Archive for the ‘oxford’ Category

o maio

May 5, 2020

Oxford’s traditional May morning celebrations had to move off the streets and into cyberspace this year. The Oxford Pandeireteiras also recorded their traditional contribution, O Maio:

 

I reckon that here in the UK, which is on track to have the worst Covid-19 outbreak in Europe due to failure to respond in the early days, it will be 2021 before people can return to play in crowded pubs. Basically, as you can now see in Italy, Spain, France, the curves decay a lot more slowly than they went up before the peak, so for every day the UK didn’t act (let’s say 13.3. to 23.3. = 10 days) we’re now paying the price of an extra week of restrictions remaining necessary.

So, well, if you want to try folking around online , the Oxford Slow Session is running on Zoom now. There may be other Zoom sessions happening too, there certainly were some during the Folk Weekend.

Personally, I am staying away from Zoom and focusing on learning some more unaccompanied Bach. The cello suites should keep me challenged for three years of so. Stay safe and see you on the other side.

 

 

year of the plague

March 17, 2020

As the year of the plague is getting into full swing, I’m afraid there won’t be any folk sessions for the next few months. (Apart from crowding in pubs that may be more or less hygienic, I would also be worried about the age mix which we normally enjoy and appreciate – young people may carry the virus without even getting noticeably sick, while older folks may very well die if they catch it.) So please stay home and safe if you can, and keep sharing your musical inspiration online.

To keep the spirit up, I might post Galician related videos here every once in a while, so do send me yours if you have any.  Here’s Xabier Diaz’s tutorial for Baile de Noro to start us off with:

 

 

PS news just in after I posted this entry, the Folk Weekend Oxford is now off / postponed as well. It was due to be held on the weekend of April 18, but realistically there is no way it could have gone ahead at that time.

Galician Session Oxford February 2020

February 7, 2020

The February session will take place on

Tuesday 18.2. from 20:30 h (NB we can make music until 1 am if we want to !!!!)

at the

Bullingdon Cocktail Bar, 162 Cowley Road, OX4 1UE

This is just opposite the Tesco supermarket, and very close to the James Street Tavern, so easy to walk from the St. Clements coach stop for people coming in from London or elsewhere on the buses. A car park is available behind Tesco if you have to drive.

This month, in the thirty-first session in the new sequence, we’ll again play lots of lovely tunes from our vast collection of Galician traditionals. In the spirit of international understanding, we are also open for input from other traditions, especially other Celtic and Iberian ones. The Oxford Pandeireteiras will play their tambourines (pandeiretas) and sing some of their songs. Sheet music will be provided for anybody who brings an instrument and wants to join in (I also have a PDF file with 19 of our favourite tunes which I can email on request). There is plenty of space for dancing. A box full of miscellaneous percussion instruments (including the very Galician cunchas, i.e. scallop shells) is also on hand if you would like to rattle along with the rhythms.

For further info about the sessions and sharing audio and video recordings of the tunes we play, subscribe to this blog or join the Facebook group. There is also a mailing list for email reminders I tend to send out a week before each session.

gal6680

One of my photos of the January 2020 session, when we said farewell to Mick, who is now moving to California …

Looking ahead, the next session dates scheduled are:

Tue 31.3.

Sun 19.4. as part of the Folk Weekend with special guests, don’t go anywhere that weekend.

 

Galician Session Oxford January 2020

January 12, 2020

The ship is still sinking, but we’re still here, and still playing music …

The January session will take place on

Tuesday 21.1. from 20:30 h (NB we can make music until 1 am if we want to !!!!)

at the

Bullingdon Cocktail Bar, 162 Cowley Road, OX4 1UE

This is just opposite the Tesco supermarket, and very close to the James Street Tavern, so easy to walk from the St. Clements coach stop for people coming in from London or elsewhere on the buses. A car park is available behind Tesco if you have to drive.

This month, in the thirtieth (!) session in the new sequence, we’ll again play lots of lovely tunes from our vast collection of Galician traditionals. In the spirit of international understanding, we are also open for input from other traditions, especially other Celtic and Iberian ones. The Oxford Pandeireteiras will play their tambourines (pandeiretas) and sing some of their songs. Sheet music will be provided for anybody who brings an instrument and wants to join in (I also have a PDF file with 19 of our favourite tunes which I can email on request). There is plenty of space for dancing. A box of miscellaneous percussion instruments (including the very Galician cunchas, i.e. scallop shells) is also on hand if you would like to rattle along with the rhythms.

For further info about the sessions and sharing audio and video recordings of the tunes we play, subscribe to this blog or join the Facebook group. There is also a mailing list for email reminders I tend to send out a week before each session.

gal6146

photo taken at the November session …

Looking ahead, the next session dates scheduled are:

Tue 18.2.

Tue 31.3.

Sun 19.4. as part of the Folk Weekend.

 

 

 

 

 

Galician Session December 2019

November 30, 2019

While the idea is to have sessions on the last Tuesday of each month, this is obviously difficult in December, so the next session will be exceptionally early and on a Wednesday, namely the 11th of December (NB not on the third Tuesday, as was previously announced).

This event will complete our three-month trial period with the Bullingdon Bar. I am happy with the venue and am hoping to agree regular dates with them for the new year, but if anybody has any other ideas, let me know.

Obviously, there is also the risk that the election on the 12th will go horribly wrong. If Bojo and his DeathEaters get a majority in parliament, I will certainly consider moving to safer shores, as quite a few people already have done. This may turn out to be the last time, so let’s party on the sinking ship …

The December session will take place on

Wednesday 11.12. from 20:30 h (NB we can make music until 1 am if we want to !!!!)

at the

Bullingdon Cocktail Bar, 162 Cowley Road, OX4 1UE

This is just opposite the Tesco supermarket, and very close to the James Street Tavern, so easy to walk from the St. Clements coach stop for people coming in from London or elsewhere on the buses. A car park is available behind Tesco if you have to drive.

Here’s a snap from last month’s session, you can see there’s still space for more people to join …

 

In its current incarnation, the former “Bully” is not the usual kind of folk session pub, but it has a number of key advantages, including the great location, large open space, and long opening hours. There is also a nice wooden floor which to me looks very dance-friendly, but I’ll take expert opinions on that.

This month, in the twenty-ninth session in the new sequence, we’ll again play lots of lovely tunes from our vast collection of Galician traditionals. In the spirit of international understanding, we are also open for input from other traditions, especially other Celtic and Iberian ones. The Oxford Pandeireteiras will play their tambourines (pandeiretas) and sing some of their songs. Sheet music will be provided for anybody who brings an instrument and wants to join in (I also have a PDF file with 19 of our favourite tunes which I can email on request). There is plenty of space for dancing. A box of miscellaneous percussion instruments (including the very Galician cunchas, i.e. scallop shells) is also on hand if you would like to rattle along with the rhythms.

For further info about the sessions and sharing audio and video recordings of the tunes we play, subscribe to this blog or join the Facebook group. There is also a mailing list for email reminders I tend to send out a week before each session.

 

 

 

Galician Session November 2019

November 10, 2019

The November session will take place a week earlier than normally, namely on

Tuesday 19.11. from  20:30 h (NB we can make music until 1 am if we want to !!!!)

at the

Bullingdon Cocktail Bar, 162 Cowley Road, OX4 1UE

This is just opposite the Tesco supermarket, and very close to the James Street Tavern, so easy to walk from the St. Clements coach stop for people coming in from London or elsewhere on the buses. A car park is available behind Tesco if you have to drive.

We will be in the back left corner which looks like this:

bullingdon

In its current incarnation, the former “Bully” is not the usual kind of folk session pub, but it has a number of key advantages, including the great location, large open space, and long opening hours. There is also a nice wooden floor which to me looks very dance-friendly, but I’ll take expert opinions on that. I’m aiming to have the session there on the last or 4th Tuesday every month, but as these dates were already booked for Nov, I’ve settled for the third Tuesday this time (apologies to Tim and his lovely Early English session – will try to avoid clashes in the future). (UPDATE: The date for the December session has now moved back to a Wednesday, namely 11.12.)

This month, in the twenty-eighth session in the new sequence, we’ll again play lots of lovely tunes from our vast collection of Galician traditionals. In the spirit of international understanding, we are also open for input from other traditions, especially other Celtic and Iberian ones. The Oxford Pandeireteiras will play their tambourines (pandeiretas) and sing some of their songs. Sheet music will be provided for anybody who brings an instrument and wants to join in (I also have a PDF file with 19 of our favourite tunes which I can email on request). There is plenty of space for dancing. A box of miscellaneous percussion instruments (including the very Galician cunchas, i.e. scallop shells) is also on hand if you would like to rattle along with the rhythms.

For further info about the sessions and sharing audio and video recordings of the tunes we play, subscribe to this blog or join the Facebook group. There is also a mailing list for email reminders I tend to send out a week before each session.

 

PS after a few months of forgetting about it, I have now updated the events diary. I’ve also added new sections with non-Galician tunes to the tunes list and updated the sessions list. So I’m hoping we’re all up to date now.

 

Bridging Celtic and Iberian traditions

October 27, 2019

At our new venue, we now have a lot more space and a lot more time (until 1am) to make noise. To make sure we can fill that space and time I will from now on emphasize a bit more what we’ve been doing anyway, namely the fact that we welcome music from other Celtic and from other Iberian traditions, essentially celebrating Galician folk as the crossroads between these two overlapping cultural worlds. We have already got Asturian and Portuguese songs, a Basque tune and a Scottish tune in our repertoire, and we have had amazing moments when participants shared other things with us including Welsh songs and Irish tunes.

 

To capitalise on this I have changed the description of the session (Galician Session in the sidebar) and the subheading. I might also use terms like interceltic and celtic connections (both of which are the names of very popular festivals) to describe the sessions. All of this doesn’t actually change the range of the music we have been playing anyway, but may encourage a few more people to come who might have otherwise felt excluded, thinking they don’t know enough about Galician music. So if this applies to you and you have any Scottish, Irish, Welsh, Manx, Cornish or Breton music to share or anything from the Iberian peninsula, do come and share what you’ve got. It’s an open session after all.

See you on Tuesday!

 

new venue, new date

October 24, 2019

It’s all change this month, we have a new venue and a new day of the week! The October session will take place on

Tuesday 29.10. from  20h30 (NB we can make music until 1 am if we want to !!!!)

at the

Bullingdon Cocktail Bar, 162 Cowley Road, OX4 1UE

This is just opposite the Tesco supermarket, and very close to the James Street Tavern, so easy to walk from the St. Clements coach stop for people coming in from London or elsewhere on the buses.

We will be in the back left corner which looks like this:

bullingdon

photo source

I have played jam sessions there and it’s a lovely place to play. And there is a nice wooden floor which to me looks very dance-friendly, but I’ll take expert opinions on that. I’m aiming to have the session there on the last or 4th Tuesday every month, but as these dates were already booked for Nov and Dec, I’ve settled for the third Tuesdays for those two months (apologies to Tim and his lovely Early English session – will try to avoid clashes in the future).

This month, in the twenty-seventh session in the new sequence, we’ll again play lots of lovely tunes from our vast collection of Galician traditionals (and maybe the odd one from other traditions as well). The Oxford Pandeireteiras will play their tambourines and sing some of the songs they practise in their weekly meetings. Sheet music will be provided for anybody who brings an instrument and wants to join in (I also have a PDF file with 19 of our favourite tunes which I can email on request). There is plenty of space for dancing. A box of miscellaneous percussion instruments (including the very Galician cunchas, i.e. scallop shells) is also on hand if you would like to rattle along with the rhythms.

For further info about the sessions and sharing audio and video recordings of the tunes we play, subscribe to this blog or join the Facebook group. There is also a mailing list for email reminders I tend to send out a week before each session.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking for a new home

October 8, 2019

Unfortunately, the Galician, French, Scandi and harp sessions can no longer rely on getting the usual slots at the Port, so we are looking for new venues. The French and Scandi sessions are moving to the Victoria Arms, the harps session is still undecided.

For the Galician session, I am hoping to stay close to the coach stops of the Oxford Tube, so our friends from London can easily come and join us. At the Vicky Arms that would be tricky to do.  I have sent out inquiries to the Royal Blenheim and St. Aldates Tavern, which are both very close to the St. Aldates coach stop and which have both hosted lovely sessions during the Folk Weekends last year and the year before. I am also considering a couple of places near Headington Shops coach stop. Around St. Clements, all options have been checked the last time we were looking, and the Port ended up being the only one around there.

The October session is definitely happening on the 30th, but as yet we don’t know where it will be, so watch this space.

PS in more positive session news, Oxford has a brand new Old Time session, which happens on Thursdays at irregular intervals at the Up in Arms, Marston Road. The next one will be on the Thu 24th, at 8pm.

 

singing and dancing

September 26, 2019

We had a lot of dancing at the September session, thanks to Alba, a Galician music and dance teacher who worked hard to get people moving. Here are some photos which Sonja took:

 

 

I’m afraid that Sonja happened to sit directly opposite to me so it can’t be helped that I’m in all the pictures. Just try to focus on Alba and her dance moves. I also made a couple of videos which I’ll post separately, and Sonja has shared videos in the facebook group.