The Session as Antidote

During this past year especially, I’ve found myself gravitating to sessions and playing more music with friends. I think one reason is that somewhere deep down, my body and soul know it is good for me, that it provides a better model for life than most of the other ones we’re presented with on a daily basis. Let me propose that for a small group of us, the session may represent an antidote for the challenges of modern life. I think there are other antidotes out there, and my hope is that each of you will find the antidote that works for you. However, since this blog is about Irish music, let me put forward a few of the reasons that I think the the best sessions have many elements that our souls crave.

  • We’re present
  • We’re in a circle, face to face
  • We listen to each other
  • We coordinate with others
  • We share what we know and lead when we can, but it’s more enjoyable when we’re not playing solo
  • We find common ground and a way to contribute
  • More do, less talk (but some talk is important)
  • We learn from history and the songs we sing speak of the human condition (love, war, loss)
  • Sessions improve with diversity of instruments and influences
  • We invite people in from outside our community and welcome their new tunes
  • We play quietly and try to learn when we don’t the tune

2 thoughts on “The Session as Antidote”

  1. Stu – Thanks for pointing out your blog to me. I also like how you think about the music. The social aspect (music in the round, face-to-face tune-making) is important to me too. The perfect gig? It’s an evening party of people who have not heard this music played live before. The musicians are three only. That’s my definition of the perfect gig. Yeah, I like the social side of this too. Oh, and I also like that wooden gizmo thingy pick case you have there, dude.

    1. Hi Bruce, yes, that wooden gizmo thingy pick case is pretty cool! Thanks again! I promise I will eventually learn that Paddy Fahy’s – but it apparently isn’t going to just fall out of my fingers like some tunes 🙂

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