For yesterday’s overdue song of the day, I chose this tune composed by Irish harper Turlough O’Carolan, and played by two American folk musicians – Margie Butler and Florie Brown. – Both Margie and Florie are also members of a Celtic folk group called Golden Bough, a few of whose tunes I have also shared recently. I believe this tune was originally a reel, but they play it a bit slower here.
Today I’d like to share with you another tune composed by Turlough O’Carolan. It is also known as Young Terence MacDonough or Lament for Terence MacDonough. Terence MacDonough was a man who lived in the 17th and 18th century in county Sligo. He was a lawyer, a soldier, a poet and a patron of other poets and artists. At the time of his life, he was the only Catholic counsel who was admitted to the Irish bar. This tune mourns MacDonough’s death, although in one source I’ve read that it is not about his death, but that of his son.
Patrick Ball who plays this tune is not only a harpist, but also a passionate storyteller. He was born in California, but currently lives in county Clare in Ireland. He plays a wire-strung harp, so just like original Irish harps.
Today I’d like to go back once again to the Irish harpist Lynn Saoirse’s album The Seas Are Deep, which contains compositions of Turlough O’Carolan. As is clear from the title, this tune is also a plenty, although unfortunately I don’t have the slightest idea who Michael O’Connor was in O’Carolan’s life. But that’s the cool thing about planxties (similarly to Sámi joiks) that you can try to imagine the person for whom it was composed based on what it sounds like, at least that’s something I like to do.
This is another plenty tune composed by the blind Irish harper Turlough O’Carolan. As its title says, it is dedicated to Miss Elizabeth McDermot Roe, and as I’ve already written previously, McDermots were O’Carolan’s strongest supporters and patrons. His father worked for them as a blacksmith, and after his death, it was Mrs. Anne McDermot Roe who gave Turlough education and essentially helped him become a harper, and they maintained a good relationship throughout his life, so no wonder that he has created numerous planxties for them, some of them I’ve shared before played by different people. Elizabeth was the daughter of Anne and Henry McDermot Roe.
For today, I chose another piece composed by the Irish harper Turlough O’Carolan. It’s played by the Irish Celtic harpist Grainne Hambly, by whom I’ve shared one other tune on here. As you may know and as I already wrote before when sharing Turlough O’Carolan’s tunes, he composed a lot of his songs for specific people, usually his patrons. And I guess sir Arthur Shaen must have been one of them. He seems to have been a baronet of Kilmore.
Today I thought I’d share with you this lovely harp piece called The Celtic Sonata, as it consists of three movements, each of them being a traditional Celtic tune. The first one is a reel called The Star of Munster. The second – Cremonea, also known as Cremonia, which is the anglicised spelling of its Irish title Croí Muimhneach (Munster Heart) – is a tune composed by the blind Irish harper Turlough O’Carolan. The third one is called Glenlivet, and I’ve already shared a different version of it in the past, played by Kim Robertson.
Diana Rowan is a Celtic harpist and pianist from Dublin, but currently lives in the US, although she also travels a lot as she does a lot of concerts and gives lectures.
Today I’d like to share with you another tune composed by Irish harper Turlough O’Carolan and performed by Lynn Saoirse, from her album The Seas Are Deep. This one is a planxty honouring a man called Loftus Jones.
I have already shared with you two versions of this Irish tune composed by Turlough O’Carolan, one played by Lynn Saoirse and the other by Celia Briar, and today I thought I’d share another one, this time played by Clannad. You can click the above links to learn a bit more about the song.
Previously, I have shared with you this composition of Turlough O’Carolan played by
Nadia Birkenstock, Celia Briar and Lynn Saoirse, and now I thought I’d share with you yet another version of this beautiful tune, played by another harpist whose music I’ve been sharing with you quite regularly, that is Delyth Evans, currently known as Delyth Jenkins, whom you may also recognise as part of the D&A duo which she forms together with her daughter Angharad who is a fiddler. You can find out more about this song and its origins clicking the links above.
Today I’d like to share with you yet another composition of Turlough O’Carolan played by Lynn Saoirse. THis is one of O’Carolan’s most famous tunes, which I’ve already shared in the past played by another Irish Celtic harpist Celia Briar. This is a planxty dedicated to Eleanor Plunkett of county Meath.
This mournful piece I’d like to share with you today was composed by Turlough O’Carolan, an Irish harper and composer whose many compositions, played by different harpists, I’ve shared on here so far. Nadia Birkenstock is also someone whose music has been featured on this blog a couple times before. This time round, she plays this together with the French cellist Roxane Genot. I love the combination of harp and cello so much, though cello always makes me sad because it reminds me of my late friend Jacek from Helsinki who played this instrument. As for Owen Roe O’Neill, he was a soldier and leader of one of the Irish Catholic revolts against the rule of England.
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to share the song for yesterday on time as I had a migraine so I’m doing it today. I thought I’d share with you another song composed by the Irish 19th century harper Turlough O’Carolan, whose compositions, played by different artists, I’ve already shared many times on here. He dedicated a lot of his tunes to people that were important in his life, particularly his patrons who supported his career and development as a musician, and it’s no different with this piece. Mrs. MacDermot Roe was actually someone of key importance in O’Carolan’s life because it was thanks to her and her family that he became a harper. It is in her house that he seems to have found a second family home and that’s also where he died. She was the wife of his father employer, who took care of young Turlough’s education when he lost his sight at eighteen due to smallpox. She paid for his training, and then gave him money, a guide, and a horse, so that he could travel round the country and compose his music and earn a living this way. Most often I’ve shared with you O’Carolan’s pieces played by the Irish harpist Lynn Saoirse, but I don’t think I’ve ever shared his music played by Clannad before. Specifically, it’s Maire/Moya Brennan (who’s also the vocalist) who plays the harp in their family band.
Time for another piece from the Irish Celtic harpist Lynn Saoirse’s album The Seas Are Deep, with music composed by the 18th century Irish blind harpist Turlough O’Carolan. As I mentioned when talking about several other pieces from this album, O’Carolan often dedicated his music to his various patrons who supported him throughout his career, that’s why many of his tunes have different people’s names in their titles. I’m not sure who Mr. O’Connor was for him exactly though. As you’ll be able to hear, this piece consists of two parts. The first, longer one is a waltz, and the second, as is easy to figure out from the title, is a jig, although usually this piece is simply called Mr. O’Connor/O’Conner unlike on Lynn Saoirse’s album. While this piece is delightful in its entirety, I really really love this first, floaty waltz part.
Today I have for you yet another piece composed by Turlough O’Carolan played by the Irish Celtic harpist Lynn Saoirse, and at the same time yet another rendition of “Carolan’s Farewell to Music” on this blog. You might wonder why I’m talking about “Carolan’s Farewell to Music” when the song title that’s in the post title is “Carolan’s Dream”. The explanation is as simple as could be – this song is known under these two titles. – Actually more than two titles, as originally it was called “Molly McAlpin”. I was wondering for a long time how come “Carolan’s Dream” and “Farewell to Music” are essentially the same tune. A while ago I finally did some research and it turns out that the “Carolan’s Farewell to Music” name seems to be incorrect, but still in use nevertheless. Also, it’s apparently not O’Carolann himself who wrote the tune, but William Connellan. O’Carolan really liked it though and might have modified it. I’ve read that he is claimed to have said that he’d like it much more if he composed “Molly McAlpin” alone than all the other tunes he did compose himself. That would make the story of him composing “Farewell to Music” on his deathbed, that I mentioned when sharing
I’ve shared with you quite a few track from the Irish Celtic harpist Lynn Saoirse, specifically from her album called The Seas Are Deep, with music composed by Turlough O’Carolan. Today I thought we’d listen to the title track, which I absolutely love for its melancholic and slightly dark feel.
Today, let’s listen to another composition by the Irish harper Turlough O’Carolan, played by Lynn Saoirse. I recently shared one that was dedicated to Mrs. MacDermott, and I wrote there that the MacDermott family was very significant in O’Carolan’s life, as they were his patrons with whom he had a really good relationship. Even though there is a / in the title of this piece, which is common with Irish sets, this is only one piece, but simply known under two names. This is because the MacDermot Roe family also used the title of princes of Coolavin, and so naturally the daughter of a Prince of Coolavin was Princess of Coolavin. This is one of the most well-known compositions by O’Carolan.
Hi to all you lovely people after a bit of a break! 🙂
I was on a trip to Masuria with my family, hence there were no posts from me for a while. Among all the amazing harpists I love whose music I’ve introduced to you on here, never before have I shared anything from Nadia Birkenstock, so now is the time. Nadia Birkenstock is a Celtic harpist as well as singer from Germany, but known in Celtic music circles around the world. I’ve been aware of her music for many years but only recently started listening to her music a lot more. She learned to play harp at a young age but received formal training later in the US, from, among others, the American Celtic harpist Kim Robertson, whose one piece I’ve shared on this blog as well. She plays a lot of traditional Celtic music but also composes her own material.
This particular tune is a traditional one. Last year I have already shared with you a tune called
and said how I think it’s very depressing and wondered why such title. Then months later I decided to broaden my knowledge about Turlough O’Carolan a bit. I always found him very interesting but decided I really want to get to know him a bit better than just the basics. What I learned has interested me further and now I’m looking for some books about his life and also music. Over that period of time, I finally learned why such a depressing title of Celia Briar’s tune, as it is the name of the last composition of O’Carolan, that he played shortly before his death. He could feel that his life was about to end, and thus decided to go to the home one of his patrons, the one with whom he had a very close relationship – Mrs. McDermott Roe – and played this song while there. That was where he later died, surrounded by friends.
And, for today, I picked for you guys a piece played by Lynn Saoirse, from her album The Seas Are Deep, which features compositions by Irish Celtic harper Turlough O’Carolan. As I’ve already written on here before, what was characteristic to Turlough O’Carolan’s music was that he composed a lot of tunes in honour of his patrons, as a way of showing his gratitude. That’s what we can find on this Lynn Saoirse’s album. This is a piece which, as you can figure out from the title, is dedicated to the two mentioned ladies. Unfortunately I don’t know who they were in his life, but he has composed multiple pieces for people with the surname Nugent, so I guess all we can assume is that they must have been some family he knew, whereas there is more than one piece dedicated to Mrs. Maxwell, so she must have been an important person in his life. Seeing all those people’s names though and hearing the music he composed for them, I’d really like to know a bit more about them to have a clearer picture of things.