- The Foxchase
- The Wild Geese
- The Dean's Pamphlet
- Gynt at the Gate
- The Winter's End
- After Aughrim's Great Disaster
- Ar Bhruach na Laoi
- Lady Dillon
- Dollards and The Harlequin Hornpipes
- Sean O Duibhir a Ghleanna
Liam O'Flynn - Uilleann Pipes in D, C# and C, Whistle
Bill Dowdall - Flute and Piccolo.
Matthew Manning - Oboe and Cor anglais.
Carl Geraghty - Tenor saxophone.
Fergus O'Carroll - French Horn.
Graham Hastings - Trumpet and flugelhorn.
Noel Eccles - Percussion.
Arty McGlynn - Guitar.
Des Moore - Guitar on **
Helen Davies - Irish Harp.
Sean Keane - Violin.
Nollaig Casey - Violin and Viola.
Adele O'Dwyer - Cello.
Joe Czibi jnr. - Double Bass.
Rod McVey - Synthesiser.
Peter Connolly - Electric Bass on**
Steve Cooney - Electric Bass on *
Paul McAteer - Drum Kit on **
The Voice Squad - Phil Callery, Fran McPhail and Gerry Cullen.
Liam O' Maonlai (appears courtesy of London Records)
Recording Engineer : Brian Masterson.
Produced by : Shaun Davey
Arranged by : Shaun Davey and Liam O'Flynn except where otherwise indicated.
Production Co-ordinator : Gay Brabazon.
Engineer's assistants : Robert Kirwan, Eugene Ryder, Aidan Mc Govern, Willie Mannion.
Recorded at Windmill Lane Studios with thanks to Catherine Rutter, Katy Mahony and Brian Dillon.
1. The Foxchase.
Originally said to have been composed by Tipperary piper Edward Keating-Hyland in 1799. I was first in contact with this piece through Leo Rowsome and later encountered the very different Seamus Ennis version. Both versions have now evolved into this larger and more orchestrated piece arranged by Shaun Davey. This epic piece is perhaps the best existing example of descriptive music composition in the Irish Traditional style, telling the story of the different phases in a typical late - eighteenth century foxhunt.
2. The Wild Geese.
This tune chronicles the departure of the Irish army for France, known as the flight of the Wild Geese, after final defeat at Limerick in 1691. Its curious limping gait demonstrates the descriptive power of Irish traditional music, an aspect which the sparse orchestration is designed to enhance.
3. The Dean's Pamphlet.*
The verses form part of 'An excellent new song on a seditious pamphlet ' dated 1720 and attributed to Jonathan Swift. The 'seditious pamphlet' was Swifts' A proposal for the universal use of Irish manufacture ' in which he advocated the boycott of English goods in Ireland in retaliation for English laws crippling Irelands export trade, particularly in woolen clothing. The dexterity of the lyrics necessitated Rita, who found them, in taking her verses at a slower tempo than the instrumental which follows.
The words were apparently originally set to the air of 'Packington's Pound'. This version is set instead to the tune of 'Tatter Jack Walsh' and may perhaps be permitted to demonstrate the continuing tradition of setting new words to existing tunes.
4. Gynt At The Gate.**
Derived from a section of Shaun Davey's score for the 1988 Gate Theatre production of Ibsen's 'Peer Gynt'.
5. The Winter's End.
Adapted from Shaun Davey's score for the 1992 Royal Shakespeare Company's production of 'A Winter's Tale', the melody occurring in the final scene at the point where a statue comes to life and past hurt is healed. The melody here alternates between pipes , cor anglais and oboe.
6. After Aughrim's Great Disaster.
The Voice Squad here sing their own superb arrangement of the great traditional song which relates to the defeat of the Catholic Irish forces at The Battle Of Aughrim in 1691, one in a series of battles fought on Irish soil between King James 11 and William of Orange.
The initial impulse was to combine song and instrumental versions within one track, but as they evolved it became clear that each had to stand separately . The same basic melody receives a purely instrumental treatment at the end of the album under its alternative title 'Sean O Dhuir a Gleanna'.
Specially composed to honour present - day descendants of Grace O' Malley (Granuaile), the full title of this piece is 'The O' Malley Blackwells Of Ross'. It is interesting to note the special character that traditional fiddle playing can bring to a piece that is broadly classical in conception.
8. Ar Bhruach Na Laoi. (By
The Banks of the Lee)
I first heard this little - known song from Aine Ui Cheallaigh of Ring, Co. Waterford. It comes from the 18th Century Munster tradition of 'Aisling' or 'version' poetry in which the magical apparition of a beautiful woman came to be recognised as a symbol of an oppressed Ireland. Here the instrumental and vocal versions run together and we are grateful for the vocal in Sean Nos style by Liam O' Maonlai and the remarkable ad lib fiddle of Sean Keane and the synth. chording by Rod McVey.
9. Lady Dillon
A tune composed in two sections by the Irish harper Turlough O' Carolan during the first quarter of the 18th Century, one of many he composed in honour of his patrons or, as in this case, patroness.
By way of experiment, the arrangement attempts to take what might otherwise be interpreted as a traditional tune closer to the classical baroque style of Carolan's European contemporaries some of whom he may have met while in Dublin.
10. Dollards and The Harlequin Hornpipes.*
These two fine hornpipes come from the great Kerry fiddle tradition associated with Padraic O' Keeffe and Denis Murphy via Johnny Leary and his daughter Ellen.
11. Sean O Duibhir A Ghleanna.
(John O' Dwyer of the Glen) - the alternative title of the song 'After Aughrim's Great Disaster'. This impromptu instrumental version is led by the free phrasing of the air on pipes, supported by Sean Keane's great ad lib fiddle playing and accompanied by Rod McVey's carefully chosen synth. chording.
The title of this album comes
from a line in Seamus Heany's wonderful poem 'The Pitchfork' and
I am deeply grateful to Seamus for it .It sums up for me the often
venturesome nature of music.
Liam O' Flynn
Phil Callery, Ciaran Mac Mathuna, Nicholas Carolan of the Irish Traditional Music Archive. Sheelagh Hickey of Sunnyhill. Alfred Cochrane and Frank Carroll. Suzanne Murphy. Frank Harte.
Dr. Daithi O'hOgain.