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Archive for August 2012

Jenny’s Wedding (Reel)

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This is another of the tunes that Breandán Breathnach (pictured above) included in volume 1 of Ceol Rince na hÉireann accredited to his old pipes teacher John Potts.

It's a very fine piping tune, and I would have dearly loved to have heard Potts playing it (or indeed playing anything!) The opportunity to play the plaintive, accented C natural against a load of crans and tight-ish high F articulations is very satisfying.

I don't know who Jenny was, but there's a slew of tunes named after her (or after all Jennies in jenneral?) All reasonable revelations regarding her identity and character are welcome!

Regards,

Harry.

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This tune can be found in Mitchell's The Dance Music of Willie Clancy (no. 126, page 102) . It's clearly related to the tune popularly known as Scully Casey's but differs considerably, particularly in the second part, to the version that's commonly played in sessions.

Scully Casey, father of Bobby Casey, was an influential fiddler from near the Crosses of Annagh outside of Milltown Malbay. Clancy held his playing in high regard.

I think I've got my good mic working now, but I lost all my EQ settings when my hard disk died, so I'll be a while tweaking things to get a decent sound again.

Regards,

Harry.

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The Pinch of Snuff (Reel).

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Well, here it is such as it is, back after the summer hiatus and a broad raft of technical hitches (which are ongoing!)

This is one of my favourite reels on the pipes, this version coming from Seamus Ennis. It hails from Donegal, and has a fairy abduction story to it involving enchanted snuff. Ennis said that the opening bars of the first part represent the words of the title 'the pinch of snuff, the pinch of snuff, the pinch of snuff...'

I put in the Ennis-type inverted crans here as I think they make for a great rhythmic dog's leg in this piece.

You might notice a strange, aural effect on this recording, especially at the end... I think my computer recorded me on the inbuilt mic as opposed to the nice plug-in one I got. It sounds like somebody lightly playing a new age synth pad behind me where the drones should be. It's obviously the fairies making their presence know, the wee feckereens!

Hopefully I'll be able to put a tune up from time to time when these matters are smoothed out.

Regards,

Harry.

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