Fiddler Martin Hayes and guitarist Dennis Cahill first met in a jazz-rock band, but since the 80s they’ve been in the vanguard of the Irish music scene. They bring their distinctive and personal take on Irish folk music to our studio for a live performance.
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Irish composer David Flynn visits the WNYC studios for this edition of New Sounds. Flynn first learned guitar by way of heavy metal riffs and solos, then fell into the folk scene, and incorporates influences from almost all musical styles. But he wants his chamber pieces to sound Irish. We’ll hear some of these folk roots and how they sound in David’s compositions. Perhaps we’ll also hear a bit from the latest collaboration by Dennis Cahill and Martin Hayes, and more.
Blogger Anil Dash says we tend to trumpet the tech revolution, with its vast social networks and slick smartphones, as a triumph of usability and empowerment. But Dash says a spirit of collaboration and emphasis on the user experience has been lost along the way.
He wrote about this shift on his blog in a post called The Web We Lost.
“There is an ignorance or a lack of history to the way that a lot of people that build the social networks, especially the young engineers, think about this because they weren’t around to see it any other way,” Dash told Manoush Zomorodi, host of WNYC’s New Tech City.
Dash cites as example Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram. “The first thing that happened as soon as Facebook bought Instragram was they shut off the ability for you to import your friends and find your friends through Twitter because Facebook and Twitter are enemies now.”
Dash says that may be good for Facebook’s shareholders, but it’s not good for users who want to Tweet photos to their friends. He adds that the walling off of content wouldn’t have happened in the earlier days of the Internet.
“There used to be a time when you put the goals and desires of the user ahead of the corporate infighting and battles,” he said.
Dash believes technology’s new vanguard should take a look at the philosophies that drove their forbearers.
“There are cycles to this stuff,” he said. “The pendulum swings back and forth.”
Paul Shaw, an award-winning graphic designer, typographer, calligrapher, and teacher at Parsons School of Design and the School of Visual Arts, tells the story of how New York City’s subway signage evolved from a "visual mess" to a uniform system using the Helvetica typeface. His illustrated book Helvetica and the New York City Subway System looks at how politics, economics, and bureaucratic forces shaped decisions made about the subway’s appearance as much as design ideas did. http://www.wnyc.org/shows/lopate/2011/aug/04/helvetica-and-new-york-city-subway-system/
Irish “sessions” are intimate group performances that take place in pubs all over New York City. Based in the traditional Irish “seisiún,” these informal musical gatherings feature jigs, reels, hornpipes, and the occasional waltz. Writer and Vogue contributing editor Robert Sullivan and writer-musician Larry Kirwan of the Irish rock band Black 47 explain the history and vibrant present of the tradition.