players go their long separate ways, (one Flautist named Michelle used to live here but is now visiting from Oslo). Two players of fine, stout and strong black wooden flutes laid with played in chrome details discuss tunes and happen upon the ones they know in common. I hold my ears open to the harmony their melody demands, the rhythmic nuances, the possibilities that suggest themselves. My fingers strain to keep up at first, the music new, vital.

Then we start to settle in, a rhythm develops between the three of us, the flutes chasing round each other like vines growing together for the light, the chords fresh and sparkling like sunlight throught this fast flowing wellstream. Sometimes the vines catch the light, and cast their ornate shadow across and along the stream.

It is already late. We say our good nights and I'm off again round the coast road, with my friends in our hired car back to our Burren retreat. Not many more hours left on this Island for now, but I'll come again soon, and drink deep from this timeless spring once more.


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