<"http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"> Welcome to the Ceili
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
On the Mend
After a good week and a half, I can finally say I'm feeling better. I'm not completely there, but I'm not singing in a baritone range, and I can breathe/talk/play without falling into hacking fits.....at least not all the time.

There've been some great blog posts lately: Terminal Degree's comments on a lack of women in the conducting realm, Quanztalcoatl's comments on blue-toothed jackasses, Dharmonia's post on student "devaluations," and Coyotebanjo's thoughts on community. Coyotebanjo's comments got me to thinking about when I moved here, straight out of undergrad, and scared to death.

I don't think anyone goes off to grad school being anything other than terrified. I moved to Flat Place U a good month before school started. It was the farthest I had ever lived away from home, and I didn't know anyone. In undergrad, I at least had a few friends from home/church that I could attach myself to until I made new friends. When my dad left to go home after helping me move and settle in for the grad school experience, it finally hit me that I was in the midst of redefining myself and trying to step up my performance in all areas. I felt unprepared to teach Sophmore Aural Skills, take my entrance exams, audition for ensembles, and I constantly wondered if maybe I had read the acceptance letter wrong. But something happened. The first Friday night I was here (the day before my entrance exams) by myself I managed to find the Pub, and after sitting in my car for a good fifteen minutes debating about whether to go in or not, I managed to grab my flute a walk in, and Coyotebanjo recognized me (from an audition several months before), remembered my name, my instrument, my program, and introduced me to the rest of the community there. I was still nervous about the looming approach of Graduate School, but I think in that moment I knew that I would at least survive the next two years.
"Instead, we offer a situation where people take care of each other, respect each other, and try to help each other however they can."
Community, in all its incarnations, has a way of letting people cope and live through situations that are positively brutal. The more I study vernacular cultures, the more I recognize that the blue-toothed, hyperliterate, uberindividualistic West doesn't have everything necessary to live a fulfilling life. I like my technology, I like my books, and I like having an individual identity, but I truly believe that life is worth living because of the interpersonal connections we make. Those connections, intangible as they may be, keep us anchored, pull us through the dark times, and help us mark the momentous occasions in our lives. I'm lucky enough to be surrounded by professors, colleagues, and friends who all understand the need for community and reciprocity (with due shout out to my Ireland Seminar almost two years back now).

Learned recently just before a concert:
Here's to us. Who's like us? Damned few--and they're all dead.

I wish you connections that make your life meaningful and complete.

Peace, Love, and Tunes,


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posted by Mac Tíre at 1:18 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Monday, January 28, 2008
My sinuses are conspiring against me......
So, I wasn't feel perfect yesterday, but after the second weekend in a row of sitting on my butt and trying to rest so that I can play the recital next Tuesday, I was feeling better. Notice the was. Played a concert, and in the midst of the traditional dinner celebration afterwards, my nose started itching like crazy, and watering as a result. Fast forward through the night (less that three hours of sleep) and I get up this morning and my left eye is noticeably swollen and red. Fine. Whatever. I've gone to theory class with a pinched sciatic nerve and lived, why not outrageous allergy/sinus attacks. Except that I get to my TA, and suddenly start tearing up, so much so, that the prof in the room told me to go home and get better. So I go home, and am now determined to find an ENT.....except that none of them can see me until Wednesday (during class I migh add). So I call the student death health center, and they can at least see me tomorrow. I'm losing some serious practice time that I can't afford to lose this close to the recital. As for today? At least I can still read and get ahead on the research/class fronts. May still try to play later on if I can my head to chill a bit. Hope your health is better than mine at this point.

Peace, Love, and Tunes,

posted by Mac Tíre at 12:35 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Winter Finally Shows Up
Sorry about the mini absence.....I finally caught the sinus infection that everyone has been passing around in the music building. It took me several days, but I finally managed to get an appointment at the Student Death Center (at least that's what we called it in undergrad), and my doctor gave me a Z pack and various other over the counter medications to keep me semi-conscious for the next week or so.

The On the Run series will have to be postponed until I can actually run again without feeling like death warmed over.

Classes are shaping up well (on both teaching and taking fronts). I guess the biggest issue is having to teach my discussion section with my (relative) lack of familiarity with the common practice period. I'm trying to fill in gaps of knowledge with reading, which means my reading quotient is up from last semester, but interestingly enough, it doesn't feel bad (I think it's because I don't have to read music theory treatises from antiquity to 1600).

One of my Graduate Seminars is using a wiki for our final projects. I'm surprised how much I like the interface. I didn't think I would like writing a paper/presentation script in wiki format, but I think it works really well for a large research project (I might use it as a research tool for my thesis), specifically for organizing large amounts of material and notes in one place. It also means the professor can look at your work and suggest revisions, which you can reference at all stages of the project (really great for seeing how your work evolves).

The Trad recital is coming up on Feb. 5, and the program seems to be locking in. Looks to be (not a final list):
Dark is the colour of my true love's hair (sung into instrumental air)
Lasses of Ballintra/Lads of Laois/Fox on the Prowl
Have a Drink with Me/Black Rogue/Humours of Ennystimon
Paddy's Waltz/Evangeline
Tribute to Ed Reavy/Air (Gan Ainm)/Lovely Bannion/Both Meat and Drink
Butterfly (Barefoot on the Altar version)/Wee Bag of Spuds/Gan Ainm
Lady on the Island/Primrose Lass/The High Reel
The Stolen Bride (An Bhean a Tugadh As)
There's the Day
The Pikeman's March/Lord Mayo
Slide Set.....which I don't have names for
Possibly a hornpipe set or something besides reels and jigs.....may add something with the Gypsy Princess, cause I really love it. Just juggling and trying to figure out a sequence at this point.

Peace, Love, and Tunes,

posted by Mac Tíre at 12:26 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
On the Run
Miles logged:
1/16: 2.05
Week of 1/13-1/19: 4.35

Got in a decent run yesterday, read, I made time for it even though I was achy and tired and probably should have just gone home, taken a shower, and studied (the latter of which I always do anyway).

Have I mentioned how much I hate treadmills? I knew I needed to run yesterday in order to get my five days in this week, but I got out of class around 5, and knew that by the time I drove to the park where I run, changed, and did my run, it would be cold and dark. I can deal with the cold, but since I run with headphones, I don't run in the dark by myself. So the option left to me were the treadmills at the student rec center. I hate treadmills for several reasons: 1) I inevitably feel as though I'm going to fall off or break the machine, 2) These days the machines are outfitted with state of the art television and music systems......I run to get away from this stuff, 3) There's no scenery, 4) I feel like a large predatory hamster on a huge wheel, 5) The biggest reason I hate treadmills is that every single time I get off I feel disoriented for at least 10 minutes.

Running Playlist of the Day:
Red-Haired Mary -- Dervish
As long as you're mine -- Wicked OBC
Smeceno Horo -- Planxty
No More -- See What I Wanna See OBC
Defying Gravity -- Wicked OBC
Life is a Highway -- Rascall Flatts
What is this feeling? -- Wicked OBC
Chelsea Morning -- Joni Mitchell
You Turn Me on I'm a Radio -- Joni Mitchell
All or Nothing -- Athena Cage
Take me or Leave Me -- Rent OBC
Nil Na La -- Solas Live

Peace, Love, and Tunes,



posted by Mac Tíre at 3:27 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 1 comments
Monday, January 14, 2008
And we're off!
Good start to a new semester. It seems that there's enough classes to keep me busy, but not so many that I can't get everything done (including the outside stuff like independent language studies, extra recitals, and the thesis).

On tap for the semester:
  1. Thesis, thesis, thesis.......Blues Fife and Drum in North Mississippi Hill Country. Luckily my Musics of the African Diaspora class will help give me some focus, and I'm hoping I can use my Rhythm and Meter in American Vernacular Music class to also focus on the topic.
  2. Completely solo trad recital. I've got a couple of dates that are already floating out there. Basically, it'll be done within the month.
  3. Chair a panel on Music and Tradition in Dr. Coyote's stead as he's scheduled to be at another conference at the same time.
  4. Medieval Cantigas concert with my roommate (and partner in all sorts of musical crimes).
  5. Second trad recital focusing more on ensemble repertoire and including students in the vernacular music program at Flat Place U.
  6. If my paper's accepted at the SEM conference, present a paper on the aforementioned thesis topic.
  7. TA for the Common Practice Period segment of the music history undergrad sequence.....have I mentioned my discussion section has 60 kids in it?
  8. Prepare to present and play at the NFA conference this summer.
  9. Teach classical flute to the middle school kids (teaching there probably about 4 days a week).
Life is nothing if not busy....although it looks less insane than last semester. I'm amazed at how good it's been to not have to worry about practicing classical flute. I need to thank my Flute Professor for pushing me off the cliff I've been edging towards for a while. I feel incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by people who want me to a happy, fulfilled, successful musician and human being.

I'm also trying to get into a regular running schedule again (hopefully 5 days a week.....but we'll see how that goes), so to kick myself in the butt, I think I'll start logging my runs.

Miles logged:
Sun 1/14 - 2.3

Peace, love, and tunes,

posted by Mac Tíre at 1:16 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 1 comments
Friday, January 11, 2008
Official Documentation and off to the National Convention again!

I'm officially a Magistra now. Semester's off to a good start. More later about classes, but mostly wanted to say that I've been asked to present and PLAY at the NFA convention this summer. Mac's a happy girl!
posted by Mac Tíre at 1:09 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 2 comments
Thursday, January 03, 2008
No post, but a meme
So no post, that will come a little later as I'm trying to rearrange stuff in my room and get things actually organized instead of just out of the way like usual. But here's a meme to satisfy my blogging urges.

Does it surprise anyone how much Irish trad there is on this list?


So, here's how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
6. Don't lie and try to pretend your cool...

Opening credits-
The Merry Sisters/Music in the Forge/Castle Kelly – Seamus Ennis

Waking up-
What You Own (from RENT) – Original Broadway Cast

First day of school-
The Lioness Hunt (from the Lion King Musical) – Original Broadway Cast

In love-
The Lucky Penny/Old Man Dillon/The Knights of St. Patrick – James Kelly and Zan McLeod

Fight song-
Mary Patterson’s/All in the Family/The Rathfarnham Lilters – Beth Patterson

Breaking up-
Whistle Jigs – Joanie Madden live field recording from Boxwood

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 Allegro con Brio – The new Claudio Abbado Berlin Phil Recordings

Mike Casey’s/The Fairhaired Boy/ The Dublin Lads – Maeve Donnelly and Peadar O’Loughlin

Mental breakdown-
Poor Child – The Wild Party Original Broadway Cast Recording

Kwela Spokes – Spokes Mashiyane

Maire Ni Ghriofa – Darach o Cathain

Birth of child-
She’s Everything – Brad Paisley

Final battle-
“P” Stands for Paddy I suppose - Planxty

Death scene-
American History – Cary Swinney

Funeral song-
You don’t know my mind – Larry Cordle

End credit-
Fade Together – Franz Ferdinand

posted by Mac Tíre at 5:45 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments