A reel-ly good evening!

Wednesday evening’s post-dinner-pub-trip was serenaded by some amazingly talented traditional- Scottish musicians. They were kind enough to let us, (and were actually very encouraging for us to) join in and try out playing with them.. so we shyly brought out our instruments. We fiddled around by ear, improvising on the harmonies and tunes as we went along, and they also had some of the reels written out which we perched on tables between all the drinks to play and bop along to as well. Sarah taught us how to play the bodhran (pronounced Bow – rawn) and we picked up the signals for the repeats of the tunes, and also for changing tunes (which is generally the highly complex gesture of someone kicking their leg in the air..) it was exhilarating to play in a style different to our usual and make new friends. However, I think what made it most special was how poetically intimate the setting was for connecting and communicating with other players and sharing a love of music with everyone around us. The vibe of the whole pub could be so obviously influenced by what we played – it could both get more rowdy when we played certain popular tunes as well as turn more contemplative when other more calm melodies were played. When we are almost always used to a culture of audiences sitting quietly and listening, it was wonderful to have the immediate connection with people around us and to bounce off their energy. Overall, it was a reel-ly fun evening and for us to have been able to join in with this music making was such a joy!

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