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Càirdeas 2020

27 July 2020 - 31 July 2020
All day
on line

7/3/20 update

Càirdeas 2020 Online Update

Greetings one and all. Here are the latest updates on what we hope to offer in the way of an online version of Càirdeas and also what you need to do to register and participate. We have had a gratifyingly enthusiastic response literally from all around the planet and hope our humble offerings will give a modicum of satisfaction to everyone. We also hope that it will give a taste of what Càirdeas is all about to those of you who have never attended, in the hope you will be able to come join us when we are able to once more gather in person.

When. July 27-30.

General information. Pre-recorded instructional materials will be released each morning by 8 am EDT. A link to access the private YouTube channel containing the material will be e mailed to each registered participant along with an invitation to join the Zoom session for that evening. The daily instructional materials found on YouTube will remain there until at least July 2021, and you may access them at any time. Participants will have the day to review the material and then participate in a live Zoom workshop from 5-6 pm each day. From 6:15pm till whenever we will have a happy hour via Zoom so participants can socialize distantly if interested. See below for a more detailed description of what each day’s material will contain.

Daily online material. Each day will include 3 pre-recorded instructor workshops, accompanying sheet music (when possible), short video cameos from past instructors, and the daily ‘Desert Island’ track playlist (see below).

‘Desert Island’ Listening. For those of you unfamiliar with Càirdeas, Fin introduced this workshop idea about 5 years ago, largely out of a desire to get people listening deeply to good music on good speakers—something modern humans rarely do anymore (much to our loss). This daily workshop has involved the instructors each choosing one track—tracks they would want with them if stranded on a Desert Island—and playing them through good speakers at a hefty, feel-it-in-your-ribs volume for all of the Càirdeas school to listen to together. There has also been some valuable group discussion about each track—why it was chosen, what’s particularly special about it, etc. With all this in mind, we would like to continue a version of this workshop for e-Càirdeas 2020, and invite everybody—instructors and students alike—to pick one Desert Island track of your own, and send us the best-quality recording of it you can (ideally a minimally-compressed WAV, AIFF, or FLAC file). Please also include one or two sentences about why you chose this track, and anything specifically we should all be listening for. Links to each track will all be shared with the entire group for downloading. And then, if at all possible, and at your leisure, please play these tracks at a strong-but-not-damaging volume in your home—preferably through good speakers so that you can really feel the music in your body. (Even the best headphones won’t do the trick in this regard.) We will send out a shared Dropbox link closer to the week for participants to upload tracks and text.

The Student Cèilidh. This popular and jovial grand finale has been a staple at Càirdeas for perhaps 6 or 7 years now, and we hope to also create a successful e-Càirdeas version this year. All students are invited to submit, in advance, a video recording of themselves performing whatever it is they want to share with the Càirdeas fellowship. Pipes and fiddles are not required. Our only restrictions are that the videos be musical in nature, within PG-13 limits and last no longer than 7 minutes. We’ll try watching all of these together on the Thursday evening live-Zoom session via our Zoom host’s shared-screen feature. (This tactic inevitably reduces the quality of the recordings in the moment, but it’s nonetheless fun to watch these all ‘together’; and we’ll then make sure the original, full-quality videos will remain available for better-quality viewing on private YouTube links for at least a week following Càirdeas.) Videos should be sent to Anita at anita@benandanita.com before midnight on Wednesday, July 29, Eastern Daylight Time.

Schedule. Please refer to the attached schedule for times and instructors. Given the worldwide response, we have tried to allocate time slots to accommodate as many folk as possible for participation in the Zoom sessions. This schedule is still subject to last minute changes, but should give an idea of how the week will proceed. A final version will be sent to the registered participants shortly before the event itself.

What you will need. At minimum you will need a device and broadband capacity sufficient to view YouTube videos. To participate in Zoom sessions you will need to download the Zoom app for your device and follow the instructions found here https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/categories/200101697-Getting-Started.

Registration. If you have already sent us an email saying you wish to register, no further action on your part is necessary. For procrastinators or those of you still undecided, simply send an email to cairdeasvt@gmail.com with “Register Me” in the subject line. Your e mail address will be used to send you the links to access the pre-recorded material and send invitations to Zoom sessions. We would also appreciate it if you could provide your city/state or country (optional but helps with time zones) and your approximate skill level (this helps the instructors in their teaching): beginner, intermediate/advancing, advanced, or let us know if you’re brand new to smallpipes.

Donations. Access to e-Càirdeas is free to all registered participants. We totally understand that many of you are in tight financial straits. Instead, we are asking those of you who can afford a donation to contribute what you think it was worth to you. A suggested donation might be $20 USD for each day’s pre-recorded content and an additional $20 for each evening Zoom session for those who can afford it. This is only a suggestion, however, and any donation at all will be happily received. Proceeds will largely go toward compensation of our instructors for their time and effort in putting the event together. We are hoping to establish PayPal links on the Càirdeas website and Facebook page soon, or if you prefer, you may donate by sending an old fashioned check if you live in the USA. If you prefer to pay by check contact our treasurer Chuck Henry at char03@ix.netcom.com for mailing instructions. Donations are tax deductible in the USA and a receipt will be provided for those who wish one.

We of the Càirdeas steering committee thank you all for your patience as we put this thing together. Stay safe and hopefully we’ll be meeting up online in a few weeks!

The Càirdeas Steering Committee.