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Author Topic: "Slán Leis an gCeol", a documentary about Tony MacMahon  (Read 1447 times)

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Pearse Rossa

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"Slán Leis an gCeol", a documentary about Tony MacMahon
« on: March 28, 2019, 04:11:39 AM »

This programme will air on RTE 1 television station on Thursday 28th of March at 10.15 p.m.
Well worth viewing even though it's going to be sad and depressing.
Tony is one of the all time greats, but sadly his box playing days are behind him.
There is a radio preview of it here.
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pgroff

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Re: "Slán Leis an gCeol", a documentary about Tony MacMahon
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2019, 10:56:22 AM »

thank you
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Stiamh

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Re: "Slán Leis an gCeol", a documentary about Tony MacMahon
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2019, 12:17:30 PM »

I learned about this when a friend pointed me to this article in the Journal of Music. After reading it I wasn't sure whether I wanted to watch the film... having already read and listened to quite a bit about the man's "tormented soul" (his own words). I won't be able to resist though - thanks.
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richard.fleming

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Re: "Slán Leis an gCeol", a documentary about Tony MacMahon
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2019, 02:16:13 PM »

Reading the article with it's use of words like 'artistic' and 'creative' disinterred an old quandary. Since someone else wrote the tunes, how much can one claim artistry or creativity when simply playing them? What is needed? What's the essential difference between me, say, playing a tune fairly competently, on a good day, and someone else doing it so much better that it is artistic or creative?
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Winston Smith

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Re: "Slán Leis an gCeol", a documentary about Tony MacMahon
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2019, 03:05:57 PM »

" What is needed? What's the essential difference "

It's an example of je ne sais quoi, it's the answer to that occasionally silly question on televisions QI; Nobody knows! But when you come across it, it's unmistakable.


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Rees

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Re: "Slán Leis an gCeol", a documentary about Tony MacMahon
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2019, 03:28:42 PM »

It's called soul.
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-Y-

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Re: "Slán Leis an gCeol", a documentary about Tony MacMahon
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2019, 08:55:01 PM »

Reading the article with it's use of words like 'artistic' and 'creative' disinterred an old quandary. Since someone else wrote the tunes, how much can one claim artistry or creativity when simply playing them? What is needed? What's the essential difference between me, say, playing a tune fairly competently, on a good day, and someone else doing it so much better that it is artistic or creative?

I don't think you should disqualify your playing as being not artistic based on the notion of technical level. Conveying emotions (which could be a very short yet somewhat accurate definition of the purpose of any art IMO) can be done with very little skill (not saying you don't have any skills, of course  (:) )
Also, writing a tune is not all I think. Some are good writers and are creative enough (but are not inevitably the best to perform the tunes they write), some are poor writers but compensate by being highly skilled performers. Look at the career Joe Cocker made... One may argue that some covers he did are way better than the originals (at the very least, they all have great artistic qualities). So I don't think it matters that much. The key for me is, what can you say with a tune? what can you do to use it to convey emotions to yourself and/or others?
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Y.

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Peadar

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Re: "Slán Leis an gCeol", a documentary about Tony MacMahon
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2019, 11:40:37 PM »

Is an actor an artist or a technician?
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Stiamh

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Re: "Slán Leis an gCeol", a documentary about Tony MacMahon
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2019, 12:04:55 AM »

What's the essential difference between me, say, playing a tune fairly competently, on a good day, and someone else doing it so much better that it is artistic or creative?

The difference is the impact it has on other people. What makes the impact is a combination of many factors - mainly the performer's skill and technique on the one hand and their understanding, intention and focus - their mental force - on the other.

Now MacMahon, I feel, has great mental force, a kind of brooding intensity, that comes through very powerfully in his music. It hits you like a ton of bricks! I might not always be in the mood for it, but the strength of it is undeniable. I haven't heard anyone else that can do that on the box - not even Joe Cooley.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2019, 12:15:02 AM by Stiamh »
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jorden

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Re: "Slán Leis an gCeol", a documentary about Tony MacMahon
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2019, 07:15:46 AM »

MacMahon plays tunes on the accordion in an epic way. He's a one man marching army.  His way of playing is so powerful. When he plays a march you feel the earth trembling etc.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSXWJoMs4kNHEFkIR_gKySw Some clips of a house concert together with Steve Cooney.
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-Y-

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Re: "Slán Leis an gCeol", a documentary about Tony MacMahon
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2019, 03:43:43 PM »

MacMahon plays tunes on the accordion in an epic way. He's a one man marching army.  His way of playing is so powerful. When he plays a march you feel the earth trembling etc.

I just stumbled upon this :
https://www.facebook.com/100010917466155/videos/784118545295387

which illustrates perfectly what you said. The sheer sobriety of his rendering exacerbates this relentless power. Mighty!
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Y.

Planchée, folk music from Eastern BrittanyIsidore et les sans-soucis, folk music from Québec

(please excuse any misspelling or odd wording, english is not my mother tongue)

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Re: "Slán Leis an gCeol", a documentary about Tony MacMahon
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2019, 04:55:12 PM »

BTW, do someone knows where we could watch it? It does not appear in the RTE Player website.
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Y.

Planchée, folk music from Eastern BrittanyIsidore et les sans-soucis, folk music from Québec

(please excuse any misspelling or odd wording, english is not my mother tongue)

tirpous

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Re: "Slán Leis an gCeol", a documentary about Tony MacMahon
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2019, 07:24:17 PM »

Quote
BTW, do someone knows where we could watch it? It does not appear in the RTE Player website.

Thanks for asking, I've been wondering the same thing.
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Boxhead

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Re: "Slán Leis an gCeol", a documentary about Tony MacMahon
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2019, 07:55:54 PM »

It's ye olde geoblocking at play I'm afraid, I had this problem a while back and have not been able to watch it. If anyone knows of a free VPN that can spoof an Irish IP address that would be great...

I have often wondered how much the playing of traditional music can be described as ' creative' perhaps in an interperative kind of way then yes it can be. As for that seminal, 'writing a tune' kind of way perhaps less so...

I occasionally notice some trad musicians are a wee bit like train spotters or twitchers in their mentality. The hedgehog song comes to mind.

I don't mean to be horrible, I myself have made a database of tunes I play by type and by key so I can easily access them to create sets.. I can't write a decent tune to save my life, I think you have to really mean the tune you are playing at any given time and put your own emotions and experiences into it, Tony is a very passionate ,emotional guy and this comes through in his playing.

Alan Pittwood

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Re: "Slán Leis an gCeol", a documentary about Tony MacMahon
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2019, 09:35:17 PM »

It's ye olde geoblocking at play I'm afraid, I had this problem a while back and have not been able to watch it. If anyone knows of a free VPN that can spoof an Irish IP address that would be great...

The answer is rather more simple than geoblocking and the use of VPN.

The TG4 Player and the RTE Player allow access to past programmes for thirty-six days from the initial broadcast.   As Slán Leis an gCeol was broadcast on 28 March 2019 that period has expired.

Sometimes, as with the series Mná an Cheoil shown in March and April 2019, programmes are made available beyond the expected period but it seems to be quite capricious.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2019, 09:38:50 PM by Alan Pittwood »
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Stiamh

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Re: "Slán Leis an gCeol", a documentary about Tony MacMahon
« Reply #15 on: May 06, 2019, 02:01:04 AM »

It's ye olde geoblocking at play I'm afraid, I had this problem a while back and have not been able to watch it. If anyone knows of a free VPN that can spoof an Irish IP address that would be great...

The answer is rather more simple than geoblocking and the use of VPN.

Actually in this case the simple answer is wrong, at least for those outside Ireland - a number of people tried to view the programme within the time period. See here.
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tirpous

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Re: "Slán Leis an gCeol", a documentary about Tony MacMahon
« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2019, 03:20:40 PM »

And if you look at replies #11 and 12 above, they're dated April 4 so we were well within the 36-day period on Melnet too...
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Peadar

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Re: "Slán Leis an gCeol", a documentary about Tony MacMahon
« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2019, 03:56:41 PM »

As a consolation prize...see below (Tony McMahon & Brian McKenna in St. Tropez 1975) ....

https://www.tg4.ie/ga/player/baile/?pid=5680612578001&teideal=The%20Green%20Linnet&series=The%20Green%20Linnet&dlft=28
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richard.fleming

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Re: "Slán Leis an gCeol", a documentary about Tony MacMahon
« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2019, 01:18:47 PM »

Just for the record, it's Barney McKenna.
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