Did you ever hear an Irish tune at a session and wonder what it was called? Well, not surprisingly the internet offers a solution to that quandary.
I recently discovered a website called Midomi.com, and it’s a search engine just for melodies.
You click a button on the screen and sing the tune so that your computer’s microphone can pick it up. You’ll see a yellow sound wave while you’re singing. It works best if you keep the tune going for the full ten seconds until it says it’s analyzing. Then it will search for matches.
It works really well for pop songs, but I tried it out for several Irish tunes just to see what would happen.
Amazingly these songs popped right up in the results when I sang them:
Some others I tried didn’t come up:
That’s because a lot of the database comes from people contributing songs. There’s a “studio” on the site where people can add tunes. It requires you to download Flash Player, which can be a virus hazard if you don’t do it right. I didn’t want to deal with the computer complications at the moment. So I can’t report directly on that.
But I did try some other methods to test tunes. Humming or whistling a tune both work equally well. And playing a tune on my tin whistle also worked.
Now you have an online way to identify many Irish tunes. But if you ever run into one you can’t find anywhere, you can always come out to one of our sessions and ask us. We’re at Nail Creek Pub in Utica on the first Tuesday of each month and at Stockdale’s in Oriskany on the third Tuesdays. Both sessions start at 7:30pm and generally run until about 10:00pm.
You can see our full calendar of events here.
Post by Sue Romero
Sue plays bodhrán and tin whistle with Craobh Dugan and serves as the group's Public Relations Officer.
by Chris Hoke
Sorry this is a few days late -- I lost track of time. I heard it is November already...WOW!! is all I can say. Craobh Dugan had a great October!
On the 13th, we hosted our Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the Seton Center in Utica. Of course we had a great pot luck supper followed by our meeting and then music and dancing.
On Sunday the 15th, we welcomed Caitlin and Ciaran from Ireland who performed a lovely "house" concert for about 37 people. What a great show! These are the kinds of things we love to offer to show off the Irish Culture!!
The following weekend, over 85 people enjoyed our presentation of The Irish and the Erie at the Oneida County Historical Society.
Thanks to all who participated and/or attended these events. We TRULY have a great Comhaltas Branch!!!!
Officers Elected for 2017-2018
At the AGM, we elected officers for the '17-'18 year. Those who were voted into office include: Chair, Chris Hoke; Vice-Chair, Skip Mansur; Secretary, Colleen Martin; Treasurer, Mike Hhoke; Public Relations Officer, Sue Romero; Language Officer, Tom Malley; Auditor, Mike Carroll; Youth Officer, Margaret Carroll; Convention Delegates, Gracie Schell and Tom Malley. Thank you to each for volunteering to aid our branch in carrying out our mission. And MANY THANKS to Ryan Troy who stepped down as Vice-Chair and to Bill Fahy who stepped down as PRO. We appreciate your service to our club!!
NOTE: As you will see in the calendar below, this month only, the Stockdale's Session will be the 4th Tuesday, which will be the 28th of November. Mark this on your calendar!!
Craobh Dugan's New Special Program The Irish and the Erie
I am proud to say this production has been very well-received. The group has performed it 6 times, to rave reviews. There are 3 showings in November, including one this weekend at Utica College on November 4th at 4.00pm. They are having a day of events celebrating the Digging of the Erie Canal and asked us to present our show. If you are free on Saturday November 4th, why not check it out? The show is also being performed for the residents at Preswick Glen and Acacia Village this month.
Our branch continues to host two monthly traditional music sessions, on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month. The 1st is at Nail Creek Pub on Varick St in Utica and the 3rd is at Stockdale's Pub in Oriskany. Both start at 7.30. Come for a listen if you have not done that in a while. It is always great music!! Also on Friday evenings, we teach Irish Ceili Dancing at the Seton Center at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Utica. Classes start at 7pm. There is no charge, and you do NOT need a partner or special shoes. All you do need is an interest in trying out Ceili Dancing and a willingness to have FUN!! Come on, give it a try!!
Finally, please continue to check our website often. All our events are on the Calendar, and we often post articles and photos about our activities in the News section. Also you can like our Facebook Page where we post about other traditional Irish happenings in the area and other fun Irish facts. You will really see what an active group this is!! We ALL make it what it is!!
Some of Craobh Dugan officers and our convention delegates will travel to Boston the first weekend of November for the Northeast Regional AGM. As always, Craobh Dugan will make an important impression there. We are not the largest branch in the region, but we are at least as busy and productive as the other branches . Kudos to us!!
Goals for the Near Future
Two goals I mentioned at our AGM include for our musicians to (finally) make another CD. Bill Fahy is taking the lead on this, and I am confident that it WILL happen!!
The other goal is for us to continue to host house (or small-venue) concerts. For a glimpse of what that kind of concert is like see our post about Caitlin and Ciaran. We held two house concerts this year and I believe we are gaining momentum. We will keep our ear to the tracks as to who is traveling through the region and we will try again to host a few each year. Watch our Facebook Page for information on these and other events!
I do believe that is all for this month. Please remember to check out the website and please do come to a session or ceili dance class. You will be very glad you came!!
NOVEMBER Events at a Glance
3----Ceili Dance Class @ Seton Center (Our Lady of Lourdes Church, 2222 Genessee St. Utica) 7.00pm
4----Irish & Erie at Utica College 4.00pm
7----Open Session at Nail Creek Pub 7.30pm
10--Ceili Dance Class @ cSeton Center 7.00pm
14---Irish & Erie at Preswick Glen 7.00pm
16---Irish & Erie at Acacia Village 7.00pm
17---Ceili Dance Class @ Seton Center 7.00pm
21---Musicians Practice @ TBD 7.00pm
28---**Stockdale's Session 7.30pm
Craobh Dugan members, together with friends old and new, spent a delightful afternoon at our most recent house concert on Oct. 15 with Caitlín Nic Gabhann and Ciarán Ó Maonaigh. This adorable married duo are not only abundantly talented in music and dance but charming and friendly too.
Caitlín's fingers dance over the concertina as nimbly as her feet tap over the floor. And Ciarán's brilliant fiddle playing completes their amazing traditional Irish sound.
Between tunes, they each took turns telling funny and touching stories. Some stories about Caitlín's great aunt Peg Pierce gave us an up close picture of the experience of an Irish immigrant to the United States.
Peg, who lived to be more than 100, left her little town in Ireland when she was only 16. It was high adventure and lots of dancing on the ocean crossing, followed by a train trip all the way to San Francisco.
She never changed her socks the whole time! When she arrived in California her relatives had to soak them off her feet. This one and lots of other tales gave us a glimpse of what our own ancestors' voyages may have been like.
Many of our members turned out for this show, but it was especially wonderful to see so many new faces. One young couple were passing through Utica on vacation, saw our listing on Eventbrite.com, and decided to check out the house concert. They said they were very glad they did.
During the intermission and after the show everyone nibbled Chris Hoke's legendary blonde brownies, sipped cider, and met new friends.
And that is what an Irish "house concert" is all about. Traveling musicians stop by and play for a small group of people in a cozy setting. This time Turning Point Church in Utica provided the perfect intimate space. But at other times it could be at someone's house.
Live music, a social atmosphere with friendly company, and a chance to chat with the musicians all work together to create an experience much different from a large venue concert or recorded show.
Craobh Dugan tries to arrange house concerts whenever we hear of musicians passing through the area on Northeast tours. So, if you'd like to hear about our next one, like our Facebook page.
Many thanks to Deb Putnam for the photos!
Videos by Sue Romero.
Find out how our ancestors picked up the nickname "Wild Irish". Chuckle at the lyrics of a song about whiskey. Tap your toe to plenty of rollicking traditional tunes. And learn a little something about how Irish immigrants helped to build one of the most influential engineering projects in American history.
You'll come away with all this and more when you attend Craobh Dugan's original program The Irish and the Erie. It was researched and written by our own Mike Hoke, who also plays fiddle and sings with Bill Fahy, Ed Campbell, Mike Carroll, Skip Mansur, and Sue Romero in the one-hour show. Bill Fahy also sings a charming original song of his own about the misadventures of a hoggee who spent a summer walking from Albany to Buffalo.
You can find the dates and times of performances already scheduled on our Calendar page.
And if you'd like us to present the show at your meeting, museum or other venue, send us a message on our Contact page.