Feed on
Posts

Archive for November 2011

Time Marches On…

One-Candle-cake.jpg

It seems like only yesterday when I uploaded the first sound file here (which sounded like an bum take from a wax cylinder recording session that had been rejected for particularly bad sound quality)... but it was actually a year ago today.

So thanks to all the people who have visited here 22384 times (last count); or to the one man or woman (let's face it, probably a man) who has visited 22384 times (last count). What can I say, if that's the case then you should get out more, buddy... and have some cake.

Pipe on, mo bros and sistos!

Read Full Post »

Within a Mile of Dublin (Reel)

SMcAloon.jpg

(Popular Irish postcard image of Sean McAloon)

Neil suggested this reel for inclusion and I'm happy to oblige as it's a great piping tune, and it's also nice for concert pitch (which I'm trying to play a bit more of these days).

You can hear the Fermanagh-born piper and pipe maker Sean McAloon play an interesting setting of this reel HERE.

McAloon lived much of his life in my hometown of Belfast. He was a big fan of Leo Rowsome's style of playing, as can be heard in the fine, flowing rendition linked to above.

Regards,

Harry.

00:0000:00

Read Full Post »

This seems to be a turn on the 'Connie the Soldier' theme. There are a lot of versions of that tune, but this one is particularly nice methinks. Breathnach collected it from his old pipes teacher Sean Potts under the 'Connie' title, and so it appears in Ceol Rince na hÉireann vol. 1.

I have Willie Clancy playing it in my ear mostly. He can be heard playing it in great style on the recently released RTE Clancy compilation.

I'm back into the unfamiliar territory of concert pitch here, so that woke me up (along with the rest of the parish).

Regards, H.

00:0000:00

Read Full Post »

The Flax in Bloom (Reel)

Well, here's that nice elegant old reel that I was inspired to revisit after listening to Gay's performance below.

My fist at it is very much after Ennis who really made a piping meal of it.

This reel too has strong associations with Scotland and was recorded by the greats such as Coleman, Morrison and Conlon in the 78 era. I probably learned it first on flute from that fantastic rendition on Tansey's 'The Best of Seamus Tansey'.

Regards,

Harry.

00:0000:00

Read Full Post »

The Braes of Busby (Reel)

This is an old Irish piper's take on a once famous 18th Century Scottish dance tune.

Ennis and Clancy and Rowsome all had it in their repertory, and it's making a bit of a comeback in piping circles recently with people like Gay McKeon giving it a good airing. You can hear Gay's fine rendering of it HERE.

Incidentally, I've been meaning to record the first tune that Gay plays in the link above: 'The Flax in Bloom'. Very nice piping piece indeed. If I'm not accosted by daemons, fairies or the Sea Cat in the interim then I'll put to it in the cold, thin light of the morn.

Regards,

H.

00:0000:00

Read Full Post »

Cherish the Ladies (Jig)

Well, here you go ladies. I was just reviewing Willie Clancy's take on the first two parts of this old peach and I thought it so nice and pipeylogical that I said I'd record a whack at it.

O'Neill associated this tune with the 18th Century composer Walker 'Piper' Jackson. It's probably most well known as one of Michael Coleman's greatest hits from the 78 era.

Plenty of things to consider when playing this on the chanter. Too many to mention maybe. The main thing I found was that it was tempting to play it too tight and clipped when separating all the double notes... but that's no way to treat a lady.

Regards,

Harry.

00:0000:00

Read Full Post »

The Galtee Reel.

I've been on tour in Germany for the last month or more. A different town and hotel and venue nearly every night... the buzzword for the trip is "intense", and I'd add in "tired" and "emotional". It was a great group of people though, no head-the-balls (except possibly me), so we were very lucky I think.

Anyway, what better way to start back on this errant piping venture than with a very intense reel. I had the good fortune of touring alongside a great piping duet and guitarist/singer combo called REALTA from near Belfast. We had a blast, and it was good to be able to try out all my rusty belfastisms on them to see if they were still current (the good ones still are anyway, it turns out). MY POINT (ahem)  is that Realta played a version of this great reel. It came, as far as I am aware, from Willie Clancy and can be found under this title in the Pat Mitchell book of Clancy tunes.

The poet Ciaran Carson once extolled that quality of Irish dance melodies where they are both happy and meloncholic at the same time... I think that is a very valid appraisal of the emotional content of a lot of the music; this tune definitely slopes towards the downer side of the emotional scale though, and when I come back to my senses I'll try to put something 'happy' up to balance that out.

Regards,

Harry.

00:0000:00

Read Full Post »