THE CHIFF & FIPPLE GREETING
I've been reading Chiff & Fipple since 1961 including the newly re-named 6Hole Theory. One thing I've noticed is that the "Chiff & Fipple Greeting" doesn't always contain an actual greeting, just commentary. Sometimes this hurts my feelings.
Julie, I guess you're right. I'll make sure to add a greeting. Maybe I'll do a little commentary and THEN do the greeting. It'll be just like the TV news anchors!
Peter Jennings. TV anchor.
Anyway, I'm hoping that our little newsletter will give you a moment of respite from television coverage of the war. However one might feel about the war, surely we can all unite in our experience of the weirdness of having a war televised with this kind of immediacy. The other thing I find amazing is that pro-war people are talking about how anti-war the news coverage is. And, of course, anti-war people are talking about how pro-war the news coverage is. I'm talking about how, uh, WAR the coverage is.
Times are tough and feelings are running hot. This can even be seen right here in our little corner of the Internet. There have been a number of long threads on the message board on which current events are being debated, with the same kind of division of opinion and emotion that we are seeing in larger society. No surprise, I guess. I had a flurry of un-subscriptions after the last newsletter, apparently in response to my being critical of President Bush's performance at the press conference.
President of the United States
George W. Bush
One reader wrote to say that now he wonders if my whistle reviews have been colored by my political leanings. I'm not entirely sure that he was kidding.
I hope people don't want me to stop making fun of public figures because I sure have enjoyed myself. If I can't make fun of the sitting president for the next 2 to 6 years I'm gonna be really disappointed. I might be reduced to having to write more about whistles.
I'll try to be good, although maybe this is a good time to tell you that there is now a picture of a belligerent-looking Tony Blair gripping a whistle on the top of the main page of chiff & fipple.
Just today, a fellow named Ron put this up on the message board (edited for, uh, editorial purposes):
I joined recently because of my interest in whistles, learning to play them properly, learning to make them properly and my interest in my ancestral country, Ireland. I have not posted for the last week because I was in the hospital having double bypass surgery. ....I spent my time in the hospital with 4 patients of 4 different ethnic backgrounds. My Surgeon was Arab. We all got along fine because of one thing that united us. Our heart.
I'm Dale Wisely and this is Chiff & Fipple's 6Hole Theory: PostStructural Tinwhistle Journalism for the New Millenium.
March 29, 2003
Embedded Correspondent Edition
I. Gaelic Crossings
Long-time Chiff & Fippler Aodhan has a new website. There's a message board there that has already become a good alternative online forum for whistle players. An alternative to Chiff & Fipple, that is. Chiff & Fipple's message board is now pretty large and going through a rather rowdy phase. So, Gaelic Crossings is a smaller and quieter alternative. Be sure and check it out at http://www.gaeliccrossings.com
II. CHIFF & FIPPLE ON ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY AND I'M NOT KIDDING
I heard from John Pascuzzi over at oddmusic.com. Entertainment Weekly did a 2 minute feature on their website and Chiff & Fipple gets a special mention at the end!
You can check out the story here:
There are links to stream the video on the page, but below are links
directly to the RealPlayer server
Ok, I'm kidding about the magazine.
III. C&F + CTL W/ ASO IN ATL!
Marilyn & I drove over to Atlanta on March 15 to catch Cherish the Ladies in a pops concert at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. I'd never seen The Ladies in the Pops format before and it was a real treat, even though I had to sit through the orchestra playing "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" during the first half. Actually, the orchestra was excellent and a real surprise treat was a very nicely done medley from "Riverdance."
And, of course, when Joanie and the ladies took the stage, they were fabulous as always.
A personal favorite moment was CTL playing a selection from Brian Keane's brilliant and tragically neglected soundtrack "The Way West." In a weird coincidence, I was listening to this double CD on the drive over. By the way, if you don't own the CD set, you're missing out on something amazing:
(amazon has it out-of-stock but looks like www.shanachie.com has it.)
And while, I'm at it, you MUST own this CD:
I sent Joanie a note letting her know we'd be there and, bless her heart, before playing an encore she said "This one goes out to Dale." She never ceases to amaze me.
So, we got to visit with her after the show and it was a delight to see her as always. We got to sit back and watch her stand at the door of the symphony hall and sign autographs and speak to people until the last people (us) left. Amazing. Nobody works a crowd like Joanie, who I would vote for for President.
Anyway, Joanie wanted to make sure I tell everyone hello. Next time we meet up, I'm going to have a sit down with her for the Chiff & Fipple Joanie Interview part II.
The world's most beloved tinwhistle superstar with Joanie Madden. Dec. 2001.
Oh, I forgot to mention, new CTL vocalist Heidi Talbot and I were married in a hastily arranged ceremony in Atlanta officiated by a guy who said he was a minister.
IV. GREY LARSEN & PADDY LEAGUE
"Dark of the Moon" the new CD by Grey Larsen & Paddy League is apparently out, although I have no copy at this juncture, it's not listed yet on amazon.com, and their website hasn't been updated in awhile. However, I heard from Melanie Young about the CD. According to a previous announcement: "Dark of the Moon" explores more deeply the ground broken by Grey's and Paddy's debut CD, "The Green House" - soulful and energetic arrangements of traditional Irish music for flute, whistle, concertina, guitar, bodhrán, and harmonium, as well as two of Grey's new original tunes, the title cut "Dark of the Moon" and "The Slopes of Mount Storm".
I've always been extremely enthusiastic about "The Green House," and so I am looking forward to the new CD, "Dark of the Moon."
And, by the way, I've heard if you play it while watching The Wizard of Oz, there's all kinds of weird coincidences.
VI. CHIFF & FIPPLE RELIGIOUS/ETHICS CORNER: MORMONS, HINDUS, EARTHLY POSSESSIONS, WhOA.
David Welch writes:
I love your site, and I just wanted to pass this along. They are based in UT, and play mostly Mormon music, but the arraignments are fantastic! I don't know what type of whistle it is, but from the looks of it, I'd say a Clarke.
Enoch Train's latest CD, "Shall We Gather," will be released March 25! As Enoch Train fans, you have first access to a Shall We Gather pre-listen. Just go to www.enochtrain.com to listen to songs from the new album!
Like Enoch Train's previous releases, "Shall We Gather" celebrates a
heritage of hymns, with unique arrangements and stirring renditions of inspiring songs.
Also, what do Hindus do if they take up the tinwhistle? Since reading about Gandhi, I have really admired the idea of eliminating possessions in order to avoid distractions from spiritual progress, but I find that I have an addiction to e-bay tinwhistles and my local music stores. How do they deal with these conflicts? Do I have to stop eating beef? Is meditation the answer? I need some advice.
Muddled in Memphis
Dear Muddled in Memphis,
Ghandi, the Dali Llama, the Pope and I want to encourage you to renounce your possessions and to eliminate beef from your diet (the Pope and I don't care about the beef thing, but we'd like for you to lay off meat on Fridays during Lent.)
But, as you know, most of the religious traditions of East & West make an exception to the worldly goods thing for whistles. I had to exert some "influence" on religious and spiritual leaders to get this exception made. (It's a long story but just suffice it to say my brother is a member of the Teamster's).
VII. JUST KIDDING ABOUT THE TEAMSTERS. I KID THE TEAMSTERS BECAUSE I LOVE THEM.
and just kidding about the implication of roughing up religious leaders, which is something I rarely do although I'm pretty sure I could take Ghandi in a fair fight.
VIII. WHISTLE MORPHOLOGY SWEEPS THE INTERNET
Regarding the Chiff & Fipple "Tutorial on Whistle Species", I, Dale, make this claim:
I believe this is the only web page on the Internet which contains both the words “whistle” and “morphology.”
Inexplicably, this prompted Calum to write:
I regret to inform you that Google returns 1360 results for "whistle morphology".
Slightly more concerning, is the fact that there are almost seventy web pages containing the words morphology, whistle and sex appeal.
(nitpicking since 1981, whistling more recently. Sex appeal not achieved as of 16/3/03).
No offense, my friend, but, given how you are apparently spending your free time, the sex appeal thing makes some sense to me. And, please, no PAINFULLY OBVIOUS SHOTS at me for how I'M SPENDING MY FREE TIME.
IX. WHY NO SEVENTH HOLE?
Robert J. McDonough writes:
I have an Abell and Burke whistle, both in the key of D, and both have a thumb hole in the back to produce a good sounding and in tune C natural.
The Abell I had to send back to Chris get the 7th hole put in and the Burke came with it. Why isn't the thumb hole more common? What's the big deal?
That's a perfectly fine question, Rob, and I throw it out to our veteran readers for comments. Incidentally, I'm very much surprised to learn that your Burke came with a thumb hole.
X. THE LIGHTS FLASH AND THE SIRENS RING OUT...
...because the letter I just published above was the 1000th letter I've gotten on Chiff & Fipple addressed to "Dave." Thank you. Thank you very much. No, please, sit down. No, really.
XI. PICCOLO SWABS (Another great name for a potential band).
... I wanted to post this hint, which could be a potential antidote to the Spit and Drool syndrome we've discussed in the past. Check this out: http://home.nethere.net/roger45/
These turn out to be very nice piccolo swabs. There you have it. That's my special appeal. I write "piccolo swabs," and two or three thousand people read it. Yes. This IS The Life.
XII. MORE EVIDENCE WE'LL NEVER BE AT WAR WITH AUSTRALIA
Chiff & Fipple's
"Just a Nice Email"TMG'day Dale
Just thought I'd say hello. I'm a recipient of the Chiff and Fipple newsletter and I must say how much I enjoy it. I found it when I was under the delusion that I could learn to play an Irish whistle. My interest was sparked when I attended a church service at the Gold Cast, Queensland, Australia, where one of the musicians was playing what I believe to be a Low D something or other. I loved the sound and desired to duplicate it for my church, but alas, reality prevailed and I am of the belief my only connection with music is to enjoy it, and not to play it! I had tried earlier to get the didgeridoo accepted for our worship services but my wife, the Senior Minister, totally vetoed it. Pity, I'd almost learned circular breathing by then!
Ah well, life's like that, eh?
Yours, in the Lord's service
Chiff & Fipple a worldwide community of whistle-players. You may subscribe to 6HOLE THEORY, this newsletter, by sending blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org 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.