Slow Airs

Slow Airs

Hi,

I was just thinking that i’d really like to learn some slow airs, as at the moment i don’t know any. What would you recommend?

Whats your favourite? Is there such a thing as an Air thats particularly suited to the fiddle?

Cheers in advance

ps if there is somewhere on the interweb where i can listen to the tune(s) you recommend, i’d be very grateful if you could mention it. thanks again

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Re: Slow Airs

Funny I was thinking the same last night. I had a few airs from which I can only hum a line or two floating about in my head. I’d also like to find the dots if they exist on the interwebnet. Any good sites?

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I often look to the O’Regan’s tune list if only to compare what our brethren in Montreal are playing compared to their cousins down the country in dear old Tronna, but, while the slow tunes in the above link are lovely in their own right I’d hardly call them slow airs, some would be more like waltzes or pieces. A quick search through past discussions reveals a plethora of links ands opinions as to the same.

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The Dark Island is one of my faves.

Mary

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Miss Hamilton is my all time favorite. And then any OCarolan.

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The 1850 O’Neill’s has a large airs section.
It gives the book atmosphere.

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An Feochan composed by Tommy Peoples is brilliant.

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An Cuilin (the Coolin) is one of my favourites.

Also the fairest rose by Tommy Peoples. I love the way he plays it into a hornpipe.

He is a legend.

oh, the ould resting chair is beautiful too.

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Lament for Staker Wallace…..

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An Buachaill Caol Dubh is a favourite of mine, also An Raibh tú ag an gCarraig.
There is a book called 110 best slow airs, published by Waltons, Dublin, which might help you, which you can get with a CD of the tunes , but I haven’t heard the CD so can’t really comment on the quality of the playing.

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The Waltons slow airs CD set is fine for learning the tunes. It’s quite functional - gives you the air played one time through (mainly fidlle or low whistle/flute), which is probably suitable for you to learn it and to skip through the CD to find the ones you like. Not the type of CD you’d stick on for listening pleasure, though.

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I think that this topic came up recently but I can’t find the thread. That time I recommended Tomás Ó Canáinn’s book of slow airs and accompanying tape and it would still be my favourite source of tunes. Regarding favourites, they’re all there from An Cúlín to Táimse im Coladh, An Raibh Tú ag an Carraig, etc, etc. My own personal favourite in the book is Geaftaí Baile Buí.

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cheers for all the replies, I’ll have to be buying me some of these books and CDs

I’ ve just been learning the air that Peoples plays before “Farewell to Ireland” on high part of the road. I think I’ll have to learn reel as well.

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Some of my favorite slow airs for fiddle are:

An Raibh tú ag an gCarraig
Táimse Im Chodladh
An Cúlín
An Buachaill Caol Dubh
The Blackbird
Lament for Staker Wallace
Sliabh Geal gCua
Sliabh na mBan
Amhran Na Leabhar
Na Connery’s
Bean An Fhir Rua
Bean A’Leanna
The Wounded Hussar
The Green Linnet

If you want, I can list some good fiddle albums that have these airs on them. Many slow airs that are well suited for the fiddle are also pretty commonly played on whistle/flute, too, so that’s another place to look if you have a few whistle or flute albums

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ooh! list away! i need some more music.

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Limerick’s Lament, Roisin Dubh, An Maighdein Mhara, An Eireann….For Ireland I would not tell her name, there are hundreds of beautiful airs. Unfortunately I don’t understand dots, ABC or such, so I just learn them by ear.

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Ok…I’ll just go with the list of airs I posted before, and the albums I got them from.

1. An Raibh tú ag an gCarraig: Brian Conway, First Through the Gate
2. Táimse Im Chodladh: Matt Cranitch, Take A Bow
3. An Cúlín: Brian Conway (with Joe Burke & Felix Dolan), A Tribute to Andy McGann
4. An Buachaill Caol Dubh: Matt Cranitch, Give It Shtick (also Sean Potts on the Boston College Gaelic Roots 2-disc CD)
5. The Blackbird: Andy McGann, A Tribute to Michael Coleman
6. Lament for Staker Wallace: Brian Conway, My Love is in America (Boston College Irish Fiddle Festival 1991), or Eileen Ivers, Wild Blue
7. Sliabh Geal gCua: Tony DeMarco (with Brian Conway), The Apple in Winter (it’s called the White Mountain on the album, but it’s the same tune)
8. Sliabh na mBan: Frankie Gavin, Fierce Traditional (he plays flute on this track), or Seamus Connolly on the My Love is in America album mentioned above
9. Amhran Na Leabhar: Patrick Mangan, Farewell to Ireland
10. Na Connery’s: Matt Cranitch, Take A Bow
11. Bean An Fhir Rua: The Chieftains, Very Best of the Claddah Years or Water from the Well
12. Bean A’Leanna: Oisin MacDiarmada, Ar An Bhfidil
13. The Wounded Hussar: l learned it from my teacher, but it’s on the Chulrua album Barefoot on the Altar (a very different version than I have though, played on the pipes, so I’m not sure how well it would work on the fiddle)
14. The Green Linnet: PJ Crotty (with James Cullinan), Happy to Meet (flute track)

Based on the fiddle players you named in your profile, I’d say we have similar tastes in fiddle styles. I’d guess that you’ll like most of these albums if you don’t already have them. Most of these albums are of sort of Sligo/New York/Michael Coleman type players, with some similar but slightly different styles occasionally.

*Just a tip–when you’re learning airs off CDs, make sure to listen closely to the phrasing. It’s a good idea to play along with the recording to get the timing right. It would be great if you could get your hands on some recordings of sean nos singing. That’s the absolute best way to learn slow airs, as they were all originally sean nos songs before they were played on instruments. Hope all this helps!!

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Oh, bodhran bliss reminded me of another one…
Lament for Limerick: Martin Hayes, Lonesome Touch, or James Kelly, Traditional Irish Music

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My harp playing friend does a lovely ‘Water Kelpie’
I do not know where she found it. The Solas version posted here is in a different key & a bit different.
https://thesession.org/tunes/1589
I may post her Abc’s in the “Comments”
Cillian does a beautiful recording of An Buachaill Caol Dubh on the Callan Bridge CD.

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Casadh an tSugan and stuff by Lasairfhiona

also Slive Gullion Braes.

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Asokan Farewell.

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Ashokan Farewell with an H.

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cheers everyone. Thanks for the big list FidDLe01

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Ashokan Farewell is a newly composed American tune (American meaning not an Irish-style tune). Still nice, but just so you know it’s not Irish.

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There’s the Wandering Whistler site. -it’s for whistle obviously, but it’s got a good collection of Airs (and anything else) that you can hear MIDI’s (and often recordings) of, so I imagine it’d be a good call for anyone

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Waves of Kilkee––Joanie Madden, whistle

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