Monday, 23 July 2012

Off Line

Sadly due to technical problems - laptop crashed, no blog posts for at least a month.

Hopefully back online late August.


Saturday, 14 July 2012

Drums at Stormont 2

I very much see myself as a 'Lodge Drummer' - nothing special, not a competition drummer, but a steady drummer who can take a lift, play a number of tunes and fife a bit when asked.

I see my role with in the fife and lambeg drum community as a tutor, who has the ability to engage with children and young people as well as older folk when asked to teach them about the fife and lambeg drum tuition.

To me the lambeg drum is our National musical instrument and must be promoted, enhanced and developed. That said it has been a rocky road upon which I have travelled - where I have come up against many barriers....... more details another day!

I was asked by the Ulster Scots Agency to provide 4 young drummers that I had been working with throughout Northern Irreland to perform at Stormont during the Queen's recent visit. The 4 were excellent young drummers, all at different stages in skills etc, however they came together and played and entertained the crowds who loved to hear the unique sound of the mightly Ulster Drum!!

I will post more photo's later when I receive them, however here are a few that were sent to me by the Boys' Model.

Myself and Simon Menabney


Simon with Andy Bickerstaff and Adam Winter to the left.

Mrs Baird (head of music at Boys' Model) with Simon

There are dozens of these young men in our schools - they are beginning to filter into their local community groups, Orange Lodges, drumming clubs and beginning to sit exams through their music classes. It is moving forward, a little slow, but trust me it is working!!


Wednesday, 11 July 2012

The Lily O !

Going to my Dad's grave this evening, prior to me drumming under the arch in N'Ards -  to put a floral arrangement at his headstone, so to give you some idea what flowers I will use - here is one of my favourite traditional Irish folk songs!

Have a great 'Twelfth' folks!!


Wednesday, 4 July 2012

The Twelfth - Blakley's Glorious Traditions

As the 'Glorious Twelfth' approaches, once again I spend time looking back at 12th's that have gone before.

This painting I commissioned in 2008 was completed in 2009 entitled 'Blakley's Glorious Traditions' - and hangs proudly in my dinning room.

I had it painted for my father Blakely Clarke Anderson (who died several weeks after its completion).

My very good friend Brian Jamison from Balliwatticock painted the canvas for me and made quite a remarkable job as the painting, which is set in the Old Greenwell Street area of Newtownards - in the late 1950's, and contains a few of my orange friends and 4 generations of Anderson's, most of whom have passed away. 

You may recognise the fifer!!

My Orange Lillies are beginning to blossom - in perfect time for the 'Twelfth'


Seamus Heaney - A poets view!

Recently whilst doing a little research into Lambeg Drums, I came across this poem written by Mr. Seamus Heaney - Ireland's most famous poet.

I posted this poem on a Facebook forum that I am a member of and got quite a number of responses, many of them very critical of Mr. Heaney.

In my opinion Mr. Heaney is misguided, prejudiced and ill-informed, perhaps he should have tried a little to understand the music and the tradition of the fife & lambeg drum / lambeg drumming tradition a little more before penning this tripe!!

Here is the poem written, it is alleged in 1966 - prior to 'The Troubles'

The lambeg balloons at this belly, weighs
His back on his haunches, lodging thunder
Grossly there between his chin and his knees:
He is raised up by what he buckles under.

Each arm extended by a seasoned rod,
He parades behind it. And though the drummers
Are granted passage through the nodding crowd
It is the drums preside like giant tumers.

Training the note of hate on the ear's greed,
His battered signature subscribes 'No Pope'.
The pigskin's scourged until his knuckles bleed.
The air is pounding like a stethoscope.

Mr. Heaney should buy they read a copy of Rev. Gary Hastings excellent book With Fife & Drum music, memories and customs of an Irish tradition then try to understand why we - from the fife and lambeg drum musical tradition, play our instruments!