They will also be looking for the character found in music from musicians whose life experience and witness grows with age and which invests their music. As Irish music is an art form and requires creative input from the musician, this character is of great importance and should be real rather then faked or imitated from other great musicians. In other words, the adjudicators would rather purchase a recording of, say, Micho Russel, Packie Duignan, Willy Clancey, Denis Murphy, Lad O Beirne, Jamsie Byrne, Seamus Ennis, Joe Cooley, Johnny Leary, Mrs Elizabeth Crotty or Turlough O Caralon or any modern day super harp player say rather then listen to hundreds of imitations.
The adjudicators wish to hear the musician’s own character in their playing – without exaggeration. This would suggest that whilst technique is important, age and experience is equally so.
For those 15 finalists through to the live play off in Cork in early February, each will play 2 of their 5 tracks – one of their own choice and the adjudicators will choose the second one from the remaining.
The order of appearance on the night of the final will be chosen that evening by lottery – numbers from 1 -15 drawn from a hat.
Quality of the sound or levels on recordings are not important when adjudicating, some of the competitors may have had very little resources to enter and upload their pieces.