Childsplay return to SymphonySpace tonight, Nov. 18, 2016, so we thought we’d republish this piece. Karan Casey sings!
How It’s Irish: Many of the tunes they play are Irish, and some of their players come from that world, including flutist Shannon Heaton, and singer Aoife O’Donovan. But it’s also pan-Celtic, with Scottish tunes, New England style music and even Swedish. It’s Festive and Holiday and special.
I like this group so much I’ve written about them for WSJ Speakeasy, Irish Music Magazine, Time Out, and Irish Examiner USA. Here’s my most recent piece. This group has a real wall of sound that, combined with their heartfelt folk music, will really lift you up. Catch some holiday spirit!
WE HAVE A PAIR OF TICKETS TO GIVE AWAY TO THE SHOW TONIGHT. Email us at email@example.com with the name of the fiddle maker to claim them!
“Everyone is an all-star in their band, so there’s a great potential for harmony and rhythmic syncopation. Everyone’s so talented, picking up the bow patterns and ornaments is very simple, they’re very good at it. But they’re out of their home base of music, and it opens everybody up and makes for a very creative rehearsal time.”
“He’s a musician’s dancer; he can really dance to the tune. His eclectic background gives him the ability to lock in. Shannon Dunne is more of a Sean Nos dancer, so it will b a lovely combination.”
Childs, who has been making fiddles for 35 years, didn’t actually found Childsplay. He got an invitation to play in a concert down in Washington, D.C., and it was only when he got there that he saw everyone was playing one of his fiddles. They invited him to be part of it. “We haven’t stopped since,” he says. That was 26 years ago.
“Swedish fiddling is really rhythmic so the technique is a little different, there are different beats. The emphasis is on the one and the three, which makes for a hypnotic and driving rhythm, when you have 12 fiddles blasting away on it.”
“It’s when we get together that the nitty gritty happens, refining, culling out what doesn’t work, putting things in. It keeps the music alive.”
“..a musical cauldron, where we’re forming the sound. It’s not classical music, we’re playing from the inside out. People learn the music by ear, and we rehearse and do everything on the spot. We always end up with our own sound.”