Snow is gone

I love this song by Josh Ritter. It means a lot to me. When I was working up to being in labour with Nipper 1.0 this song really stuck in my mind and will always remind me of waiting for him to arrive. He was a long time coming in his own way!

When we were deciding on the music for our wedding we asked our musical family and friends to play specific tunes. Himself asked his brother in law and nephews to play “A Whole Lotta Rosie”; I asked my siblings to play “Loving You” by Minnie Ripperton. This HAD to be included even though it’s a song of unrequited love. Our friends Ronan & Ciarán did a beautiful rendition despite the fact that Ronan managed to break his arm two days before the wedding.

Then in a serendipitous coinkydink when we all decamped to An Daingean for Ronan’s wedding to Catherine who was playing the night before their wedding in St. James Church? Josh Ritter himself! And I was pregnant at that stage with Nipper 2.0!

Cheer up the snow is gone ach beidh an tEarrach linn 1 lá Feabhra!

Soitheach Naofa Gnó an Cheoil

This is my third article for the monthly online Irish Language magazine, Beo! In this article I write about how getting my iPhone brought music back into my life (although I don’t drone on about the iPhone too much). I talk about the ways the online music services help me find music and the clever ways in which internet entrepreneurs are handling the massive issue of digital rights managment. I describe Downloadmusic.ie, the brainchild of two Leitrim-based entrepreneurs, in particular as this service really locks into how those who buy music can actually pay for it. I didn’t have space to mention in my article that I also pick up a lot of my favourite new music from The Best of MySpace Podcast. Only other lispers will understand the attraction of Gill Mills and her fluffy tongue trying to rattle out Zero Machine by Le Castle Vania for example 🙂

Handknit iPhone from daddytypes.com
Handknit iPhone from daddytypes.com. Click image to find out how to make your own!

Ó fhoilsiú m’alt deireanach tá iPhone faighte agam. Ní gá duit bheith buartha: nílim chun alt a scríobh ag gabháil ar aghaidh is ar aghaidh faoi mo bhreagán nua. Ní scríobhfaidh mé oireadh is focal eile faoin mbealach a ligean an bosca beag slim seo dom coinneáil i dteagmháil, mo thascanna a eagrú, ceol a dhéanamh is a aithint, cluichí a imirt srl. srl. ad infinitum. Seo alt de shaghas éigin eile. Seo alt faoi teicneolaíocht an cheoil agus gnó an cheoil.

Tá an ceol ar ais i mo shaol. Sin ceann de na hathraithe is mó a tharla ó bhfuair mé m’iPhone dílis. Theip ar iPod s’againne le déanaí agus tar éis roinnt áitiú ar m’fhear chéile d’éirigh liom cás m’iPhone maoineach a dhéanamh. Sin ráite rinne eisean pointe maith i gcoinne an iPhone: toisc gur fóin agus uirlis teagmhála pearsanta atá ann ní féidir leis féin, mar shampla, gabháil amach ag siúl leis an iPod ina phóca a thuilleadh. Gan amhras smaoinigh Apple ar an rud céanna agus táthar ag súil sar i bhfad go mbeidh iPhone i bpóca gach mac agus iníon máthar beo. Sin mar a casann rothaí mór an tsaoil!

Maith nó olc tá an ceol ar ais i mo shaol toisc an uirlis nua seo agus leis an gné nua seo de mo shaoil tá ocras nua ann leis (cúl eile d’fhoireann na hÚlla!) Cé go bhainim taitneamh ar leith ó na seanfhoinn tá mé de shíor ar thóir ceoil nua.

Is cabhair an-mhór an idirlíon agus mé ag tabhairt faoin dtóraíocht seo.  Tugadh faoi deara luath go leor i stair an phopcheoil go dtaitníonn saghasanna ceoil ar leith le daoine a éisteann le bannaí ar leith agus dá bharr ní aon léim mór a dhéanamh ón tuiscint seo go dtí feidhmchlár cliste a mholann ceoil nua duit ar an mbunús sin.

Sin seard atá ar siúl ag Last.fm ó dheireadh an 20ú aois mar a deireann siad féin. An rud cliste faoin suíomh seo ná gur féidir an ceol atá seinnte agat ar d’iPod (nó má tá an t-ádh leat cosúil liomsa, ar d’iPhone!) a “scrobbláil” chuig an suíomh. Ciallaíonn seo ná trí fheidhmchlár beag ar do ríomhaire féin atá nasctha le iTunes is féidir eolas faoin gceoil atá cloister agat a chur chuig do phroifíl ar Last.fm. Molann an suíomh ceol duit bunaithe ar an gceol atá agat cheana mar sin agus is féidir sruth de na moltaí seo a sheinnt ar an suíomh nó ar d’fheidhmchlár féin cosúil le stáisiún raidió gan na fógraí. Chomh maith leis an gceol féin faigheann tú nasc chuig siopa ar line chun an píosa ceoil a cheannach agus tuilleadh eolais faoin gceoltóir nó an mbanna. Is pobal Last.fm féin a scríobhann agus a chuireann leis an eolas seo. Is líonra soisialta é Last.fm freisin agus is féidir cairde a chothú agus éisteacht le ceol iad siúd atá i do chomharsanacht ceolmhara leis. Tiocfaidh tú ormsa ann leis an leasainm crumlin. Is féidir liom mo rogha féin cheoil a roinnt leo siúd a léann mo bhlag trí ghiuirléid atá leabaithe agam ann. (Féach ar dheas: Low brow trash guaranteed!)

Oibríonn Last.fm mar tá tuiscint maith ag na cruthaitheoirí ar úsáid teicneolaíochta a spriocmhargaidh agus ar spéiseanna a spriocmhargaidh. Dream eile atá tuiscint an-mhaith acu ar na húsáid agus spéiseanna seo ná comhlacht atá lonnaithe i gCo. Liatroma, Downloadmusic.ie. Thuig Johnny Beirne, comhbhunaitheoir an chomhlachta seo, nach mbíonn cártaí creidmheasa ag daoine óga. Thuig sé freisin go b’é an dream céanna seo a ceannaíonn an ceoil is nuaí is minicí. Mar sin bhí gá bealach éigin a chrúthú dóibh chun an ceol nua seo a cheannach. Is annamh anois a mbuailfí le duine óg gan fóin póca. Ligeann Downloadmusic.ie do leannáin an cheoil é a cheannach trí théacs a chosnaíonn 99c. Simplí. Is féidir éisteacht le sruth cheoil ar Downloadmusic.ie freisin a gcabhródh leat do rogha a dhéanamh. Chomh maith leis sin tá seirbhís chun ticéid cheolchoirmeacha a ndíol. Don chuid is mó is ceoltóirí neamhspleacha atá le fail agus is cabhair mhór an tseirbhís seo dóibh. Má tá ceolchoirm acu is féidir leo na códanna gearra a bhaineann le amhrán ar leith a thaispeáint ar scáileán nó a dáileadh ar bileog rud a ligeann dóibh airgead a dhéanamh láithreach ar an gceol atá á sheinnt: “An maith leat an t-amhrán seo? Seol music 3076 go 57501 chun é a cheannach anois!” Agus muna leor sin tugtar aon díol ar an suíomh seo san áireamh i gcrúthú na gcairteanna ceoil Éireannacha.

Is é bun agus barr na seirbhísí seo agu ceist síoraí gnó an cheoil faoi láthair ná conas saolré gnó an cheoil a chothú. Bhí ceoil ann i gcónaí agus ag pointe éigin thosnaigh daoine ag déanamh airgead as agus rinneadh airgead as mar ní raibh sé ar fail do chách i ngach áit, i gcónaí. Chomh luath is a rinne ábhar digiteach de cheoil d’fhéadfaí fíor-chóipeanna a dhéanamh asdóibh. Tá luach ag baint le haon acmhainn a fhad is gur acmhainn gann atá ann. Chomh luath is gur féidir cóipeanna a dhéanamh den acmhainn go tapaidh is ar praghas iséal tá an luach tráchtála bainte de. Tuigeann an saol mór go bhfuil ré órga an cheoil taifeadta ag druidim. Tuigeann a leitheid Last.fm agus Downloadmusic.ie go bhfuil gá le múnla ghnó difriúl a chruthú agus a chothú. Sin an Soitheach Naofa anois: freagra an cheist faoi conas airgead a dheanamh ó acmhainní cultúrtha digiteacha. Agus sin bealach eile a chasann rothaí céanna mór an tsaoil!

Togh!

Aon duine a d’fhreastal ar ár mbainis mar shampla bheadh a fhios acu go mór, mór liom Daft Punk. Tháinig duine de foireann ICAN ar an suíomh seo agus thar aon ní eile is píosa craic don Aoine atá ann. Déan d’amhráin Daft Punk féin anseo http://www.najle.com/idaft/

Need some diversion?

My talented family can, in the next fortnight, offer you the going out kinda diversion and the staying in kind too. Hmm I’m acknowledging that could be misinterpreted but read on and it will all make sense.

My multi-talented sister Abigail will see the world premiere of her guitar piece entitled “Little Warm House” which is dedicated to her nephew, Fursey. Abigail has written a beautiful piece of music for each of her nieces and nephews at birth and I think it is a beautiful and generous gift. I remember hearing Garman’s quintet being played for the first time at a concert in the United Artists Club. It was a very special and proud moment for me. Nearly as special as the moment later, when speaking to someone about how the song was for our son, he exclaimed, “Did you have children in your teens? My God but you only look about twenty!” I think he was including silver-haired Himself out of politeness.

“Little Warm House” will be performed by the Diversus Guitar Ensemble. The group will premier new music by John Wolf Brennan, David Stalling, Abigail Smith and James McGuiggan. This concert programme will also feature two Vivaldi Concertos from ‘L’Estro Armonico’ and ‘La Scalabrina’ by Giovanni Battista Vitali.

I think myself and the family will head along to the concert in the Unitarian Church so we might see you there.

And my father is all set to divert you indoors or wherever you happen to be listening to the all new 4 FM, 96 or 104 FM, at 9pm on Wednesday nights. You can read more on his own blog (which sadly also needs some serious attention from yours truly…)

An honorary Smith family member, Arron “Fayzer” Faye, has also made the leap into blogging, where he posts about the production and composition work he does for adverts and artists. Check out and subscribe to his blog today!

*I note the Droichead’s lovely website is designed by my friend Karen in Pixel Design.