Has anyone here heard Irish Music being played on a Hurdy Gurdy?

Has anyone here heard Irish Music being played on a Hurdy Gurdy?

Running quickly away from Penguins the other day, I came across Neil Brook’s CD - ‘Rambles Through the Park’ - ‘Traditional Irish Music played on Hurdy Gurdy & Megalin’.

Anyone familiar with this CD?

To hear four tracks from Neil’s CD, check out his ‘Space’ at:

http://www.myspace.com/gurdymaker

To learn more about this CD, how to get your hands on a copy & get some tips from Neil on which tunes might be useful to try out on your own Hurdy Gurdy, go to Neil’s website & click on the link in the bottom right hand corner: ‘*Irish Music on Hurdy-gurdy:

http://www.hurdy-gurdy.org.uk/

To learn more about Neil’s ‘Megalin’ & other ‘Double Necks’ check out his link for: * Fretted Instrument Catalogue.

This gives me a good excuse to direct anyone interested in learning more about the Hurdy Gurdy itself, to my own web page on the subject, which could be a good starting point:

http://www.causewaymusic.co.uk/hurdy_gurdy.html

So, does anyone here actually play Irish Music on a Hurdy Gurdy?

We all know Andy Irvine accompanied a song on a Planxty LP many, many years ago, but was that it?

Has anyone in the North of England heard Neil Brook, or anyone else, playing Irish Music on a Hurdy Gurdy in a session & if so, what did you think?

Re: Has anyone here heard Irish Music being played on a Hurdy Gurdy?

Andy Irvine once again on a slow version of ’ Wild Rover No More’ from the live album by Patrick Street. That’s all I know of.

Re: Has anyone here heard Irish Music being played on a Hurdy Gurdy?

Henk, it looks like Andy used his Hurdy Gurdy on this Album too:

‘EASTWIND’:
Andy Irvine & Davy Spillane“Andy Irvine of Planxty fame who is credited with having revived Old Time Irish music plays the bouzouki and hurdy gurdy with great talent and total committment.”

http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A2SRZQU1SZG4RR/104-0513151-5688760?ie=UTF8&display=public&page=10

&:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00000IHCM/ref=cm_aya_asin.title/104-0513151-5688760?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v=glance&n=5174

& of course:

https://thesession.org/recordings/228

Re: Has anyone here heard Irish Music being played on a Hurdy Gurdy?

Yes! ~ I loved it. I even got caught up in a real BUZZZZZZZ ~ the first time a bunch of musicians were outnumbered by the ‘Crankies’ ~ NINE OF THEM!!! ~ six fiddlers or thereabouts, even more buzz than drums or winds…but it was a hell of a lot of fun… We did tend to play more French and Breton during that time, go figure…. 😉

Somehow I just knew this was another Ptarm thread. You just get a feeling for them. Maybe it is in the wording? 😏

So when can we expect the one about the traveling Cimbalom player?

Re: Has anyone here heard Irish Music being played on a Hurdy Gurdy?

There are a couple of players here in southern california that play irish jigs on their hurdy gurdys. Delicate sounding and very nice.

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Re: Has anyone here heard Irish Music being played on a Hurdy Gurdy?

wasn’t "Planxty Irwin" ont the first Planxty record played by Andy Irvine on the hurdygurdy?

Re: Has anyone here heard Irish Music being played on a Hurdy Gurdy?

Brian MacNeill played the hurdy gurdy - did he ever record while playing it??

Re: Has anyone here heard Irish Music being played on a Hurdy Gurdy?

On the CD ‘Broken Hearted I’ll Wander ‘ Dolores Keane played: hurdy gurdy, flute, concertina, bodhran & whistles:
http://search.reviews.ebay.com/Broken-Hearted-Ill-Wander_UPC_048248300421_W0QQfvcsZ1226QQsoprZ3104613


Anwyn & George Leverett play some Irish music using a Hurdy Gurdy:
http://aroundthehearth.com/


Interview with Andy Irvine:
http://mandozine.com/resources/CGOW/andyirvine.php

“Q - Do you bring a hurdy-gurdy with you when you tour? What model do you play and often do you use it? Is there any chance you’ll make another "homemade" record like "Rain on the Roof" in the future?

A - I rarely play the Hurdy Gurdy these days. My instrument was made by Peter Abnett in 1972. It had a perspex wheel and spring loaded jacks, all of which totally bemused the H/G community in France and Germany! It’s a hard instrument to maintain. The number of times it has turned into a squalling howl in the middle of a slow song doesn’t bear thinking about.

I pick it up every now and again. I would like a new and better one but the price is high and doesn’t seem justifiable for me.”

Re: Has anyone here heard Irish Music being played on a Hurdy Gurdy?

I heard a while back that the english Hurdy Gurdy society had been wound up (sic).

Re: Has anyone here heard Irish Music being played on a Hurdy Gurdy?

behave you will be asking if its been played on a didgeridoo next

Re: Has anyone here heard Irish Music being played on a Hurdy Gurdy?

Hey! I do it every Monday at the session in our town (Traverse City, MI, USA). Sometimes I am just playing chords, it’s true, and I am (I hope) careful about not drowning out folks, but I also usually have one solo moment which people seem to really enjoy when I play Atholl Highlander, or some polkas. My gurdy has a beautiful low melody string, too, which allows me to be a cello or viola on some of the slower aires and waltlzes. I’ll be appearing at a couple of Celtic Fests this fall—playing Breton tunes as well.

Re: Has anyone here heard Irish Music being played on a Hurdy Gurdy?

ptarmigan—-I’ll be going to a bluegrass festival in a few weeks and my friend says some friends of hers are coming who have a band that plays a mix of traditional music on hurdy gurdy, great highland pipes, and harp! Have no idea what this sounds like, but I will definitely ask if they do anything Irish and report back to you. I’m looking forward to seeing what they do up close!

Re: Has anyone here heard Irish Music being played on a Hurdy Gurdy?

Well, our session irregulars include Mark, who turns up with hurdy-gurdy and lowland pipes, the man just drones on all night ( LOL ), but he tends to play europaen rather than irish tunes on them ( yes, I know we’re all europaens now ).

Re: Has anyone here heard Irish Music being played on a Hurdy Gurdy?

Only active group I know about that uses hurdy gurdy is Le Vent Du Nord, a Quebequois group. They play jigs and reels of the Candadian variety, which is not far from Irish music in its sound….they are a great group, worth checking out.

Re: Has anyone here heard Irish Music being played on a Hurdy Gurdy?

Dulcie22, great to hear your playing your Gurdy at sessions. I play a few simple Irish tunes, but play far more French & Breton tunes on mine.

Perhaps because all the recorded Gurdy music I have, or nearly all, is ‘European’, it somehow sounds more authentic than the Irish & Scots tunes. I suppose the answer is that I should probably should be playing more of the latter!

Kennedy, your friends group sounds interesting. Please let me know the name so that I can check out their website - Ta
A Bluegrass festival eh?
Perhaps you will enjoy this clip of Gurdy & G Banjo:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qaMbz6VyTg


Aye Pete, I make the same mistake - it is hard to think of ourselves as European, isn’t it. Probably should be much easier for you though, given your location! I wonder if anyone else plays Pipes while Mark Gurdys? Great combination of instruments that.

Thanks for the tip Al, I’m off to see if I can find the ‘Le Vent Du Nord’ website.

Re: Has anyone here heard Irish Music being played on a Hurdy Gurdy?

Hi all, I’ll be visiting my daughter in West Hollywood LA from 12 Sept to 3 Oct. I’ll be bringing my midi hurdygurdy along and it would be great to get together for a session . I can be contacted on 323-571-2311 or neilbrook@talktalk.net .
As well as the gurdymaker myspace site, I have put some French style tunes on http://www.myspace.com/neilbrook which may be of interest.
Responding to showaddydadito, the UK hg society has sadly passed away but we have a new, thriving forum going at
http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/HurdyGurdyForum/

Re: Has anyone here heard Irish Music being played on a Hurdy Gurdy?

It can be done - but it’s extremely difficult. There’s Youtube footage of the French gurdist Grégory Jolivet playing Irish tunes on the gurdy, and looking quite pleased with himself into the bargain. But then he can. His mastery of the instrument is second to none.

Re: Has anyone here heard Irish Music being played on a Hurdy Gurdy?

Some great insights above on playing Irish music on the hurdy gurdy. Neil Brook’s cd? Fantastic! I play the hurdy gurdy in sessions here in Wisconsin. It seems to blend in really well. I also play it on stage with the band Atlantic Wave, http://www.atlanticwave.us/. There aren’t any gurdy tracks posted (yet). Glad to see someone mentioned George Leverett (http://www.altarwind.com). I am the proud owner of one of his fine instruments. The hurdy gurdy is totally underrated, and really has a place in this music. Here’s virtuoso (Gregory Jolivet) rippin’ through some good ol’ tunes while a Jackie Daly clone looks on approvingly: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtvtyF1oktQ


buzz buzz buzz!!!

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Re: Has anyone here heard Irish Music being played on a Hurdy Gurdy?

I play gurdy too, but not Irish music. There are a number of issues that make the gurdy less than ideal:

Firstly it doesn’t fit at all well with the typical Irish instrument line up - you can do it in an amplified band where you can balance levels, but take a gurdy to an acoustic session and you won’t make any friends at all.

Secondly there is the problem of keys - a traditional C/G gurdy plays in C or G (and even then needs a trompette re-tune between the two) A D tuned gurdy only plays in D. Irish music uses a variety of modes, and has a habit of switching mode/key between, or even within, tunes.

Then there is the issue of range - a lot of irish tunes use the full fiddle range - up to top b. The gurdy stops at top g. Drop the tune an octave and it falls off the bottom of the keyboard.

Lastly, playing at jig or reel tempo is very hard work, and not something you would want to do all evening.

There is any amount of French and German dance music in the gurdy repetoire - far better to play that on the gurdy and Irish tunes on Irish instruments.

I remember in the early days of Blowzabella, Sam Palmer decided there must be usable Irish dance tunes. He trawled through the whole of O’Neills, and came up with… absolutely nothing. As you say, Neil Brook plays a few Irish tunes, but whether he actually plays Irish Music or not, I’ll let others decide for themselves.

Re: Has anyone here heard Irish Music being played on a Hurdy Gurdy?

I play a hurdy gurdy with chantrelles tuned to octave Ds, with a range that pretty much parallels the Irish flute. It’s fully chromatic and therefore can play quite a variety of tunes. If I want to play tunes that don’t fit with D or G drones, I simply shut them off. The lowest note is a "D", just below the staff, and the highest is a high "B"(above the staff).

There are many different designs and varieties of hurdy gurdies. The one I play has stops on the drones that can be pulled or pushed (not unlike an organ) rapidly to facilitate key changes. I don’t restrict myself to Irish music, but am often experimenting with new tunes, and developing my repertoire. I’m able to keep up just fine with the session on the tunes I know, and haven’t felt restricted or encumbered by the instrument at all. The volume is just right. Maybe I happen to play with a friendly group of musicians, but they all appreciate hearing it join in.

Just to set a goal for myself, I actually competed in the Fleadh with it in the Miscellaneous instrument category. The instrument was received enthusiastically by the adjudicator, AND it met with a great deal of interest and support throughout the weekend.

So, nothing but positive results and acknowledgement from my corner of the world!

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Re: Has anyone here heard Irish Music being played on a Hurdy Gurdy?

I love the gurdy but it has it’s place and time and that usually isn’t too often in Irish trad. It does work for it with certain tunes/songs but gets old fast. Someone out here brings a gurdy to one of the sessions. Sounds great but I’m thankful (that is, my ears are thankful) after 10 minutes or so when it gets put down.

All in all - nice in small doses in Irish trad.

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Re: Has anyone here heard Irish Music being played on a Hurdy Gurdy?

Yes, I’m aware of 3 hurdy gurdy players who have delved into Irish tunes on this instrument with good effect.

— 1): starting in the mid 1970’s, Michael Hubbert (who now lives around Boonville, CA) started making hurdy gurdies & wound up playing with Mickey Zekley (of Lark in the Morning) in the popular Irish band of "Mooncoin." He made extraordinary mountain dulcimers with CapriTaurus Dulcimers in Felton, CA in the 1970’s & currently makes amazing uillean pipes. Here’s a sample of Michael on hurdy gurdy playing the "March of the Kings of Laois":
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJHfLRN98YY


— 2): French hurdy gurdy player extraordinaire Gregory Jolivet has played Irish tunes on the hurdy gurdy. I once came across a youtube video of him playing his wheel fiddle at a music festival in Ireland. That was a few years ago. When I’ve gone back to look for it lately, I can’t locate it. But here he is playing something else:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cub3w-lFjBE


And here’s Gergeory Jolivet playing his gurdy with Christie Burns on hammered dulcimer, another unusual musical pairing:
https://soundcloud.com/christie-burns/gregory-jolivet-hurdy-gurdy


— 3): And finally, a hurdy gurdy player appeared on the Ould Sod virtual Irish session hosted by Michael Eskin out of San Diego this past week (Tuesday, April 6, 2021). My wife told me about it, since I wasn’t able to make the session that evening. Michael Eskin may well recall the player’s name & where he was located.

— 4): And FWIW, here are a bunch of us (several who also play Irish music) performing a French 3/8 bourree ("Lo Crusado") at Stanford Hospital with—among other instruments—a hurdy gurdy. Both I (far left on hammered dulcimer) & Lee Anne Welch (my fiddling wife on my right) actually play more Irish music than French, but also really enjoy playing French trad dance tunes!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zna3XtNubcU


BTW, Lee Anne Welch & I will be leading an Irish session this coming Sunday (April 11, 2021) at Camp Harmony (the San Francisco Folk Music Club’s virtual weekend music camp). Come join us, but be sure to sign up or you won’t be allowed in. And it’s free! Michael Eskin will be joining us & helping make sure the whole show keeps on keeping on with his technical wizardry & knowledge of Zoom!