Liam O'Flynn : Uilleann Pipes, Whistle
Steve Cooney : Guitar, Bass Guitar, Digeridoo
Arty McGlynn : Guitar
Rod McVey : Synthesizers, Hammond Organ, Harmonium
Noel Eccles : Percussion
Sean Keane : Fiddle
Rodrigo Romani : (Milladoiro) Harp
Xose V. Ferreirós : (Milladoiro) Gaita (Galician
bagpipes), Tambourine, Oboe
Nando Casal : (Milladoiro) Gaita (Galician Bagpipes),Clarinet
Ciaran Mordaunt : Side Drums (Track 10)
Andy Irvine : Vocals, Mandolin
Paul Brady : Vocals, Mandolin, Piano
Produced by: Shaun Davey
Executive Producer: John Cook
Recording Engineer: Brian Masterson
Additional Engineering (Tracks 8 & 13): Pearce Dunne
Assistant Engineers: Conan Doyle, Rob Kirwin
Recorded at: Windmill Lane Studios, Dublin.
1. O'Farrell's Welcome to Limerick
Also known by the Irish title "An Phis Fhliuch".
This is a very old slip jig and an especially fine piping tune.
The tune is played on the 'flat' set of pipes (Bb) and this, combined
with the style of accompaniment which includes Steve Cooney on
didgeridoo, underlines the inherent earthiness of the tune.
2. O'Rourke's, The Merry Sisters,
These three reels take me back to my time as a pupil of Leo
Rowsome. As well as being my first pipes teacher, Leo made my
first 'practice' set of pipes and since then I have always played
a Rowsome set of pipes. So in fact Leo has been literally
part of my music-making from the beginning. I remember him with
great affection and owe him a very great debt of gratitude.
3. Come with me over the Mountain,
A Smile in the Dark
Here is a typically fine song from Andy Irvine, with Andy
in especially good form. The jig "A Smile in the Dark"
that follows the song was composed by Andy and it 'fits' the pipes
4. Farewell To Govan
This tune was composed by Phil Cunningham as the theme for Bill
Bryden's Glasgow stage production of "The Big Picnic".
It is one of several which Phil very kindly sent to me while I
was preparing material for this album.
5. Joyce's Tune
The original title of this tune is "An Speic Seoigheach".
The meaning of the word Speic is obscure but apart from "Joyce's
Tune" the title has been translated as "The Cry of the
Joyce" and also "The Joyce's Country Greeting".
The air was collected by Edward Bunting at Ballinrobe, County
Mayo in 1792.
6. The Green Island, Spellan The
These two hornpipes I will always associate with home and
my parents, where I first heard them.
7. Foliada de Elviña
A 'Foliada' is a traditional Galician dance rhythm. This tune
which comes from Elvina, originally an old Celtic town now on
the outskirts of A Coruna, dates from around the beginning of
the 20th Century.
8. Ag Taisteal NA Blárnan
(Travelling Through Blarney)
Tradition has it that the great 18th century poet Eoghan Run
O'Suilleabhan, was working as a spailpin ( migrant farm labourer)
for a farmer near Blarney, Co. Cork. One day, on hearing the people
of the house discussing poetry, he offered an opinion and was
laughed at. To prove his point Eoghan composed the poem "Ag
Taisteal NA Blarnan" with complex metric and rhyming patterns
to fit the existing tune "Staca An Mharaidh". This is
the tune we have here. The original title "Staca An Mhargaidh"
( The Market-place Idler) is not the most charming title for such
a beautiful tune! I am very grateful to Eamonn Brophy for the
background information to this tune.
9. The Rambler, The Aherlow Jig
These are two double jigs. The character of the first is ideally
suited to the tin-whistle while the second is a natural piping
10. The Smith's a Gallant Fireman
This is a four part Scottish strathspey which Sean Keane introduced
me to some years ago. The side drums are played by Ciaran Mordaunt
and the effect I find very exciting indeed.
11. Romeo's Exile
A Shaun Davey piece composed for the Royal Shakespere Company's
1995 production of "Romeo and Juliet".
12. The Rocks of Bawn
The tune of this song is an old version which I heard Willie Clancy
play many times. Paul Brady's inimitable interpretation gives
this song a new lease of life.
13. Cailín NA Gruaige Doinne
(The Girl of the Brown Hair)
This version of the slow air I learnt of from the singing
of the Brendan Begley from Baile Chnocain in Co. Kerry. The song
tells of a young peasant farmer who falls in love with a beautiful
girl whom he can never have.
14. (a) Teño UN Amor NA
This is a tune form a traditional Galician song, the title
of which means "I have a Love in the Mountains".
14. (b) Alborada - Unha Noite no Santo Cristo
As with the Foliada, Alborada (meaning 'Sunrise') refers to
a traditional Galician rhythm. Tunes of this name are traditionally
performed on the mornings of Fiestas. The rest of the title translates
as 'One Night in Santo Cristo', and the tune comes from the RIAS
BAIXAS region of Galicia. These two tunes, along with Foliada
de Elvina, come from the repertoire of Milladoiro.
There has always been a classical
quality about Liam O'Flynn's playing, a level, confident strength:
you feel that he is unshakably part of a tradition. But there
is something up and away about his style, a sheer delight in his
own personal impulse. His great stature as a piper turns out to
be one more instance of the truth of Oscar Wilde's paradoxical
law that in art the opposite is also true: in other words, behind
these tunes you can hear freedom as well as discipline, elegy
as well as elation, a longing for solitude as well as a love of
On the occasions when I have shared a programme with Liam, I have
always felt strengthened by being within his piper's field of
force, in touch with a deeply intuitive and sympathetic nature.
In fact, my sense of him is well summed up in a couple of lines
form the poem which provides the title for this disc: He strikes
me as one of those fulfilled spirits who have "gone alone
into the island/ And brought back the whole thing". In The
Given Note we hear a master at ease in his art, taking pleasure
in the sheer act of music-making, on his own and with his peers.
This is work that lifts the heart.
ON THIS THE 25th ANNIVERSARY OF HIS
DEATH, THIS ALBUM IS DEDICATED TO LEO ROWSOME(1903-1970) WHOSE
CONTRIBUTION TO IRISH TRADITIONAL MUSIC, AND TO THE UILLEANN PIPES
IN PARTICULAR, IS INESTIMABLE.
Nicholas Carolan and Glenn Cumiskey of the Irish Traditional
Music Archive, Mick O'Brien, Alan Froment, Eamonn Brophy, Michael
Copeland, Martin Carrigan, Dr. Rionach ui Ogain of the Dept. of
Irish Folklore U.C.D., and to Seamus Heaney for the kind words
and another fine title.