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Archive for December 2013

O’Dwyer’s (Hornpipe)

The hornpiping will continue until morale improves!

This is another one from the Lomax archive of Seamus Ennis tracks that is linked to above.

It's a bit of a show piece (or a test piece in my case) for the tight-ish triplets around the notes B and A. These are quite a feature of Ennis's playing style.

I love the unexpected second part that hops up to the high C natural out of nowhere. For me that saves the tune from being standard hornpipe fare.


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The Groves (Hornpipe).

The inspiration is hoppin' off me.

I went back to look at this canonical Ennis hornpipe after being reminded of THIS cluster of recordings made of Ennis by Alan Lomax.

The tune presents a few wee challenges in negotiating the C natural fingering from high F sharp, especially in the last part. If you're Seamus Ennis you do it brilliantly and then throw in a few extra variations to put manners on it. If you're me then you do what you can.

Ennis' understated use of tonal variation in the playing of this is really something else. It gives the thing a life of its own. He plays in glorious Technicolour and 3-D.




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The Boyne Hunt (Reel)

I haven't had much time to be able to pipeate with recently, but I was inspired to play regardless thanks to being reminded of THIS webpage by one Mr. Touhey (a fine piper, yes, but he has not made any wax cylinder recordings that I am aware of). So, here's a lash at The Boyne Hunt somewhat after Prof. Ennis.

Click on the link above and you can hear Seamus go to town on two takes of this nice old reel. It's particularly interesting to hear how he playfully varies the twists and turns of his melodic variations across both tracks. Fantastic stuff. Good old Alan Lomax.

Regards to all,



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