After that I took myself out for a reasonably nice dinner during which I could not unwrap my brain from my own book to make any headway into msagara's SEA OF SORROWS. I was afraid that would happen, but I thought it was worth a try. Oh well. I'll read it (and the next two books) in the Very Few Days I'll be taking off between finishing revisions and moving on to writing the third book in this (insert polite smile here) trilogy.
And then I went to the Martin Hayes concert I've been anticipating for the last two months!
It was only when I bought the ticket that I discovered someone else would be playing with Hayes and guitarist Dennis Cahill. The other fellow's name is Bill Frisell (frih-ZELL, rather than FRIzzle), and he's apparently an extremely famous/accomplished jazz guitarist, and I'm afraid he bored me and most of the rest of the audience out of our minds. I like jazz a lot, but the solo stuff he did was on the performance art end of jazz, where it ceases to be in any way tuneful and becomes abstract to the point of losing all meaning to me as a listener, although it must be fulfilling to the artist himself. As Ted said, there is a subset of jazz aficianados who love that kind of music, but I'm not one of them. I nearly fell asleep.
However, the collaborative stuff ranged from pleasant to excellent. Apparently note.ie is doing this program where they bring together musicians who haven't worked together before, which is how this billing got lined up. Hayes & Cahill only play Irish music, and Frisell only plays jazz, so they weren't quite sure how it was going to work, but generally speaking, it did. Some of the best bits included a Thelonius Monk piece that Hayes & Cahill had learned and which was just sheer fun, and then as one of their encore pieces they did my favorite piece of theirs (the name of which escapes me; I'm going to have to listen to my CDs to find out what its title is), and Frisell's cool mellow jazzy background added some neat stuff to it.
I don't know if there was a problem with the sound balance or if it was the musicians themselves: Hayes's fiddle really dominated, with Cahill's acoustic guitar next most audible. There were a lot of times where I would've liked to have been able to hear Frisell's electric guitar better, to see what, really, he was bringing to the table. And I did expect more...well...more jazz. The evening was pretty Irish-music dominant, and I kept expecting there to be more jazz session to it, with the tunes being experimented on and spun out and then reeled back in, but I didn't get much sense of that, and I wonder if the sound balance was part of why I didn't or if the fiddle really did just take the lead in most pieces and sort of not give it up.
Also, Martin Hayes comes across as a very shy man, and he's not an especially good public speaker. Very quiet voice, quite self-deprecating, often not sure what to say and therefore tending to murmur, after a stunning piece of music and thunderous applause, "...anyway..." (which usually gets a laugh). However, Bill Frisell is your classic sort of spacey genial doofy jazz musician, and didn't seem to be able to finish a *sentence*. Hayes did all the talking. :)
Anyway, it was a *good* show, but it wasn't what I went in expecting, and it was the first time I've seen Hayes & Cahill in performance when I haven't been moved to a standing ovation. (Huh. I can't find any reviews of the other concerts of theirs I've gone to. I'll have to write about them sometime.) I'm certainly glad I went, because I would've felt like I was missing a tremendous amount if I hadn't, but having gone, I now know I wouldn't have missed all that much if I hadn't. :)
Ted waited around in Cork after work to drive me home, so I actually got to talk to him for a while in the evening, which was also very nice. That's the worst thing about his schedule: we're at great odds with each other, especially on days like yesterday when I get up at 6:30 and go to work really early. So it was vurrah good to see him, too. :)
Ok, I've just spent way more time writing that up than I intended to, so I have to go back to stinking work now. At least I'm 5 hours ahead of NYC, so I can turn my edits in quite late this evening and still get them in before close of business in New York.
*Having spent two and a half hours talking to her, you would think I would be absolutely certain if her hair was red or not. I am only almost certain it was. However, since the early part of our discussion touched on the fact that she can meet someone, be told that they are, say, an engineer, and later be uncertain of what gender they are because the occupation was the bit that gave them something to talk about, I am reasonably sure she'll forgive me for being only mostly certain she's a redhead. She's definetely got curls, though! :)