Con Durham

Con Durham

I have had this CD Champions of Ireland for a few years and have tried to source the sheet music the way Con Durham plays many of these tunes? Did he ever have the sheet music written down or was it down to just the sheer talent of the man to take a tune and put his own twist on the tunes as many uilleann pipers do but he seems to have had the knack to make them sound very different to others?

Re: Con Durham

I had the pleasure of playing in a session with (the sadly now late) Con Durham about 8 years ago. I doubt you will find his exact versions of tunes in sheet music - unless anyone has transcribed his recordings. I remember that he played a lot of Sliabh Luachra repertoire, not often heard on the pipes, so you might try looking to recordings of players like Padraig O’Keefe, Johnny O’Leary, Denis Murphy and Julia Clifford, for the source of some of his tunes.

I’m not convinced that sheet music would really convey Con’s individual take on the tunes, anyway - it may give you the notes but probably not the phrasing, rhythmic emphasis and so on.

Re: Con Durham

I had the pleasure of playing in a session with (the sadly now late) Con Durham about 8 years ago. I doubt you will find his exact versions of tunes in sheet music - unless anyone has transcribed his recordings. I remember that he played a lot of Sliabh Luachra repertoire, not often heard on the pipes, so you might try looking to recordings of players like Padraig O’Keefe, Johnny O’Leary, Denis Murphy and Julia Clifford, for the source of some of his tunes.

I’m not convinced that sheet music would really convey Con’s individual take on the tunes, anyway - it may give you the notes but probably not the phrasing, rhythmic emphasis and so on.

Re: Con Durham

He was involved in the compilation of the music collection "Pota Stóir"
You can look at a copy of it in the Kerry Library service.

Re: Con Durham

Thanks for your replies? There is no doubt that Con had an individual style and phrasing along with his talented playing but I will check out the information you supplied, Thanks again.

Re: Con Durham

Con was influenced by the music of Sliabh Luachra but he lived in West Kerry for thirty years and played a lot of those slides and polkas.He was taught by Leon Rowsome, Dan Dowd and John Keenan. You will not find much by way of notation or sheet music, Con also didnt always play the tunes the same way every time in fact when I suggested he mime to playback to do a music video (I cant believe now how off the mark I was) Con said it was impossible because he had no idea how he was going to play it and he certainly could not replicate what he would do on the regulators. He was instinctive and played from the heart and he played so much he had the technique mastered it didnt hinder him. He encouraged listening and playing by ear.The music video never happened but I filmed forty minutes of him playing on his own in my house about six years ago. This needs to be graded and Donagh Hennessy is working on improving the audio. It will be available to view as a work in progress at the event to commemorate Con on June 15th 2013 in An lab, Dingle. Cúirt an Phíobaire. We will have a Piper’s Chair and Dave Hegarty is doing a piping master class. There is a Concert which is €15 but the other events are donation at your own discretion. Proceeds to Kerry Hospice and Irish Cancer Society. Details on facebook event at Remembering Con.