October 03, 2005
Lately, I'm always opening with an apology for the delay in the delivery of your newsletter. And an excuse. Once, again, you've had to wait more than four weeks for the newsletter to land on your e-porch. This time, I think everyone knows, just by looking at the newspaper, that events in the news have made it awfully hard to concentrate on something as trivial as a whistle newsletter. All you have to do is to scan the magazines at the supermarket checkout to see what has had me too upset to sleep, much less write a newsletter.
It's not that I personally know Brad Pitt or Jennifer Aniston. It's just that I FEEL like I do. Those two kids had come to represent to me something bigger than myself. Bigger than the two of them. Bigger than their house, their careers, their bank accounts. Yes, those kids had come to represent to me the hope of (heterosexual) marriage (between and man and a woman). The kind of marriage different from that bogus kind, the fear of which contributed to getting our president elected for a second term. And, by the way, I hope everyone enjoyed seeing the president re-inaugurated for his second term. He's been re-oathenized. He's sort of the Re-Terminator. Heehee.
But, I digress.
It's time to get on with our lives. Here I'm referring back to getting over the Pitt-Aniston thing, not so much the Presidential thing. Thanks for your indulgence. Together, healing can occur. And, maybe, just maybe, this news story will wind down a bit so that some ink can be dedicated to dealing with some of the other stuff that's going on in the world.
Brad and Jennifer, in happier days.
Lovely site. It's good to see someone following their passion (btw, plate tectonics has another "c" in it).
I have been playing Whistles since 1979. I started with a Clarke C tin whistle (I have ultimately abandoned it because the wood plug gets really grody over time and the thing stops speaking well). In the following years, I purchased every key that Generation made from a folk music store in Athens, Ohio. For years I didn't know there were any other makers of pennywhistles.
In general, I share your feelings about the C whistle. (Note from Dale: I've expressed in the past my inexplicable dislike for the key of C, and for C whistles in general.) However, in 1989, I picked up a C whistle by Soodlum's (Name formerly used by Walton's-DW) in a dulcimer store in Stone Mountain, GA. This thing has the sweetest sound of any of my whistles to this day (I have a Susato A that's quite beautiful, but it's very sensitive and requires tremendous breath control to avoid overtones in the lower register).
I also side with the inexpensive whistle crowd. I picked up a fist-full of Clarke Sweetones for $0.89 a piece (WHOA! Major Blue Light Special!!-DW) at a theme park in Tennessee (Oh, please, tell me it wasn't Dollywood!-DW) and they remain my favorite and most used whistles. My wife bought me a fine hand crafted wood job for my birthday last year and it's just too pretty. I played it in a gig a few days ago so she could see me use it, but it just doesn't have the same charm.
Thanks for being out there. I never knew (although, I suppose I should have) that there was such a thriving whistle community. I know very few other players, myself.
Although it's been some time since we've done a "favorite inexpensive whistle" poll, I recall that the humble Sweetone won the last one.
II. Elf Song
Sandy Jasper at West Coast Whistle Co. sent over a Elf Song D brass whistle. I recall that I tried out an early version of the Elf Song when they were still in development and my impression was that they were still in development. In the meantime, on the C&F whistle forum, a number of players have been commenting positively about these whistles, so I was delighted to get a new one in. This is a very professional, solidly made instrument with a clear, open tone and very good tuning. It's solid across the octaves and smooth-playing. I like it a lot and this line of whistles deserves your attention.
They now come in a variety of keys, including low keys, and the prices are in the $75-$180 range.
III. MINE JUST CURVES. IS THERE ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT?
Dave Parkhurst writes
Was bending some pipe for a bathroom project and had a piece leftover.... the rest is history. The Scan distorts the middle section...it's actually very uniform in thickness throughout the length of the body. Plays nicely also....
Dave Parkhurst makes fine whistles, most of which are really very straight.
IV. SEX AND TAXES
Amazon.com has a feature that displays suggestions other customers make about other products you might be interested in, based on the product you're viewing. So, it will say, "1 person recommends The Book of French Sauces in addition to The French Sauce Book." Or it will say, "2 persons recommend Daily Affirmations for the Small-Appliance Repairman INSTEAD of Chicken Soup for the Assistant Comptroller at the Small State University."
Anyway, I was looking at TURBOTAX this morning on amazon.com and it shows this:
# 1 person recommended New Sex Now: Life's Ultimate Pleasure instead of "TurboTax State Multi-State 2004 Win/Mac.
Sometimes life is good.
V. THIS MONTH'S FAVORITE NAME FOR A James Brown SONGTM
Give It Up or Turn It Loose
VI. BIG CHANGES ON THE CHIFF & FIPPLE MESSAGE BOARD
There have been some big changes on the message board, in spite of everybody being depressed about celebrity break-ups.
1. We've added a new forum, The Chiff & Fipple City Guide.
The purpose of this new forum, which is experimental, is to establish a database of information that pertains to SESSIONS that occur in various locales, world-wide. Sessions are informal gatherings of traditional musicians that are typically located in pubs, but maybe in other locations. Go have a look and we hope you can post something there about your own town.
2. After a long and spirited debate, in which I had to tell several members that we could have this discussion anyway they wanted, as long as they refrained from impugning Condeleeza Rice's integrity, we have split the big whistle forum into two forums. One forum, The Chiff and Fipple Whistle Forum is for posts about whistles. The new forum, The Chiff and Fipple Poststructural Pub is for off-topic discussions about politics, popular culture, history, science, plate tectcttoniccs, religion, fashion and makeup tips, celebrity break-ups, and mental health problems related to celebrity break-ups. Come join us.
3. Finally, it's time for a rather staggering update on the use of the forum. This past week, the forum rolled over 300,000 posts on its odometer. Listen, I'm not kidding. We now have 4372 registered users, although, admittedly, at least a couple of thousand of those evidently registered, took a look around, and ran screaming away, never to return. But still, it is pretty amazing.
As always, my special thanks to the lovely and multi-talented Rich Lafferty for his endless devotion the all things technical on the forums.
VII. NEW WHISTLE WEBSITE
I don't know if you have had a chance to look at my
website yet. If not, that's probably a good thing, as
it is now beginning to approach my original vision. I
have just started adding midi files to the music to
help folks learn the songs.
Anyway, thanks for all that fine Internet Tin Whistle
VIII. CHIFF & FIPPLE TUNE-OF-THE MONTH
The chiff & fipple Tune-Of-The-Month
by chiff & fipple contributor Robert S. Doiel, Sr., with us on the web since 1971.
This Month and The Tune-of-the-Month Archive
One of the treasures of Chiff & Fipple is a department I have nothing whatever to do with, other than to just enjoy. Chiff & Fipple veteran Robert Doiel has, since August, 1998, been putting up a Chiff & Fipple tune-of-the-month. This is just a terrific thing. He's got the sheet music, midi files, all kinds of stuff and the entire archive is downloadable. Robert has lately been including some of his own original tunes, which are way cool. Go and enjoy!
By the way,
This is one of the most beautiful web sites I've ever seen.
I'm not sure there's anything else I can say about the tsunami. I am hoping and praying that, as the initial news coverage dies down, we'll continue to remember these people and do what we can to help them. I'm also hoping that we will all continue to remember all the other worthy causes out there. I'm sure a lot of good charities have seen a decline in contributions due to the enormity of the contributions to the tsunami funds. I'm sure that will recover in time.
The Chiff & Fipple community had made its own modest contributions. Like so many websites, we quickly put up links to charitable organizations on the main page of Chiff & Fipple, along with Right Hand Pointing, one of my other websites. Some individuals on the message board, and through other private channels, donated instruments which were sold, with proceeds to the charities.
Then I heard from L.E. McCullough,
When the going gets tough, the tough get composing. Pardon the glibbity, but when such a concentrated tragedy occurs, what can artists do of any real significance but make art?
It's not much of a tribute, perhaps. . . but it's more than some folks might receive, so I offer it for whatever it's worth. Curiously, I've been listening to and playing along with Indian-South Asian music a lot the last few months. . . so it's beginning to blend in to my Irish lode naturally.
Here's a curiosity: When I make a tune, it just comes out lickity-split in one quick burst. This one was very different. . . I began composing it around noon, Christmas Day, for no apparent reason. . . my wife and I were with my parents, hanging out on the home front, doing the Christmas kickback thing, but this tune kept nagging at me. . . I kept at it the entire day, a few minutes on, quit, come back an hour later, add more, quit, come back later, etc. At the same time, on the other side of the world, this incredible natural force is building, raging against itself, preparing to give birth to an epic of monstrous force that would obliterate the lives of so many. . . I hear that struggle in this tune.
T:Farewell to Kandolhudhoo
C:LE McCullough ©2004
H: The island of Kandolhudhoo is in the Indian Ocean. After December's
tsunami, it is has been reclaimed by the sea, its surviving human inhabitants now
forced to abandon it for good.
|: ~B3A AG(3FGA | GFED ~E3F | ~D2FD F~A3 | GFED EFGA |
~B3A AG(3FGA | DFAd ~f3d | ~g3e feed |1 (3Bcd fg ~e3A :|2 (3Bcd fg ~e3e :|
edef gfed | eBef gafe | f~B3 fBfe | fBgB aBfd |
edef gfed | (eBGB (3FGAFG | AGfe dBAG |1 (3FGA FD ~E3e :|2 (3FGA FD ~E3A :|
This tune is in ABC format, a text-based code which can be played through your computer via special (free) software. For more information:
Born to me by water
and by water
--D. Wisely (12/04)
Lord, help us see how near is your kingdom.