Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Journal of Music in Ireland Unlocks Its Archive

Really, really cool:

JMI: Journal of Music in Ireland today announced that it is unlocking its entire online archive.

The resource, which can be accessed free at http://thejmi.com/archive, comprises the complete back-catalogue of the magazine and contains hundreds of articles, interviews, reviews and listings.

The publishers of JMI believe the move will stimulate international interest in Irish musical life and provide valuable exposure to Irish musicians and composers.

What can you find in there? Post the most interesting links in comments. I notice:

I'm going to be busy with this for quite a while.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Kitty Hayes

I am saddened to learn that concertina player, and widow of flute and whistle player Josie Hayes, Kitty Hayes died at home in Shanaway Miltown Malbay this past Saturday. Her friend, Peter Laban, has posted a heartfelt obituary. Here are some wonderful videos of Kitty and Peter playing together. They also recorded a well-reviewed CD together, and Kitty recorded a solo CD, as well.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Breathe Often

My teacher gave me a great tip about how to learn where to breathe: Learn the tune with a breath in every measure. Then you'll be able to take a breath whenever you need one, and you won't always do it in the same places, which makes the tune sound repetitive.

Sunday, April 06, 2008


I've decided that I had better post more photos from the 2007 Dublin Irish Festival before the 2008 Festival rolls around! So here are some photos of Téada.

It was raining cats and dogs when I pulled into the festival on Sunday afternoon. The police had shut the festival down because of the danger of lightning. They told me at the entrance that only "participants" (entertainers) were being allowed in. When I produced a participants' ticket, they told me that I still couldn't go in. Go figure.

Eventually, the gates were opened. When I got to the tent in which Téada would be performing, it was almost empty, although it filled up quickly as people came back into the festival. The band came in and started setting up their instruments and doing sound checks.

Here's a photo of flute player Damien Stenson during the sound check.


Yes, that is a B♭ flute on his lap. No, he didn't play it during the show. Before the show started, an audience member (not me!) walked up and asked to try his flute. He handed it over to her, seemingly without a second thought.

The band also includes bodhrán player Tristan Rosenstock:


...fiddler Oisín Mac Diarmada, Paul Finn, playing button box:


Seán Mc Elwain plays guitar and bouzouki.


Readers familiar with Téada's earlier incarnations will notice that this is a substantial change in lineup from the performers featured on Téada's first couple of albums. To my ear, their sound is different as well. No matter how you felt about their previous work, I think that their most recent album, Inné Amárach, deserves a listen with a fresh ear. There's a wide variety of tunes, mostly dance music, but not just jigs and reels. There are no songs; the album is strictly instrumental. It really is a "new band." The title is Irish for "Yesterday Tomorrow," and I think it perfectly captures the spirit of the album — an obvious knowledge and respect for the sources of traditional music inside of a contemporary sound. The US version of the album includes a promotional DVD about the band which is in much the same spirit. Besides featuring Téada, it also includes (short) interviews with Peter Horan, Sean Ryan, and Verona Ryan. The DVD is interesting, but unfortunately doesn't focus on performances of complete tunes. The CD, however, is first-rate playing from start to finish. I really like Inné Amárach.

Friday, February 01, 2008

I'm Not Dead

In case you wondered. But my home computer is.

Lucky I can make music without a computer these days.

Here are some folks who've linked to me recently: