Tír na mBláth and Tim Finnegan’s Irish Pub sponsors a weekly, Sunday afternoon seisiún (pronounced like seshoon in English). Musicians gather in the Brian Reagan Room in the back of the pub (the room with the mantlepiece and wood floor). Check the events page on the pub website for updated times.
What is a seisiún?
…a gathering of Irish traditional musicians for the purpose of celebrating their common interest in the music by playing it together in a relaxed, informal setting, while in the process generally beefing up the mystical cultural mantra that hums along uninterruptedly beneath all manifestations of Irishness worldwide.
– Barry Foy, Field Guide to the Irish Music Session
The objective in a seisiún is not to provide music for an audience of passive listeners (although the punters or non-playing attendees often come for the express purpose of listening), the music is most of all for the musicians themselves. The seisiún is an experience that is shared, not a performance that is bought and sold.
The Tír na mBláth Seisiún
This event is an ‘open’ session meaning anyone who is able to play Irish music is welcome. Generally for our Tír na mBláth seisiún, traditional tunes predominate. For Irish musicians, a tune is an instrumental traditional composition like the reel, jig, hornpipe, or slip jig. One of the musicians will begin a tune set, two or three tunes played one after the other without pause. The tune set is of one composition type (such as reels like Cooley’s Reel and The Fermoy Lasses). Good seisiún etiquette requires not playing if one does not know the tune, and waiting until a tune one knows comes along. Sometimes a song will be sung but these are most often done when the musicians pause from playing tunes and a song is offered or asked for by the musicians.
For those musicians who may be freshly wading into Irish music, Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann provides brilliant selections of music, videos, and audio tracks. There is also a series of books that provide musical notation and set forth the typical ‘sets’ or groupings of tunes that are often heard in a session. These are the Foinn Seisiún Books that may be found here.
Interested in belonging to Tír na mBláth? Feel free to download our membership form: Tír na mBláth Membership Form