I have lived for most of my life in the Isle of Man but now spend time in Wales and Spain each year, where we have met some great trad musicians. I play mandolin and banjo, and travelling around I have visited quite a few sessions, such as in Caceres, Tournay, Pau, Cardiff, Newport, Bangor (Wales), Dublin, Dundalk, Newcastle (Down), mostly with my wife (bodhrán and fiddle). We hope to get to many more!
I am also interested in the historical side of traditional music(s) and have published a book of Manx session tunes Manx Traditional Music for Sessions, which includes a brief history of traditional music in the Island, the circumstances of its revival, and consequences of that revival (if anyone is interested in the subject, contact me). The book is previewed on Nigel Gatherer’s excellent site: http://www.nigelgatherer.com/pigpipe/manx.html, or go to: http://www.manxmusic.com/publication_type_index_69791.html.
And now (because the world needs more Irish music books … ) I’ve brought out a second edition of a book of tunes transcribed from the audio collection made by Sean Craig, published 20 years ago and long out of print. Sean made the recordings in the 1980’s and 90’s at Fleadhanna in Ireland and although he was born and bred in Antrim he has lived since the late 60’s in the Isle of Man.
The recordings were transposed for the first edition by fiddler Tony Hopson, who published them under the title: Sean Craig’s Tunebook. Sadly, Tony passed away soon after it was published, Christmas 1998, and I have re-published it with corrections and further additions under the title: A Fine Selection of over 200 Irish Traditional Tunes for Sessions. Sean didn’t want his name on the front cover again … thus the new title.
We met Matt Cranitch and his wife Liz at a Fleadh in Spain and he agreed to write a Forward for me. He recognised a few of the tunes in the selection were also in his Irish Fiddle Book, first published in 1993, and so his theme for the Forward is the constant recycling of tunes in the Irish repertoire, and the hope that the book will prompt some of the lesser played tunes to be revived.
Message me if you’re interested in either book.