Sincere apologies for not posting for so long. I can sum up the reason in two words...Builders In
So to keep you amused, and to settle the fact that I did indeed once have hair here's a link to two YouTube clips that prove beyond all reasonable doubt that I did have some at least.
The first one is from the intro of a "Come West Along the Road" programme, and about 25 secs in you'll see myself and Seamus Creagh playing.
I only found the second one by accident, and I'm delighted to have come across it, as it illustrates the folly of playing certain tunes with a combination of flutes and box. The first tune has a very prominent C#, beginning in the first bar, and as you can hear this clashes badly with the C# of the box.
This issue concerning the C and C# on the simple system cone bore flute has bugged makers and players for hundreds of years.
Basically what is going on is the the top hole on the flute, that closest to the embouchure, is the one that controls the pitch of the C#, the note achieved by opening all the holes. On a keyless flute or on any flute made before the introduction of the long C key at the end of the 18th C, the C is played as a cross fingered note normally by leaving the top hole open and closing the second and third. The problem is that this is a compromise. The C# is too flat, and the C is too sharp when played with this fingering, an unfortunate consequence which means that correcting one makes the other worse.
The introduction of the long C key ( see Bate for a good account of this) meant that the C note at least had its own hole, but for traditional Irish players, trying to use it in fast paced dance music can be next to impossible, and I'd think the majority of players still use the old cross fingering.
It should also be noted that, and as Michael Caine would say, not many people know this, that the long C when opened also corrects the flat C#.
Looking hard at the video, I can't make out what flute I was playing. I remember that we were playing in Eb, and from the look of it, it looks like a patched together job for the occasion....note large lumps of plasticene replacing some missing keys. The last tunes aren't bad though...
That was all a very long time ago. Vince is still playing amazing fiddle in his own inimitable way.
Eibhlín died two years ago. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam