Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Penny Whistle

I've been toying with ways to add some interest and flavor to the songs we write and play. I started adding a little harmonica to the songs we do and Jilda is playing mandolin more as well. But this past week I ordered an Irish Penny Whistle with an instructional CD. I've never really tried to play a Penny Whistle, but I think I can do it.
Jilda and I played at a songwriter festival in Napa, California a few years back and one of the guys playing there wrote songs that were simple and beautiful. He played for a long while with just him and the guitar. Late in the set, a woman joined him and strummed a guitar and he pulled an Irish Penny Whistle out of his back pocket and began to play slow and soulful. The sound was incredible. It added a dimension that was unexpected and delightful. I don't recall his name, but he was of Irish decent and the song he played and sang told a story about his family's journey from Ireland to America. It was a very moving song and I was blown away.
Making music today can be so complicated. The sophistication of the musical options is almost beyond belief. I frequent The Guitar Center which is a mega-music store and they have a lot more than guitars there. They have keyboard/workstations that can sound like an orchestra or a freight train or a barking dog or an ocean wave. With all those options at your disposal, you could compose complex music with drums, bass, and practically any other instrument you could imagine.
But you know what? I don't think even with all the electronics in the world, you could duplicate a sound as pure and simple as that $3 penny whistle. There are just some things that bits and bytes of computers cannot approach. So wish me luck in my endeavor.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please consider sharing

Email Signup Form

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required