Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Feadog

Yesterday's incident on the train has served as a catalyst to me purchasing a musical instrument of my own today.

I was reminded of another afternoon, several years ago, when I was waiting for a train at Central Station. I heard a lovely tune emanating from some sort of wind instrument. The music was floating across from the end of the opposite platform. Curious, I walked to the end of my platform. There, across the train tracks on the opposite platform, was a man in his late fifties, perhaps early sixties, leaning against a pillar playing a small pipe. He appeared separate to the mass of humanity waiting for the train nearby. He was in a world of his own, focused solely on his pipe and he was playing a beautiful melody. I assumed the instrument he was playing was a piccolo.

I was surprised that such a simple, tiny instrument could produce such beautiful music. It was at that time that I said to myself that I would like to learn to play that instrument. However, time passed, and my desire to learn to play that instrument was superseded by other life events.

And so, with that memory fresh in my mind, I did some research on the Internet last night. What I thought was a piccolo, wasn't. I now believe the man was playing an Irish Whistle, also known as a Penny Whistle or Tin Whistle. I found out that the oldest commercially produced Tin or Penny Whistle in Ireland is called the Feadog. Feadog is Gaelic for whistle. I was impressed with an instrument that is light, portable, inexpensive and apparently easy to learn to play. It was going to be a Feadog for me!

So I went out at lunchtime today and was actually able to locate and purchase a Feadog. It was made in Dublin, Ireland, and only cost AU$13.50, which I thought was very reasonable. There is a picture of it below. I thought I'd add a couple of accessories to my Feadog photo. There is a can of Guinness and also my lucky 'real shamrock' that I picked up as a souvenir when I travelled through Ireland with my wife back in 1996. Makes the photo of my Irish Whistle look more 'Irish', don't you think?

Oh, I can already play 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star"... :)

No comments: