13 December, 2002
Special Pre-Christmas Tinwhistle News Blow-Out!
(Open at 4:00 a.m!! 15% Off With Coupon)
I. Christmas is.....WHEN???!
Have you EVER had Christmas rush up at you like the ground in a freefall quite as fast as it happening this year? Not me! Last week I'm in the shower and Marilyn says, "Do you realize that Christmas is three weeks from today?" and I'm like "WHAAAAT!!??? Wasn't Labor Day, like, four days ago?!!"
Anyway, isn't it great that we celebrate the birth of Jesus of Nazareth with this frenzied riot of commercialism? Which reminds me: I think it is time we rise up and protest. What do we protest? We protest the incredible glut of sermons on the commercialization of Christmas. Every year it starts earlier and earlier. By Halloween ministers are already dusting off their sermons about the commercialism of Christmas. Even the quiet, relative non-commercialism of Thanksgiving gets overwhelmed by the earlier and earlier whining and moaning about the commercialism of Christmas. The entire American economy is pretty much based on Christmas--either Christmas shopping as such or the broader meaning of Christmas: That happiness comes from acquiring stuff. So, I hope this year you will find the time, somehow, to avoid all of the sermons about commercialism and just put aside some time with your family to actually enjoy the true meaning of commercialism.
II. CD REVIEW: A CHRISTMAS WHISTLE by David Underwood.
So, see, what happened is that Christmas rushed up on me and so David Underwood sent me a copy of his CD "A Christmas Whistle' and I put it on my desk and didn't listen to it because, hey, it wasn't even close to Christmas yet and then all of a sudden HEY it is a week and a half until Christmas and I haven't listened to this CD! SO, I regret very much this late notice to all of you because, as it turns out, this is a beautiful CD.
Multi-instrumentalist David Underwood (whistle and several other lesser instruments: guitar, synthesizer, drums) lives in Fairbanks, Alaska, where he recorded this CD. As a result this is ONE SERIOUSLY C O L D CD. The thing comes to Birmingham, Alabama (Chiff & Fipple HQ) and I take it out of the box and I GET FROSTBITE JUST TOUCHING IT.
David has made a must-have CD for people who celebrate Christmas. And when I say he made it, I mean he made it. He plays every instrument and contributes some vocals. He produced it, recorded it and very likely made the CDs by hand. And, I'm telling you, it's beautiful. I like Christmas albums that do more than just string together the all-too-familiar Christmas songs. Now, some of the old faves are here: The Bell Carol, What Child Is This (Greensleeves), I Saw Three Ships, Silent Night. But, among those are far less familiar tunes and carols which provide some really nice variety. David is a fine musician with a fabulous talent for arrangement. His whistle playing, very much informed by that of Joanie Madden's, is lovely and very much appropriate to this style of music.
THIS will be the CD I will be listening to with my family on Christmas.
All of my bad jokes aside, I really am sorry that I took so long to tell you about this. Maybe you'll get it in time for the season. If not, go ahead and beat the rush for next year.
Inquiries: David Underwood's email: email@example.com
P.S. In fairness, I should say that I think my copy is a CD-R and I suspect that's how David is making these. That's fine, although I'm aware that many of you may have older audio equipment that won't play CD-Rs.
III. WANNA COPELAND FOR CHRISTMAS? FEELING LUCKY?
Copeland raffle on the message board. Good cause.
"Not a member of the Chiff & Fipple Message Board?? No presents for you!"
IV. Selencereus Grandiflorus
Whenever I get my annual copy of the Lark in the Morning print catalog, I just have to say something about it in the newsletter. If you are interested in world instruments, there's no better resource available, especially at these prices! There's a lot of really weird stuff in there. Here's what I said about it years and years ago:
Truthfully, Lark in the Morning is something like the be-all and end-all of world instrument stores. There are a few stores out West. This is a big website. In the whistle section, they have pictures, sound samples, you name it. They probably have the most comprehensive selection on the planet. If you order from them, they'll send you their musical instruments paper catalog, which is one of the damnedest things I've ever seen. Itís amazingly comprehensive and is almost like a course in world musical instruments. Itís something of a reference book, really. They've got all kinds of weird instruments. If there isnít an Indonesian Nose Harpsichord, there soon will be. Some of these instruments look like, if you played or handled them wrong, they'd come to life, jump up, clamp onto your head and drill holes in your skull. You think I'm kidding, but I'm not.
Well, in the latest issue, we have this entry. I am NOT making this up.
|Male And Female Gaita Set
This is a traditional musical instrument from the Afro-Native Indians of the Colombian Caribbean coast. It is a vertical flute made from a vegetable "Cardon" (Selencereus Grandiflorus) of which the medulla has been removed. It has a fipple made of bee's wax mixed with dust of vegetable coal. This head is called "fotuto". A duck or turkey's feather is introduced into the fotuto. At the other end it has 2 holes (male) or 5 holes (female) Sold and played as a pair WHS305 $105.00
Some things can't be improved upon. So it is with the line "A duck or turkey's feather is introduced into the fotuto."
Let us just pause and let that hang in the air.
V. IF YOU ARE LIVING IN THE NYC AREA, AND YOU'RE NOT BILL OCH'S STUDENT, THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOU.
I'll be starting off the new year with a free tin whistle workshop on
Sunday, January 12 from 2:00 to 5:00 PM at The Irish Arts Center, 553 W.
51st St. between 10th and 11th Ave. in Manhattan.
The workshop is divided into three sections: Absolute Beginners, 2:00 to
3:00 PM; Advanced Beginners, 3:00 to 4:00 PM; and Intermediate (Intro to
Ornamentation), 4:00 to 5:00 PM.
I'll also offer a full complement of classes for whistlers of all levels,
both at the IAC and at my home/studio in mid-Manhattan.
For workshop reservations or information about ongoing tin whistle
classes, folks can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at
Best wishes for the holidays,
Listen to me. It's a free workshop. By Bill Ochs. Free. Bill Ochs. Free. Bill Ochs. Please, I beg you, pay attention.
Good! Here's an excuse for me to run this FULLY COOL picture of Bill Ochs and friend:
Bill Ochs Playing with S. African kwela master Rob't. Sithole at 1993 Clarke Festival
(Photo by Elizabeth Ikin; courtesy Malachite Film & TV)
VI. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE 7-YEAR HISTORY OF THIS NEWSLETTER, I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO SAY.
Thanks to Scott Parks for finding this on ebay. Thanks for rendering me speechless.
VII. WHISTLING SANTA BY NORMAN DANNATT
Norman Dannatt is Musical Director at the Clarke Tinwhistle Company,a regular contributor to this newsletter, and our dear friend. Yes, that's a Clarke Santa's playing.
MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM CHIFF & FIPPLE!
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of
the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
is a worldwide community of whistle-players. You may subscribe to 6HOLE THEORY, this newsletter, by sending blank email to email@example.com with the word "SUBSCRIBE" in the subject line. A very active and supportive message board forum is available at http:// chiffboard.mati.ca . An unbearably extensive informational website for Chiff & Fipple is at http://www.chiffandfipple.com.
Lord, help us see how near is your kingdom.