If you have been following my Irish night out, you might be surprised how at the spur of the moment decisions can turn out well. I did.
A trip to the library on a Thursday night ended up with a friendly invite to a Saturday night concert. Holding minimal expectations, the marvellous performance coordinated well with a team of four left me stunned.
Led by talented multi-instrumentalist Jacquelyn Hynes, a true musician I will bow to, had no musical sheets in front of her and had no problems juggling the long notes and irregular rhythm. A grand total of 13 songs, she seems to breeze through every singles and led the others – an Irish songwriter who was on the guitar – J.Eoin, a percussionist and vocals of Najma Akhtar. Mainly playing Irish songs, Indian and Arabic flavour was injected from time to time and surprised me with refreshing tunes which were not typically Irish.
I enjoyed the piece -Lost in a Norwegian Wood. The soothing notes from the flute drew out the contours of the desert in my mind and images of a never-ending path without an exit point filled my mind. Desert is associated with “lost” in my mind and I felt as though I was traipsing around on unknown grounds.
“She moved through the Fair” was delivered through a role of a young bride moving over the lake with the flute and the light-heartedness and gaiety filled the air. The percussionist did an excellent job in the accompaniment and there were tinkling bells, drumming and even shell-sounds, all adding to the openness and free-spiritedness.
The music hit a real high before we broke for a 15 minute break. The applause was resounding and the cheers of the audience reaffirmed my appreciation of the team’s effort.
Before I go on about the wondrous music, I would like to thank my table of companions as well. Originally intending to enjoy the music on my own, I saw the lady who invited me for this event. An elderly Irish lady who eloped with her musician boyfriend many decades back to London, she was a joyful character and I was charmed by her easy humour. Máire, apparently an Irish version of “Mary”, brought along an American lady, one other Irish lady whom I said hi before and an elderly couple who appeared to be Irish as well. Surrounded by smiles and easy conversation, I said yes to the invitation to join their table. It felt warm and friendly and I almost felt at home.
My initial “out of place” feel soon wore off into the night of music.