Over the holidays, my cousin and his partner visited with their instruments providing Celtic music during lulls in Christmas present opening. At first, the younger generation didn't know exactly what to think (they may have seen the music as delaying the present opening), but by the end of the night, one even wanted their autographs!
A few days later, Erik and Sarah graciously offered their time to come back for a video shoot and interview with us. We wanted to learn more about their creative and collaborative process. I played clarinet in the middle school band, but there had always been the band leader keeping tempo as we played our individual scripted parts. I never had the experience of playing improvisational music and found it interesting that in different styles of music, different instruments take the lead.
In Irish music, the fiddle player typically leads so when things get too far off track or a player loses their place, they look to the fiddle player for grounding. I thought that an interesting way to think about other collaborative projects: who's playing the lead and who's playing accompaniment? By defining that up front, it might clear up or eliminate derailment.
In this clip, they share more about practice and what learning music has taught them. I really like their observation that practice doesn't always feel like art, but that the time spent is always valuable.