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Archive for January 2011

The Milliner’s Daughter (Reel)

This is one of the tunes recorded by Seamus Ennis in 1940 that came to be included on the Return from Fingal CD released some years ago. He was at the height of his powers and full of gusto on that occasion. In a sense it's quite an unremarkable reel, it seems constructed to provide something to dance to (nothing necessarily wrong with that), but in Ennis' hands on that day in 1940 it became a high powered rhythmic dynamo full of piping potentials.

Regards,

Harry.

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The Plains of Boyle (Hornpipe)

Well, it had to happen. I live on the very plains of Boyle in question, so this one was bound to come up.

If you search the NPU online archive (see links) under this tune title you'll hear Willie Clancy playing the distinctly 'pipey' version that he would have gotten off the 78 recording of Michael Gallagher that you'll hear if you go here (if you dare!):

http://www.comhaltasarchive.ie/search?q=recording_id%3A303&sort=track_number

Humorous titles for this piece heard 'in the field' include 'The Pain of Boils' and 'North Roscommon Airport'.

I've had to do some work recently, and will be doing some more for the coming weeks, so I'll likely have to slow down on posting tunes here for a while.

Regards,

Harry.

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The Newport Lasses (Jig)

FelixDoran.jpg

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Just time for a quick jig today. I was reminded of this one after listening to Felix Doran doing a nice job of it on a tape the other day. I don't have his nice pipey version, but have kept a few notes of it in the first part which are an attractive diversion from the standard.

Haven't had a chance to play much the last few days due to college work, so don't expect fireworks!

Regards,

H.

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An Buachaill Dreoite (fling)

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'Dreoite' means something like 'spent', 'wasted' or 'withered', so the title translates as something like 'The Withered Boy' (suggesting someone suffering from a serious malady) or 'The Spent Lad' (suggesting other things maybe...)

This is one of the ones Willie Clancy got from the old piper Garrett Barry via his father, Gilbert.

It's a nice one to try and bring out some the various grades of f-supernatural-off-the-knee although I'm certainly not as fearless and as expressive as Prof. Clancy in that department.

Regards,

Harry.

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The Wise Maid (Reel)

This popular tune is very much associated with the great accordion maestro Joe Cooley. Ennis played it on the pipes and, to my ear and fingers, it makes a very nice piping tune.

You can see/hear Cooley playing it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGzJdoMeoQY

...for all the mirth and gaiety of that occasion it's sad to note that it was known that Cooley was dying of cancer at the time (he only lived for another month); but what a way to say "so long".

Regards,

Harry.

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My rendition here is based on Seamus Ennis' distinctly uncommon version of this old beauty.

Ennis employed his signature ascending cran-type ornament to lend a strange syncopation to the first part.

What was the pigeon (widely considered an unremarkable bird, maybe unfairly so) doing on the gate to warrant the attention of the composer or otherwise evoke the muse?

We may never know; and therein lies the wonder of the elusive avian title methinks.

Regards,

Harry.

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This one used to played a lot when I was first loosing my way and starting to play Irish music somewhat over twenty years ago.

My effort is loosely based (especially the little pipe-o-logical device in the first part) on Mullaney & Stack's recording of it. You can hear their original 1920s, turbo fuel injected version here:

http://www.juneberry78s.com/sounds/msi78-01.mp3

Regards,

Harry.

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This is another 'classic' that is slightly maligned in my estimation due, no doubt, to over exposure and a lack of effort on my part.

I was inspired to go at it after hearing that the Leitrim fiddler Joe Lacky Gallagher had gotten it from Johnny Doran, so it was one of the bould Johnny's pieces.

Unfortunately I haven't got the Gallagher CD to check if The Congress is on it- that's my next mission.

This one is in the Leo  Rowsome Collection also.

Regards,

Harry.

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Here's the one that's usually played after the last one. It's named after Matt Molloy's father (also a flute player) and is associated (in my noggin) with the fiddler Paddy Killoran.

It's a nicer pipe tune than 'Maud' to my mind, and even the G sharp at the end falls in a handy place for the chanter.

Regards,

Harry.

p.s. Never heard him play it, but Leo Rowsome had it. It's on page 38 of the Rowsome Collection.

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Maud Miller’s (Reel)

Well, from obscure piping jigs to very common reels...

This was played at our local shindig last night. I find it's nice to revisit very familiar tunes on the pipes as it often gives me a new angle on 'em.

I had trouble finding this on the chanter until I introduced a slight 'bounce' rhythm, which seemed to help it. It's a short clip this time as I was just experimenting with the rhythm when I recorded it; I didn't really intend to use it here until afterwards.

Regards,

Harry.

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