"Séamus Ó Rócháin - uilleann piper: An Buachaill Dreóite"
A friend, a piper, shared his pleasure about making this purchase and started me looking for it. When I realized it wasn’t here I thought I’d add it, with hopes that someone who has the recording will comment on it. I’m going to see if I can get my friend to do so. When I finally get it in my ears I’ll try to remember to return with some comment. In the meantime, here’s an extract of the notes that come with it, but another fine uilleann piper, Peter Browne:
This is a fine set of recordings from Seamus 0 Rochain. They show his musical skills, in particular those practised and valued by uilleann pipers, and also his very good understanding of what traditional music is about; how to play it with feeling and respect and get the best out of it.
We know that Seamus’ native county of Clare has a rich and diverse musical tradition and from times past we can find written accounts and folklore which tell of pipers and pipemakers playing and living there long ago. In more recent times, Miltown Malbay, where he grew up, was the home place of pipers Willie Clancy and Martin Talty. They listened to and learned from musicians living locally, as well as famous visitors the Doran brothers, and they also benefited from hearing music that had been handed down through Willie’s father, Gilbert Clancy, from the celebrated blind piper from Inagh, Garrett Barry.
All of this tradition has been available to Seamus and he has absorbed it well. Being a musician of today, he also has taken influences and tunes from a wide selection of sources and they all blend in well on this disc. He is joined on a couple of tracks by a good friend and an excellent tin whistle player and teacher who is a relation of Willie Clancy, Brid O’Donoghue (tracks 1 & 9).
Seamus’ use of a flat (B) or low toned set of pipes also helps to bring out the gentle nature of the music and the entire collection has warmth and a beauty which makes it well worth hearing and it will bring lasting enjoyment to the listener.
- Peter Browne, uilleann piper & RTE producer
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Sigh, a flat set, another recording on my wants list… 😉
Thanks for sharing, C. ;)
“Séamus Ó Rócháin - uilleann piper: An Buachaill Dreóite”
I’ve been waiting for my friend to come by and leave some comment. That hasn’t happened yet, but now I can. I love it, raw pipes, and a flat set, Coynes, and respect for the notes too. There are two tracks, 1 & 9, where Séamus’ pipes are blended with the music of another respected talent, Brid O’Donaghue on whistle. Here’s a little on those lovely pipes, from the notes:
The set of pipes used on this recording was made by a pipe maker called Coyne in the first half of the 19th century, probably around 1840. At the time there were a few exceptionally good craftsmen making uilleann pipes, most notably Kenna, Colgan, Egan, and Coyne. The pipes at this time were generally flat pitched and because of their richness of tone many pipe makers today model their work on the makers from this era.
All that is known for certain about this particular set is that Willie Clancy acquired them while living in London in the mid 1950s. One theory is that he bought them in a pawn shop, although I heard more recently that he bought them from the fiddle player Jimmy Power who was living in London at the time. Jimmy had emigrated from Co. Waterford and his father had played those pipes before leaving them with Jimmy. Being mainly a fiddle player Jimmy hadn’t much use for them and as they were originally a left-handed set they would have suited Willie Clancy. Apparently Willie paid £5 for them! In 1973 my father bought them from Doreen Clancy and Dave Williams from Yorkshire (R.I.P. - a great and generous character and gifted instrument maker) had them changed to a right-handed set.
Discussion: pipemaker Dave Williams has passed away