Hawaii 2010

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I think I'm Irish

A little over a year ago on vacation in Minnesota I bought a Low D Fipple Flute. There are lots of names for these instruments, Tin Whistle, Irish Whistle. The Fipple is the blowing mechanism that enables one to get a flutelike sound without the pain of learning to play flute.

There is a large and growing enjoyment of this instrument introduced to the world by Riverdance a couple of decades ago. You can join Chiff and Fipple or Praise Whistlers Abroad for Christians who love this instrument. You can download lessons, Irish music of all sorts, and learn the simple scales and fingerings to enjoy this hobby. Unlike the flute it plays sharps and flats with some degree of difficulty and is limited to two octaves, so you end up buying whistles in different keys. Then you enjoy them so much you begin to collect them, which is currently called WhoA, or some such thing, which I think means Whistle Acquistion Addiction.

I grew up playing trumpet, picked up guitar late in life and achieved a level of mediocrity that astounds me to this day......and now I add the hobby/passion of Irish Whistle. I carry them to work, I take them on walks, I irritate my wife with them, and occasionally play something so nicely that I astound myself to this day.

The uninitiated think its a toy....which is a burden whistlers have to bear.....a person who practices can learn amazing things. Just go to You Tube and type Irish Whistle and you will find hundreds of people seeking 2 minutes of fame using this instrument.

Why do I think I am Irish, because most of these songs have a mournful and yet hopeful sound, which the whistle produces beautifully..... and most of life contains both these elements.

The High D is high, and the lower instrument must be purchased online. I think the seed for this was planted when I performed a wedding in a backyard and about 20 folks brought in musical instruments and after the wedding I experienced my first Irish Session. It was something.


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