Ceol na hÉireann / Irish Music, Volume 1, Issue 1, Page 22

Ceol na hÉireann / Irish Music, Volume 1, Issue 1, Page 22
Favourite | Share | Feedback


periodical Publisher
Na Píobairí Uilleann
periodical Editor
Chairman, NPU
periodical Title
Ceol na hÉireann / Irish Music
volume Number
issue Content
34Ceol na hEireann Irish Music35to Cork, he had them shipped behind him, and he got three dozen... and he keptthem at home. And I listened to each and every one of them, but I didnt knowwhat they were, I didnt understand that kind of music. But I still hear them,I still think they are in my subconscious mind. Constantly listening to them,I was only seven, and I listened to those for four or five years, Im sure, non-stop. And Liam Walsh told me, eventually, he got to know Henebry and he setout and he listened to them, and he cogged everything he could from them.Liam could write the stuff as quick as youd hear it, you see. And thats thetime he began to change, he came to see he didnt have what they had.Now the man that taught Liam, just the same, was William Rowsome, andLiam told me, William Rowsome was equally good as that Touhey fellow, he hadthat kind of fingering. But Liam Walsh couldnt get it from him, you see.William Rowsome would not teach him, wouldnt let anyone know, Liam said.Id be going into the house, I could hear the music, he said, playing, fantastic,and his wife let him in, hed go into the room, the music wouldnt stop, but itwould all change into a whole legato , open playing. Hed play the same tune,reverse it, change it all. Walsh couldnt get any of it. I said, how did you everlearn from him? Well, I was to give him a few drinks, he said, and he used toboast, and he played then great... I used to try and keep it in my head, but itwas so difficult. But then, when he found these cylindrical records Im tellingyou about, he really had what he wanted. he was able to transcribe the stuff,and he was able to dissect what these fellows were doing, take it all to pieces,you know. So he changed a good bit later on in life, Id say. He had theopportunity of playing the record, stopping it if he liked, noting down what heheard, and he got the technique, and he had it then, you see, and thats how hegave me an awful hard time. Id say I met him at the right time. He was wellover fifty when I met him.I used to sit on the floor listening to Henebry playing, because it was raining.And perhaps if it wasnt rainy, we wouldnt be in there. His son and I wereterribly quiet as two young lads, there would come no sound out of us, and wesat there for hours, listening to this thing. And hed play away, and we lovedthe sound of his drones. And he thought I had a fantastic interest in what hewas doing, but I hadnt, I was only out of the rain, you know... I dont know ifhe was any good as a player, but to me he sounded fantastic, because I was onlyseven. And Henebry said to my father, this little lad, he is going to be a greatpiper, he comes in and he sits for hours listening.Ill tell you now, he called me then, Im going to make you a nice littlepractice set, and Im going to teach you... He was a most beloved kind of man,he was a great character, you would never do anything to offend the man, youknow. I did not want that instrument at all. Still, I could not refuse him, I wasin an awful dilemma there. And he made it. Now hed make every instrumentwithout any money, youd never give him money. And I was anxious to say tohim, I dont want to learn to play this, I just want to sit down listening. But Isaid nothing, and I used to go. home and practice what he showed to me, and Ikept at it, and I felt under an obligation to him, that I had to do it. And I kept atit. And he said to me, you are getting great, I knew it, he said to me, and hesaid to my father. But I said to my father, I dont want to be playing this thing,Id rather play a clarinet or a trombone. But my father did not interfere.Anyhow, I played that instrument to keep the man satisfied, I couldntdisappoint him. And then he sent me to Liam Walsh, because he found I wasasking him questions that he could not answer me. He did not know enoughabout the technical part. And I had to go. And I went, because he told me. Andwhen Liam got a grip at me, I was worse, cause he wouldnt let me go. But thatwouldnt say that I really loved the instrument then, it was all set and it reallygot a grip at me then, the other way round.Liam was a terrible man for changing the instrument. He could not stick withan instrument, only so long, he kept on changing them all the time. And healways felt that the pipes he was getting, the newer ones, were better than theone he had. There was something there, you know. But they werent anydifferent. And if he heard of a set of pipes at the other end of the country, hedgo all the way looking for them. He claimed they were better than what he hadagain.When I contacted him, I did my time with him a couple of years and I had toget a set of pipes myself. And I got a set of pipes from an old chap calledHenebry. He is dead, long dead now. And his wife offered me four sets ofuilleann pipes at five pounds each. And I said no, I can only play one, I onlywant one. And I got that Henebry set, and Liam heard this and he said to me, Iam kind of retiring from it, I am not as good as I was, I think now, Ill sell youmy set and you give me yours. Now this set was made by a man in Dublinnamed John Clarke. And he sold me the whole lot. I had all the regulatorsgoing, they were all lovely, I went home to learn to play the thing. But I had theset for less than two years, when the set he had, he didnt want it at all, becauseit was in C, and he wanted a concert set. So the next thing he did, he sold themto a man over here in Clare, and he set out to get Leo Rowsome to make a newset all over again. And thats the set he ended up with, thats the set he leftafter dying. And his wife wrote to me in 1964, and she asked me, would I buy
issue Number
page Number
periodical Author
issue Publication Date

Ceol na hÉireann / Irish Music, Volume 1, Issue 1

Related Keywords