Pat Higgins

tunebook 3 tunes.

Irish tune jockey.
Galwayman living in Wellington, New Zealand.
Passionate about Irish traditional music and acoustic music in general.

In the beginning, there were Ceili Bands. OMG. The percussion, and the piano.

Celine Hession was teaching "step dancing." Boys, arms down by their sides, wearing jackets and skirts to dance in. What was that about ?

I grew up next to the eastern shore of Lough Corrib, unaware of ITM or not appreciating it until I reached my 20’s. When I did take notice, I heard a kind of musical motif that seemed to reappear in the music. I now recognise it as something akin to the shape of the opening bars of Drowsy Maggie.

Around this time, I heard Josie McDermott on the TV, he was sitting in front of his fireplace playing a black flute, I was struck by the sound of the instrument, and the idea of making your own music.

This was more like it.

So I got a whistle and discovered Miko Russell, and then Mary Bergin.

For me , ITM is a path to self-expression, its off grid, low tech, high payload, and free. I lost my way for a while ‘cos I couldn’t get over some hurdles, and strayed into the dangerous thrall of the Anglo Concertina. Played a Lachenal for a while, loved it, ( thats a lot of music in your lap ) but I’m back on the true path now.
I play a wooden flute ( Rudall Carte by Wylde No.6950 Made in 1886).

I LOVE the fact that those people in the 19th C. ( and perhaps earlier) , could make an instrument that can deliver so much to a diligent musician. It seems to me to be the same kind of intelligence that created Scots Single Malt.

Along with Bob Bickerton, I co-founded CeolAneas ( ). An annual event in June based on the Willie Week/Drumshambo model.

FACT: Humours of Lissadell and Jackson’s Favourite are the two best reels in Irish Traditional Music. Everyone knows that.
Heres me and The Gold Ring: