What if you could observe, undetected, during a collaboration between your greatest heroes? Like what if you could sit in on a rehearsal of the Turtle Island String Quartet, or hide on the tour bus of Bruce Springsteen and his band, or be in the locker room at halftime of the Super Bowl?
Well, I got to be just that on Friday night, the last night of Celtic Week at Swannanoa Gathering. I was ready to turn in for the night, and started for the dorms, when I heard the most amazing jam ever…so my room mate and I followed the sound, and where should it lead, but to a little porch on a guest house at the center of campus. And lo and behold, from our dark vantage point we could see Liz Carroll, John Doyle, Rose Flanagan, Kimberley Fraser, Nuala Kennedy, and I thought possibly Eamon O’Leary, all laughing and jamming together.
Oh, my kingdom for a recording device! But we chose to stand quietly and observe for a few minutes, watching the interplay, watching how it’s done when you are totally unfettered by technique or lack of repertoire. It was simply amazing and inspiring…the music that flowed freely from the porch that night. I chose not to take any pictures or try to capture the moment….I just let it sink deep into my soul, where hopefully, it will take root!
Trying not to be too greedy, we only lingered for about 5 minutes and then tore ourselves away, knowing we had just gotten the coveted wish of being the fly on the wall!