A night of Celtic Tunes (a “Ten Days on the Island” review)

We were privileged to hear Ashley MacIsaac and Quinn Bachand last night: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vku_e-lWN1w (this video is their first performance together). They were amazing live, playing alongside Chris Stout and Catriona McKay from Shetland: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WN2FgHN26e0. MacIsaac is a charismatic and idiosyncratic genius from Cape Breton, but the sheer virtuosity of the 15 year old BC guitarist (and incidentally classical violinist) was the most startling thing for me about the show. It was odd for me to hear Celtic music (Irish, Scottish, Canadian) in a concert format. The urge to have the craic, sip Guinness, and dance was strong, but we sat and listened “in our little rows” as Paul Kelly once said at a Wrest Point casino gig. I can’t help but feel that formal concerts are not the right place for “blood music” like this. It pulses in my veins and screams and whispers life, love, hope, despair and humanity in a way that needs an interactive, social, chaotic forum. The problem is that as Celtic musicians gain fame and repute, the traditional seisiun becomes too small for them, but in mounting a stage, I can’t help but feel that something is lost. Perhaps stumbling across these guys joining in a pub seisiun is the dream I have…but who am I?

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About dreapadoir

Emergency Physician, author of http://underneathEM.com Emergency Medicine blog, photographer at http://www.dreapadoir.com
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