Píobaire, An, Volume 5, Issue 2, Page 3

Píobaire, An, Volume 5, Issue 2, Page 3
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periodical Publisher
Na Píobairí Uilleann
periodical Editor
Chairman, NPU
periodical Title
Píobaire, An
volume Number
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Ihope you enjoy as, I did, the transcriptionsTommy Keane made of Tommy Reck’spiping in this edition of An Píobaire. I wastotally captivated by Tommy Reck’s playingthe first time I heard it on that wonderfulrecord The Drones and Chanters vol 1. I usedto borrow it frequently from the music sectionof Belfast Central Library when I began tolearn the pipes in 1976, and remember beingfrustrated when I had to return it as I hadexceeded the number of consecutive loans Ihad incurred with it. Later that year I boughtmy own copy following a trip to Dublin and Iremember being both delighted and surprisedto find the record still was available. For me,Tommy’s playing was a revelation. I head lis-tened a lot to Willie Clancy, Séamus Ennis,Leo Rowsome, Paddy Moloney, LiamO’Flynn and Paddy Keenan, but there was auniqueness and a richness in Tommy’s pipingwhich had, and indeed still holds, a greatattraction for me. His ability to use deft stac-cato fingering in passages where few otherswould have used it was one of the most inter-esting aspects of his playing. In so doing hevery often gave great charm and authority tosettings of the tunes he played, and this wasone of the most appealing hallmarks of hismusic.I was always very fond of close playing andTommy’s playing of, for example, “TheScholar”, remains one of my favourite record-ings of piping. The more I got to learn aboutTommy’s background, the more I becameintrigued by his playing. The fact that helearnt both from Leo Rowsome and JohnPotts gave him a comprehensive understand-ing of the potential for both close and openfingering and he used both to great effect,very often one approach balancing or evencountering the other. A comparison of thetunes Breandán Breathnach transcribed fromJohn Potts, which Tommy had learnt fromPotts’s playing, shows that Tommy adheredvery closely to John’s settings, so while wehave no recordings of the piping of JohnPotts, when we listen to the recordings ofTommy Reck we are not very far removedfrom John Pott’s piping. It’s worth remember-ing that one of John Potts’ teachers was thegreat Nicholas Markey who taught at theDublin Pipers’ Club in the early years of thetwentieth century. As we are drawing close to the summerschool season I would recommend that thosepeople with an interest in developing theirskills consider attending an event which willsuit their needs. It is always a good idea togive some thought as to what sort of a classwould best suit your own particular needs. Atthis year’s Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy, NaPíobairí Uilleann will be organising a rangeof different classes which will cover a varietyof skills required to mastering the instrument,as well as the pipemaking and reedmakingclasses, which will be run by David Quinnand Bill Haneman. I hope that people get asmuch out of the classes this year as othershave in the past.Robbie HannanChairman3
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Píobaire, An, Volume 5, Issue 2

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