Fiddles and Pipes

So, as promised, blog spamming a report on last Saturday’s concert with Eileen Ivers and Immigrant Soul. As I mentioned previously, it was a night filled with Celtic and Irish-inspired music. The tunes ranged from traditional in sound to more modern (read: rock-like distortion) and to fusion sound. In particular, they played songs that melded Celtic sound with Danish tunes, traditional Spanish music, and with African roots. The performers were all impressively versatile in their playing (and in their instrument switching); in particular, I was astounded by Isaac Alderson, who covered the traditional Irish woodwinds and pipes.

Eileen Ivers herself is an extremely spirited and active performer. I honestly did not realize that anyone could bounce and fiddle at the same time. I’ve seen plenty of swaying, but not all out hopping. She’s also not content to have a passive audience (and neither, frankly, were the Ithacans in the theater). Throughout the concert we were encouraged to clap and/or sing along and even to dance in the aisles. And, frankly, it was extremely hard to keep from moving. Only very rarely did my foot stop tapping. I refrained from clapping sometimes, either because my hands couldn’t take much more of it, or because I was frustrated with the rest of the audience. Their enthusiasm was great, but, really, keeping a steady beat is not that difficult.

Good fiddling always impresses me. No instrument can lament the way a fiddle does–nor is there one that can immediately turn around and bring you to your feet dancing the way a fiddle can. Throw in flutes or pipes and a harmony and you’re all set. It’s difficult for me to speak musically or to comment on particular pieces because my musical knowledge is so limited, but I think the whole concert can be pretty well summed up by saying that, by the encore–regardless of age, background, or ethnicity–everyone in the State Theater was on their feet dancing and clapping along with the band. One doesn’t have to have been to many concerts to realize how special a moment like that is.

1 Responses to “Fiddles and Pipes”


  • Thanks for the writeup! I still say bouncing while playing the violin (or any instrument, really) is a really bad idea, though. 😛

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