Week #54 ~ Shebeg & Shemore / Si Bheag Si Mhor (O'Carolan)

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  1. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Lovely rendition Mike, very clear tone and just the right feeling. You're good to go for Robbie Burns with that (he probably never met O'Carolan, but who cares )
  2. David Hansen
    David Hansen
    I never really liked my original post for this tune so I finally got around to rerecording it.

  3. Mike Floorstand
    Mike Floorstand
    Lovely version David - nice collection of property you have there too. Which one is your summer residence?
  4. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    This is the fourth Carolan tune (after Eleanor Plunkett, Planxty Irwin and Carolan's Draught) that I've recorded this week, all with harmonies from this Japanese site:


    Si Bheag Si Mhor is an arrangement for two flutes, plus backing chords. It transfers nicely to a mandolin duet, with tenor guitar backing.

    1921 Gibson Ajr mandolin
    Washburn M-3SW mandolin
    Ozark tenor guitar

    The pure tone of the Ajr suits the tune, I think -- a harp-like chime.

  5. Jim Baker
    Jim Baker
    Nicely done Martin.
  6. Gelsenbury
    There are several definitive versions on these pages already. But I wanted to catch up with this one as well, because it is such a lovely tune. And because, if I'm still around in 50 years' time, I can show my children how, all the way back on page 3 of this thread, we still had two-dimensional video and instruments that didn't come from a printer.

  7. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    two-dimensional video and instruments that didn't come from a printer

    In 50 years time, we will have found out what YouTube really is

    Very pastoral and innocent sounding version, Dennis
  8. GKWilson
    Very relaxing Dennis. I close my eyes and I swear I can hear rain.
    This tune has been at the very top of my-to-learn list for a long time.
    But for one reason or another is passed over.
    Maybe you've finally given me a kick start.
    I just might add a rain track.
  9. Gelsenbury
    With the weather here being what it is, it probably was raining when I recorded the video! It's probably just a case of your hearing being excellent and picking up the ambient sound. But you're right, it is a dreamy, rainy tune. I love it.

    Thank you for the feedback. Relaxing is the effect I wanted.
  10. crisscross
    It's St.Patrick's day!
  11. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    And a Happy St Patrick's Day to you too! And on the very day that the Irish won The Six Nations Grand Slam in Rugby Union, beating all of the other five nations - Scotland, France, Wales, Italy and (on St P's Day) England at Twickenham. Great feat, and I am Scottish!

    Fine version of the tune too, CC.
  12. dustyamps
    Nice recording cc, congrats.
  13. Gelsenbury
    Some really good tremolo there. Thank you for reviving this thread.
  14. Frithjof
    Sounds good, cc. I agree with G. on the tremolo.
  15. crisscross
    Thanks, everyone! I have to admit, I wasn't copletely satisfied with ma recording, so today I tried again.
    Don't know, whether I played better, but the nylon string guitar in the background sounds fuller, anyway...
  16. Gelsenbury
    They are both very good.
  17. JL277z
    Very nice!
  18. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    A lovely version, CC. The guitar backing is especially good and such a fine blend with the mandolin. Great tremelo too. It was worth the effort of making a second recording, as I think this one is even better than your first, and it was really good!
  19. Frithjof
    Your second recording is also great, CC. I like the sound of your nylon string guitar.
  20. crisscross
    Thanks again. I still ain't completely satisfied, but at least the second version is better than the first one...
  21. sportsnapper
    This is one of the first songs that we played at the Simon Mayor workshop earlier this year, two weeks into my rediscovery of making music.
    This is Simon's arrangement of this classic tune. Not perfect, but I think it sounds realistic! I'd like to get the G string sounding more resonant, and the E string less strident. But I guess that's practice.

  22. Gelsenbury
    Great music! You make the two parts sound good together. I never dared go anywhere near that second voice at the workshop. But then again, with O'Carolan it's all about the melody.
  23. sportsnapper
    Hey thanks - I really like the 2nd part - bit Bach esq! And enjoyed making the recording - though I do find it difficult getting the volume constant across all the strings. And I guess I need to get tremolo working properly for this sort of song....
  24. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    That is a fine arrangement of the tune, and a very good delivery by yourself.
  25. sportsnapper
    Thanks, John - As I said I can't take credit for the arrangement but I can for the delivery :-) PM me about the arrangement....?
  26. Kevin B
    Kevin B

    I’m new here. My first posting. Not a mandolin. A Chinese moon guitar which I tuned like a mandolin or tenor guitar. I recorded this a while ago. One of my favorite tunes. I hope you like it.

  27. Kevin B
    Kevin B

    Trying again to post this.
  28. Gelsenbury
    Welcome to the group! I reckon O'Carolan tunes work well on any instrument. The ruan is an original choice! Good playing!
  29. Robert Balch
    Robert Balch
    I have never seen an instrument like that but I did enjoy it. Look forward to more.
  30. Kevin B
    Kevin B
    Thanks for the kind comments. It was hanging on the wall for years when I found out you could tune it like a Mandola. I enjoy playing it occasionally and love the tone to
  31. gortnamona
    what a great looking and unusual instrument Kevin and sounds fantastic , well played. i'm jealous as personally i just cant get my head around O Carolan at all.
  32. crisscross
    Like Manfred, I had found my version of this O'Carolan tune in Marilynn Mair's Complete Mandolinist. But for my taste, there's a little too much tremolo in her version, especially on the eighth notes. So I re-recorded it using tremolo only for notes that are two beats or longer:
  33. Robert Balch
    Robert Balch
    Well done crisscross. Very enjoyable. I think I might have to work on my tremolo.
  34. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    Very nice CC. I like this one the best. Repetition always makes things better.
  35. crisscross
    Thanks Ginny and Robert!
  36. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Thanks for reminding me of this lovely Carolan tune -- always a favourite!

    I had previously recorded it twice before, both solo and with harmony part, as posted earlier in this thread. This new recording uses a quite different arrangement, based (again) on harmonies by Evelyn Tiffany-Castiglioni from her "Big Book For Mandolins" (available from Amazon, NFI). This is the way we have been playing it with our group for a while!

    Mid-Missouri M-0W mandolin (x2)
    Suzuki MC-815 mandocello
    Vintage Viaten tenor guitar

  37. crisscross
    Sounds very nice Martin!
    I had a look at Amazon for the mandolin books and discovered In Vitro Neurotoxicology: Principles and Challenges (Methods in Pharmacology and Toxicology), also by Evelyn Tiffany-Castiglioni. Is this the same person?
  38. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas

    Yes, that's the same Evelyn: when not composing and arranging, she's a professor of neuroscience at Texas A&M University.

  39. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison

    Si Bheag, Si Mhor
    John Kelly and I did this one together. I'm sure John used all his own instruments and I used my Goldtone tenor guitar and Larrivee mandolin.
    The pictures are from vintage illustrations from old fairy tale publications. Most by renowned artist Arthur Rackman (1867-1939). I can name some of the fairy tales but not all. Also the fairy theme comes from the translated title into 'Big Fairy, Little Fairy', which actually not everyone agrees with, but well..there ya go. Thanks for your comments...I hope for once I'm posting this in the right place.
  40. Frithjof
    Thatís a very nice recording, Ginny and John. I like the chosen illustrations too.
  41. Gelsenbury
    Nice playing and pictures! Personally, I like this tune to be played even slower. But the tone is perfect.
  42. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Beautiful! Artwork too.
  43. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    Thanks guys ! Posting it here, I wondered if it was the right place - ?? Dennis, I think John and I did play it a bit slower before but I listened to a bunch of other youtube posts, especially Tony McManus - a brilliant Celtic guitarist..and I thought he was too fast - so I settled for some place in the middle.
  44. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    I got a copyright claim on this....I've had them before on obvious ones (without penalty) but didn't O'Carolan die like 200 years ago?? The claim marker came up as soon as I typed in the name of the song. Did anyone else get this?
  45. Christian DP
    Christian DP
    Fine recording of an O'Carolan classic Ginny and John!
    Nice artwork and great mandolin sounds!
    (BTW, I have no YT complaints.)
  46. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    Thanks CC. According to a discussion on thesession.org - this song and many other trads have a copyright claim of possible infringement..It's not a worry but some say CD Baby has bough the rights to this..and others say there is a possibility O'Carolan didn't write this. Either way, it was mote curious than anything. They don't penalize you.
  47. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    The rough version with foot sloshing...
  48. Gelsenbury
    I always enjoy your videos of mandola playing in nature. Very peaceful.
  49. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    That recorded outdoor sound is excellent, Simon. I am trying to work out where you had the microphone(s) placed to get the sound. Did you record the tune in another location then overdub your playing on the river bank, as many of us do on our videos here, playing along to the track we have already recorded, then syncing the two versions?
    The foot sloshing has a life of its own too. I was trying to tap along with you but my foot was just not up to the job!
  50. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Thanks John and Dennis.
    Microphone Boya BY MM1, 30 euros with 5 metre audio silver pin (gold is better) extension lead. The microphone doesn’t have batteries so I wasn’t sure if it would have enough signal voltage for that length but what it loses in quality(slight) it gains in proximity (great) - though I didnt want the mike to be too close.

    Attached to an iPhone 6- some smart phones have a better camera. The cable runs across the stream, held above the water by little sticks just out of view to the left. I tried to use the 1/3 image composition rule, so the cable goes to the 1/3 side, hope that’s clear. Wanted to get camera view point about 6 inches lower, but the stand and mud wouldn’t allow. I also used a 5000 milli ampere battery (15 euros) that I left attached to the phone -I actually got tired before the camera did, mainly through jumping across the stream.

    The microphone itself is just placed on the ground to the left and down from my right knee. If I had been singing, I would have considered a fishing line strung above camera view with the microphone hanging down. Another consideration is that streams produce sound in very varied amounts, rapids, eddies etc it’s the balance between that and the distance to the instrument, and of course how loud you play, and the stream was producing a lot of high pitches which doesnt interfere too much with the low Octave Mandolin. Aircraft were an issue, as well as song birds -they all came closer, and got more excited after my first tune! And some tunes they didnt seem to mind, especially ones with double stops.

    I should have carried a towel for hands, mud etc, and another pair of socks with me.
    Once all the equipment is set up and camera rolling you have to think, ‘ok, now I have the whole day to do this, plenty of time’. Dont look at clouds, thinking just another ten minutes till that dark one ruins the light! . -though it can be spectacular if the light change arrives just at the right part of the tune...

    Should also have carried a metronome, I felt for the whole session that I had no coordination between left and right hands.
    **Maybe because my feet weren’t anchored.
    10 minutes on the metronome would have ironed that out.

    I actually dont like the lack of control on the iphone camera, whereas with the app Filmic pro 5 euros for iPhone, you get a much more stable cinematic image, and the audio is adjustable but Ive recently lost a couple of good takes because it doesnt handle storage well/deletes, so didnt bother with it this time.

    Everything was recorded straight like that and the only editing I did was the beginning and end of each tune, there were about ten of them that I posted on my TY page but haven’t posted all of their links here on song a week... yet. Unfortunately I was getting tired by the time I got to Si Beag Si Mhor, and I had to play it from memory.

    During YT uploading I added a slight bit of saturation to the image colour too. I think that worked for the shots when the sun was behind cloud (depending on cloud type, some of the bigger clouds made everything look flat too) but in full sunshine the greens were maybe too much.

    Cant wait to see some atmospheric tunes from you guys!
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