NEWSFLASH : Josephine Keegan releases new collection of tunes
Following on from the release of 2002’s "The Keegan’s Tunes" which featured a massive selction of her original compositions, Josephine Keegan has just released a collection which features tunes drawn (mostly, but more of that later) the tradition.
"A Drop In The Ocean - Traditional Irish Tunes Collected by Joesphine Keegan" features some 260 reels, 64 hornpipes, 131 jigs, 46 single jigs, 26 slip jigs, 33 "miscellaneous" tunes (airs, waltzes, barndances, marches, etc.) and 58 original compositions.
The beauty of a highly personal collection of tunes is that it represents a little window into the collector’s soul. Unlike, say, O’Neill’s collection - fine fine fine though it is, but in one sense a race against time effort to set down tunes from here, there and everywhere before they disappear - these tunes carry the stamp of having been played by a gifted and insightful musician; they’re a part of the Keegan and they’re a part of her legacy to current and future generations of musicians.
No doubt I and other musicians will add tunes from this collection to our repertoire and no doubt when playing them, no less than when playing her own compositions, we’ll pay a spoken or silent tribute to the Keegan for the gift of the music.
As regards the original compositions, I hesitate to say it in case it sounds like bragging, but Josephine has included 7 of my own compositions in the book. To see my humble efforts sitting alongside great tunes from the tradition, as well as those new tunes written by luminaries such as Josephine Keegan herself, Seamus Connolly, Joe Burke, John Daly, Billy McComiskey and others is a source of great pride for me personally (particularly since one of the tunes she’s included is named after my maternal grandfather, Arthur John Donnelly, RIP, and I’m delighted to see him given this tribute).
I’m not 100% sure yet how you would go about getting hold of a copy of the book and the retail price. I’ve asked Josephine for details and I’ll pass these on as soon as she’s responded. "The Keegan Tunes" was distributed by Ceol Camloch and I assume that this will be the case with "A Drop In The Ocean". Watch this space.