Perpetual Motion - MOC 001
Máirtín O'Connor
Album Sleevenotes



Audio Samples
(1) Fandango
(2) Rags to Rock n' Roll
(3) Happy Hours
(4) Carnival of Venice
(5) Perpetual Motion
(6) Ebra Polka
(7) Emerald Blues
(8) Cajun Medley
(9) Beau St. Waltzes
(10) Bulgarian Jig
(11) Sophie from Sofia
(12) Midnight on the Water
(13) Hound Dog


Máirtín O'Connor CDs available online include
Perpetual Motion

The Road West

Rain of Light


Sleeve Notes

Máirtín O'Connor: Two-row button-key accordion (D/D sharp system)
Garvan Gallagher: bass (tracks 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9)- James Delaney: keyboards (tracks 2, 4, 5, 6, 8)
Jimmy Faulkner: guitars (tracks 1, 10, 11, 13) - Colm Murphy: bodhran (tracks 1, 3, 10, 11, 13)
Brendan O'Regan: Bouzouki, mandolin (tracks 3, 10, 13) - Martin Murray: violin (track 5)
Garry O'Briain: guitar (tracks 4, 7) - Paul Grant: - guitar (tracks 6, 7)
Geraldine Cullen: Cello (track 5) - Bobby Bible: keyboards (track 7, 11)
Marty Mancho and H.D. Schwartz: - percussion (track 7)

Produced by Máirtín O'Connor
Co-produced by Garvan Gallagher on tracks 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9.
Recorded and Engineered at Beau St. Studios, Beau St. Waterford City by Martin Murray
Mixed at at Beau St. Studios by Máirtín O'Connor and Martin Murray
Cover Design: by Joe Boske. - Back Cover Photograph by Sietske O'Connor
Special thanks to:
Sietske O'Connor, Martin and Anne Murray, Joe Hegarty, Brendan O'Shea, Barry Higgins, Jane Bolton, Sandy Harsh, P.J. Curtis, Jackie Small, Joe Crane, Mairead O'Reilly, Jerry Danaghet, Paul Thomas, Ciaran Ownes, James and Margaret Delaney, Gerry O'Connor, John and Sheila O'Meara at the King's Bar, Andy Dickson, Ciaran Carson, Geert Oude-Weenink, Len Graham, Tommy Sands, Dessie Wilkinson, Phil Cunningham, Eric Visser, Joe O'Reilly, Tom Moore, Anne for the coffee.
'Carnival of Venice' is for Nancy Iverson, Many thanks to all the musicians who played on the album.
Thanks to Saltarelle Accordions

The accordion is a much-maligned instrument. The late Seán Ó Riada was of the opinion that it was 'designed by foreigners for the use of peasants with neither the time, inclination nor application for a worthier instrument', while Ambrose Bierce, in his 'Devil's Dictionary', called it 'an instrument in harmony with the sentiments of an assassin.' Certainly, the term 'accordion' covers a multitude of sins, and exists in many different shapes, sizes, tunings and systems, from piano-keyed and five-row to the simple one-row melodeon. Máirtín's box, the two-row pitched in D/D sharp is one of the earlier, and simpler versions: and one of the most difficult on which to handle the kind of music you will hear on this album. I think Yeat's dictum, that 'rhetoric arises from our quarrel with society, poetry from the quarrel with ourselves,' is appropriate here: the beauty of this music lies in the wit and humour with which Máirtín resolves his quarrel with himself and his instrument. And the resolution is not one of mere technical virtuosity: these pieces are an expression of a distinct personality to which music is as natural as conversation, with all that conversation implies: stories, jokes, yarns and general crack.

Those who come to this music expecting 'Irish Traditional' might be disappointed; I hope not, since I believe that traditional musicians have always been open to influences. Máirtín, in his musical rambles round the world is only extending an attitude which existed for centuries. Maybe that's why it is called 'Perpetual Motion' - an ongoing discussion with people, places, tunes and happenings: an ongoing battle with his box. But I've said enough: let Máirtín speak for himself.
Ciaran Carson


Track Notes

Fandangos do not have titles as such; I first heard this one while travelling in the Basque country.

Rags to Rock 'n' Roll consists of two old American rag tunes given to me by the fiddler Ruth Dornfield. Garvan's bass playing on the second tune gave rise to the track title

The first tune of the Happy Hours set is called 'Birdie'; it comes from Nashville-born fiddler and tree-surgeon Henry Benagh. Happy Hours was written by Emile Vascher.

The Carnival of Venice was suggested to me by P.J. Curtis

'Moto Perpetuo', from which the album title Perpetual Motion is derived, was written by the legendary Nicolo Paganini (1782 - 1840). On first hearing this piece I was struck by its eccentric nature: hence the slightly eccentric version.

A friend of mine was visiting one day and I asked him to guess where The Ebra Polka came from. 'Germany'. says he. 'No, I'll tell you what...maybe, it's definitely, yes, it must be an Irish tune!' 'Well believe it or not,' says I, 'This tune actually comes from the Ukraine in the Soviet Union.' To which he replied, 'Isn't it amazing the places you find Irish music these days!'

This next tune begins with Emerald Blues a harmless little tune I wrote a few years ago.

Cajun Medley is basically a set of three Cajun tunes. 'The Waterpump' was written by D.L. Menard; I have no title for the second one, and I got the third from a recording given to me by country musician Chris Meehan.

These are two Beau Street Waltzes. French accordion player Jo Privat wrote the first, 'The Mysterious Waltz'. The second is an Italian waltz called 'The Flowers of Venice'. I learned it from an old 78 given to me by the tin-whistle player Seán Ryan.

I learned The Bulgarian Jig whilst rambling through that well-known province of Bulgaria - Lopez island near Vancouver.

Sophie from Sofia is also Bulgarian in origin and came in even more puzzling circumstances. It was learned from an old broken, glued-together 78rpm record while driving through Camden town in the back of an old delivery truck on a frosty night in 1981.

Midnight on the Water, one of my favourite tunes of all time, is old-timey American in origin.

Hound Dog consists of two old-timey American tunes, 'Angeline the Baker' and 'Barlow Knife', that I learned from American harmonica player, Matt Gordon.
Máirtín O'Connor

For details regarding bookings please contact Annagh Music, Annaghdown Pier, Annaghdown, Co. Galway. Phone +353 (0)91 791474; email moco

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