Just coming back to normality after our fifth Cruinniú na bhFliúit. Having just typed that, I can see why most people call it The Flute Meeting, which is what it is in translation, of course. Cruinniú is the word for meeting, based on the root which means a gathering together, and which also occurs in phrases for butter forming in the churn, or a cabbage forming a head!
The last word is of course the word for flute, here in that notoriously difficult form an tuiseal ginideach, the genitive case, and that accounts for the bh in front of what is obviously a loan word from French or English.
People nowadays commonly use the term an feadóg mhór when talking about the wooden flute in Irish, but it's an expression which I personally hate. In direct translation it means a big whistle, which is just about as demeaning and inaccurate a description of a flute as you can get, and historically is much more recent than fliúit. Surprising who you'll hear using it too!
But anyway, the event was a great success. Speaking as one of the organisers, and teachers, it's also absolutely exhausting, so by the time Sunday lunchtime came, we were very happy....but glad it was over, until next year.
We spend a lot of time getting feedback from our students, not just formally, but also in casual discussion, and it appears that the difference between ourselves and other teaching festivals, is beginning to establish itself in people's minds.
The essentials of this are:
Non-graded classes. We believe that the learning experience is enhanced by watching how others who may have abilities/talents either above or you, assimilate the class content.
Small classes. From both teacher's and students perspectives this is essential
It's not a tune mill. We strongly believe that if you're going to succeed in playing Irish traditional music on the flute, then you need much more than just the technical ability to do so. This why we emphasise such aspects as flute history, trad music history, and music lore in general, both through the lectures and the classes.
Work on the new keys is continuing apace. I have the new casting now, and have the dies for pressing the cups, and a neat little press to use them in. I'll post photos when I have something to show.
Bye for now.....