The Place for real traditions.Irish Culture begins in prehistory. First was a paleolithic mindset-based on hunting. The spirits of animals aid in this. Groups had totems- birds, boar,for identity. Next came a Neolithic awareness- crops, agriculture,farm animals. Villages and lineages. Multiple gods became single gods with many powers. Chieftains by birth ruled. Next the Bronze age with rule by heroes. We got cookbooks and recipes left the mind. How do we know what to do? That's our purpose.

Irish Chieftain's feast

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Musical Dimension of Food-

Of course there is a musical dimension of food and you don't have to
have a cake dance either! Food and music go together and depend on each
other as foundations of the larger cultural experience-music is the
window that you open to get fresh air. As the palate and the stomach
work it is their accompaniment. It frees the mind to wander and provides
dance to work it off! In this spot recommendations for music will be
posted from time to time. Stop in frequently.

While music which is recorded is fine and good the best music is that
which comes out of the guests themselves. In order to avoid having the
music of bodily functions alone one must take a few steps.

The first thing to do is to get rid of any concept of quality. It simply
does not matter. The human mind is able to straighten out the bumps of
any performance. Traditional music is a music that is known- you will
know the tune so if played a bit off you can still follow it in your
mind. Yes there are pros but if you wait till you can afford them you
may wait for a longtime.

Second- you must make everyone welcome. Especially those learning. No
preasure...just sit in the corner and play. No one has to study you. You
just play. This is the essence of all good traditional gatherings.
Always let people know that they can bring whatever they wish. From food
and drink to music to whatever. You just coordinate.

Once everyone is welcome and tolerated you need only provide a few
resources. Most people today have not been brought up in the oral
tradition. That means that they do not have the songs in their heads
that they would have had had they grown up say for 10 or 15 years within
a culture singing regularly.

There is no way that you will have a singing crowd when you assume that
they know the words. But, all is not lost. You will have a singing crowd
immediately after providing song sheets or little booklets made up of
the songs you expect your guests to play. A little work done every so
often will see you prepared.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the tradition is growing every
day. Find a few ancient songs-the Grand Airs of Connemara but then
include others which have been added right down to the present day. You
want all generations to be welcome so mix it up for them. I am sure
that the younger folk will tolerate the Clancys and the Dubliners a lot
better with a bit of the Pogues and Flogging Molly thrown in.

Here are a few musical resources- enjoy!

So....add the musical ingredient to your cookery. Put a spring in your
step and song in your heart.