Píobaire, An, Volume 4, Issue 40, Page 7

Píobaire, An, Volume 4, Issue 40, Page 7
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Na Píobairí Uilleann
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Chairman, NPU
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Píobaire, An
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13In the year 1940 Leo Rowsome gave abroadcast lecture in Dublin on ‘TheAntiquity and Development of theUilleann Pipes.’ This was illustrated by selec-tions from Leo on the then century-old instru-ment, made by the Maloney Brothers atKilrush. At that time the fascinating instru-ment was the property of Prof. Denis O’Learyof St. Peter’s College, Wexford. Prof. O’Learymanaged toacquire the pipesfor the nation in1906 when therewas danger oftheir being soldout of the country.When he got pos-session of the instrument, it had been lyingidle for many years, but William Rowsomehad it completely overhauled. It is document-ed by Captain Francis O’Neill (who sawProfessor O’Leary’s disjointed treasure inWilliam Rowsome’s shop at 18 ArmstrongStreet, Harold’s Cross, Dublin in 1906): “Itremained silent as a mummy until Mr.Rowsome restored its voice.” The instrumentwas said to be a “hive of honeyed sounds anda monument to the genius of its makers”.The instrument has five regulators with twen-ty-four keys and is made of silver, ebony andivory. The chanter is eighteen inches inlength. It is documented that “when LeoRowsome played the instrument, it had a deepand mellow tone, and both basses resembledthe deep notes of the organ.” It is said that allthe regulator and chanter keys were madefrom crowns and half-crowns. The pipes wereoriginally made by the Moloney Brothers –Thomas, a carpenter and Andrew, a black-smith – at Kilrush in the workshop of ColonelVandaleur, a local Landlord about the year1834. The Moloney Brothers were said to beexcellent performers on the uilleann pipes.No expense was spared in the making, as theinstrument was intended for the Colonel’sson, who, owing to a gun accident which shat-tered his fingers, was unable to make use ofthe gift. The pipesremained on themakers’ hands andpeople came fromfar and near to hearthem played.Unfortunately forthe Moloneys, theFamine of 1847forced them to part with the pipes and theywere sold to a wealthy farmer and excellentpiper named Mr. O’Carroll of Freagh Castle,near Miltown-Malbay in whose family theyremained until Prof. O’Leary acquired themin 1906.On the occasion of Leo’s lecture and illustra-tion, it is documented that “Mr Rowsomeconcluded his broadcast on his own favouriteinstrument – made by himself fourteen yearsago – providing an interesting contrastbetween the old and the new in this historictype of instrument.” This Moloney set of pipes is the instrumentthat was recently exhibited in the Exhibitionof pipes at the National Museum of Ireland inassociation with Na Píobairí Uilleann atCollins Barracks, Dublin. The bellows thataccompanied the set was made by WilliamRowsome, Leo’s father. Helena Rowsome~ Pipes ~The Intriguing Moloney Brothers Set of PipesKen McLeod12favourites here are “Cuaichín GhleannNeifín” and “Eibhleanóir a Rún”. There’s alot to be said for staying close (but not rigid-ly close) to the song and the idea of an airbeing sung, and that’s what David does.In the dance music, he can relax into therhythm of a tune even though he may be play-ing it in quite an intricate way and this skillhelps the overall effect of the music. Many ofthe tunes on the disc are not played that oftenand some of the versions have unusual varia-tions and tasteful note progressions. “PollyPut the Kettle On” and “The Leitrim Thrush”are tunes that I pick out as examples of howto bring out the best in music which at firstsight might seem deceptively simple.The quality of recording is good, as is thesound of his pipes. The regulator use againfits the description of ‘balanced’, and thesleeve notes are well written. There were acouple of (very minor) sonic glitches at thestart of some of the tracks but possibly thatwas just the copy I got and anyway they don’treally intrude. If I have a complaint it is thatthere is only about 40 minutes of music on theCD which could in fact accommodate doublethat, and more than once I found myself, as Ilistened to both dance music and airs, hopingthat he was going to play the tune aroundagain before leaving it. But I enjoyed all the tracks, and he has plentyof time and will do more and different thingswith his music. As far as I know there’s nosuch thing as ever being complete in theworld of uilleann piping, but this is a finemilestone along David Power’s road.Peter BrowneBourke and DwyerMalachy Bourke & Donnacha Dwyer(Self-published)Available from Na Píobairí Uilleann at €20.00 (lessmember’s discount, plus P+P)Malachy Bourke and Donnacha Dwyerplayed in our February recital in TheCobblestone and were very well received.The music consists of solos and duets fromDonnacha (pipes) and Malachy (fiddle), withsome tracks accompanied on the bodhrán byBrian Bourke (un-credited on the CD notes).1 Jigs: Paidin O Rafferty; Gander in thePratie Hole2 Reels: Maids of Mount Cisco; Craig’sPipes3 Reel: Jackson’s Morning Brush4 Hornpipes: Poll Ha’penny; The Tailor’sTwist5 Reels: The Boys of the Lough;O’Mahony’s6 Hornpipes: The Stack of Barley; TheRights of Man7 Jigs: Kitty’s Rambles; Monaghan Jig8 Air: Dark Lough na gCarr9 Jigs: Slieve Russell10 Set dance: Ace and Deuce of Pipering11 Reel: Colonel Fraser12 Reels: The Morning Thrush; Man of theHouse; Tansey’s Favourite13 Jig: Paddy Clancy’s
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Píobaire, An, Volume 4, Issue 40

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