Mudcat Café message #3822999 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #97737   Message #3822999
Posted By: Will Fly
27-Nov-16 - 06:58 AM
Thread Name: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
Subject: RE: Are the sessions real in Ireland?
I think I've probably said this in the earlier part of the thread, so apologies if I'm repeating myself.

The style of the session, in my view, really is down to the person(s) who created and started it in the first place. If it's meant to be dedicated to, say, Irish tunes - or English tunes - or French tunes - so be it. If they welcome beginners with open arms, great. If you have to wait patiently to be invited to join in (and perhaps get some assessment of your prowess at the same time!), so be it. If the session organisers want to be exclusive or inclusive, in a bar or in a private space, then that's their choice, and the would-be participant has to abide by the rules or find somewhere else to sit in.

I don't choose to frequent local Irish sessions (for example), simply because I don't know the music that well, preferring Scottish, English or French tunes. And I like sessions that are inclusive in style because, to me, it's not only about the music, it's about a social occasion that welcomes people into a circle and accepts and encourages beginners. A good session enlightens and teaches as well as giving enjoyment. Just my two-penn'orth here.

Tonight is the monthly session at the White Horse in Ditchling. The Usual Suspects will be there with fiddles, mandolins, melodeons, concertinas, a guitar or two, with nyckelharpa, flute, smallpipes and double bass in attendance. All ages. On the whole a really excellent standard of musicianship - but with encouragement for those less able to show what they can do. I help to run that session, and that's just how we want it to be. At my local French tunes session, I take a mandolin, sit well back and learn, learn, learn. Horses for courses.

And it goes without saying that if you choose to play your music in a pub, you accept the pub environment - kibbitzers, background noise, the lot - or you move on.