Playing Posture

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Mr.Gumby
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Re: Playing Posture

Post by Mr.Gumby » Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:46 am

I said
Both supposedly Jem Byrne by the way.
the 'supposedly' indicated I didn't really believe the attributions. Another photograph of Byrne show him as a right handed player and as quite a big strong man as well.

When faced with a photograph or a musical fragment that is unfamiliar people tend to have a compulsion to identify it (the player) as someone they know. That's why the piper below is often identified as Johnny Doran, even if he doesn't even remotely look like the Johnny Doran shown in other photographs. But he plays standing up so it must be him, doesn't it?

Image
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MichaelLoos
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Re: Playing Posture

Post by MichaelLoos » Tue Feb 01, 2011 4:39 am

I found this photograph, also supposedly showing James (or Jem, or Jim) Byrne:
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I am inclined to assume that these three photos show three different persons with three different instruments, the seemingly older photos showing certainly older persons than the last one.

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Mr.Gumby
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Re: Playing Posture

Post by Mr.Gumby » Tue Feb 01, 2011 4:55 am

That's the one I was thinking of. I can't really see the man in that photograph transform into either of the other ones, even in old age after a hard life.

More Wicklow/Wexford/Traveller pipers using a variety of postures:

John Doran sr.

Image


John Cash:

Image
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MichaelLoos
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Re: Playing Posture

Post by MichaelLoos » Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:16 am

Obviously enough, there were several pipers by the name of Jem Byrne - O'Neill in IMM mentions "Old Jemmy Byrne, the Carlow piper", who must have died around 1850, and one of his sons, Young Jemmy, who, as I understand, died suddenly in 1867 "before he had rounded out three score years".
So, the James Byrne who died in 1931, must have been yet another Jem Byrne.

outofthebox
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Re: Playing Posture

Post by outofthebox » Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:32 am

The photo of the first standing piper above is clearly not Johnny Doran, as he died in 1950. This photo was taken at the Ballycastle Lammas Fair, Co Antrim c.1955. I have heard that Felix Doran played at this fair, so it is likely that Johnny did play there too, maybe in the 1940s. The piper shown may be another travelling piper - who may have received some instruction from the Dorans.

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Mr.Gumby
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Re: Playing Posture

Post by Mr.Gumby » Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:04 am

The Jem Byrne I would think of is the one from Mooncoin, the one in the last photograph and the one who was recorded on the the cylinder by Henebry. He was a travelling piper, I think in some way related to the Dorans.

The second Byrne photo, the man playing a full set leaning on the piper's crutch was taken by Jesuit priest Father Browne probably during the thirties.

Browne by the way got on the Titanic leaving England but was ordered off by his bishop on the last stopover at Cobh. Lucky man.
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PJ
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Re: Playing Posture

Post by PJ » Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:45 am

John Doran Snr looks like he was well bundled up against the cold. It must have been tough on the pipes and on the piper playing outside in cold weather.
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PJ
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Re: Playing Posture

Post by PJ » Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:13 pm

Just spotted this:

Image

Its Becky Taylor.
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MichaelLoos
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Re: Playing Posture

Post by MichaelLoos » Tue Feb 08, 2011 2:02 pm

Becky is a very fine piper, but being a chiropractor I can't recommend her playing posture to anybody...

outofthebox
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Re: Playing Posture

Post by outofthebox » Wed Feb 09, 2011 6:08 am

That's interesting - I wonder why the piper Becky Taylor chose to play with her left leg crossed rather than her right leg, as demonstrated by the old piper on the first photo of this thread. The right leg crossed has the advantage of providing better support for drones and alignment for regulators when the stock is fitted high on the bag.

MichaelLoos
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Re: Playing Posture

Post by MichaelLoos » Wed Feb 09, 2011 7:43 am

Because she is a short person - very much like myself.
It just doesn't work, I've tried it many times.

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Otto Kraan
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Re: Playing Posture

Post by Otto Kraan » Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:57 am

Also...a photo is just a snapshot of a single moment. It may not reflect that habits of the subject.

At long sessions, when a tune I am sick-to-death of playing comes around (again!) I often have a bit of a stretch and cross the ol' leg over while playing it. Just to vary the circulation and all. Not for long, not for reg. playing. But no one would say that this is my playing posture.

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outofthebox
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Re: Playing Posture

Post by outofthebox » Thu Feb 10, 2011 6:03 am

You are correct Otto Kraan - here's a clip of Becky to show her playing in her usual posture:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cUiYChXOYA

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PJ
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Re: Playing Posture

Post by PJ » Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:21 am

Otto Kraan wrote:Also...a photo is just a snapshot of a single moment. It may not reflect that habits of the subject.
I didn't mean to suggest it was Becky's typical playing position. I came across it by chance, while looking for something else and thought it might be of interest, considering the discussion.

For what it's worth, I suspect the piper in the initial photo in this thread crossed his legs because he seems to be sitting very high and without crossing his legs, it would have been difficult to close the chanter.
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fcbman
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Re: Playing Posture

Post by fcbman » Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:23 pm

On the subject of the era of blind pipers/posture etc - this is purely out of historical interest and of a love for the uilleann pipes - not to mention a rather sad story relating to the famous 'Blind Piper' painting. Padraig O’Briain (the piper in the painting) was born in Labasheeda Co. Clare in 1773 to a wealthy family. A well educated scholar of the classics and native speaker, he sadly lost his sight by the time he was 26. He turned to his love of music and in particular, to his skill on the Uilleann Pipes hoping to find a position as an entertainer in one of the big houses. With little recognition from the Aristocracy and unable to find a patron, he was compelled to take to the road as a travelling musician to earn a living. He settled in Limerick City where he continued to eke out a paltry existence playing his Uilleann Pipes in the streets. He was spotted by Galway artist Joseph Patrick Haverty who in 1844 created the painting ‘The Blind Piper’. Padraig is depicted as old and grey but still possessing the nobility and countenance of his youth. He is pictured with his beautiful young daughter sitting patiently beside her gifted father. On a frosty morning in March 1855 he slipped on ice and was badly injured. He lay in bed for six months and died penniless in December of that year. He is buried in Kilquane Cemetery, outside Limerick City. A nice little story if not sad episode. Incidentally I believe this painting is in NPU.

THE LIMERICK PIPER by Joseph Patrick Haverty

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