May 8th, 2013 by errantelbows
This take on The Yellow Tinker is after Tommy Reck's two-part version of it.
A few of the distinctive 'pipey' aspects of his version are the various chanter lifts to get the 'not-quite-F-naturals', the plaintive off-the-knee 'colouring' of the long C naturals, and the lovely tight-ish articulations he does on the C naturals and F sharp in the last bar of the first part. Willie Clancy played a great version of this that included the third part, and it seems more commonly played as a three-part tune.
Apr 30th, 2013 by errantelbows
This is somewhat after the version that appears in the Leo Rowsome Collection (pg. 101).
The most striking feature of Leo's setting of it therein is that he puts it in A minor, as I've pitched it here (it's generally played up a tone in B minor in sessions).
Another nice thing about it is the little triplet device that avoids the big jump from a low A roll up to the second octave A in the first bar of the third part. The octave jump is quite doable on the chanter, but Leo's take on it is nicer and avoids what might be the default tendency to hop the chanter off the leg to reach for the high A (which done too much sounds cyaaaat... literally!)
Apr 25th, 2013 by errantelbows
Just time for a quick go at this well-known old slip jig. I was reminded of it after hearing Willie Clancy playing it on RTE Radio's The Rolling Wave programme the other evening. There's plenty of scope in it for Clancy's nice treatment of the Cs including various grades of pronouncing them in a clipped or tight way. Accented C naturals stand out well against this them then.
I don't play the second part as open as Clancy did, but I chance a couple off-the-knee 'F super-naturals' here (sliding from high E to the F roll in the second octave off the knee with the wee finger of the bottom hand kept down).
It's thought that the title may commemorate the Mayo-born librarian and music collector James Hardiman (pictured above). The library in NUIG is named after him.
Apr 19th, 2013 by errantelbows
Here's a fist at the old Ennis standard 'Ask My (or 'Me') Father'.
You can hear a nice rendition of it from Éanna Ó Cróinín HERE.
And Cormac Cannon plays a very nice setting that came from Willie Clancy and Bobby Casey HERE.
Mar 31st, 2013 by errantelbows
Jimmy O'Brien Moran recorded a nice setting of this pretty much after the Ennis version. It appears on the last track of his CD Sean Reid's Favourite.
It's a very nice reel which lends itself to interpretation on the pipes. I've kept in the Ennis-type crans in because I like the rhythmic kink they give to the first part.
There's a bit of a contra bass hum going on on this recording. Not sure what that's about, but it's a drone I didn't pay for or expect.
Mar 28th, 2013 by errantelbows
Not much to say about this other than this version is one of several that are in or around the key of D. Another slightly more popular setting is in E minor.
The title is associated with piping going back a long way, and it appears in some of the early collections.
I like to try and vary the cran parts of the first part. I've used the Ennisean cran and some tight tripletty things to that end here.
You can hear a fine rendition of this from Waterford piper Caoimhín Ó Fearghail HERE.
Mar 17th, 2013 by errantelbows
This venerable old dance tune and song air was collected by Bunting as early as 1792.
Pipers may be most familiar with this one due to Leo Rowsome's inspired arrangement of it. He set it with drums and violin accompaniment for a 78 record. You can hear a sample of that epic track HERE.
Hope you enjoy the Green Day frolics. Be careful out there (but not too careful).
Mar 6th, 2013 by errantelbows
Some of the sharper points among you might have noticed that I had previously recorded the last tune on the C pipes... ahem... I'm surprised I got this far without unnoticed duplicates actually.
This old piping jig was played by several of the greats including Rowsome and Ennis. It seems more than casually related to The Braes of Busby in its tripartite melodic structure... hmmmmm...
I like the second part which sort of demands plaintive colouring of the long high G at the start of the phrases. Ennis in particular made a nice job of that.
Two settings of this one appear in O'Neill under the title above.
Feb 19th, 2013 by errantelbows
As the name strongly suggests, this Irish setting derives from a Scots piece (a march called The Braes of Bushbie).
It was played in reel form by both Clancy and Ennis, and I've heard it played recently by Gay McKeon.
You'd be forgiven for lumping it into that family of 'Colonel Frazier tunes', as it's easy to confuse with parts of that piping epic.
Getting from the high F Sharp to the C natural in the second part is a bit hairy (at least when I do it), and Ennis does some very impressive finger work there... I just do what I can (and nearly get away with it on occasion).
It's a nice old piece with origins stretching back to the 18th Century.
By the way, some regular visitors have noticed that this page conks out from time to time: all the content disappears and only the header is visible. I've gotten onto Podbean about this several times, but they can't seem to resolve it. As it is I have to log in and re-save a podcast, and this makes everything magically present itself again for viewing. So if you visit here and don't see very much, wait a while and it'll reappear once I've noticed and had a chance to rectify it.
Feb 15th, 2013 by errantelbows
Here's an old jig that has become popular on the pipes in no small part due to Séamus Ennis' playing of it.
It appears in O'Neill and can be traced in written collections back to the late 18th Century under interesting titles such as 'Go to the Devil and Shake Yourself' and 'The One-legged Man'.
It's a memorable tune with a distinctive turn in the second part.