Siar

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Chaith mé fhéin agus mo dheaide lá thiar in Inis Bearachain le cairde ag tógáil pictiúirí, ag caint ’s ag comhrá agus ag smaoineamh siar ar an seansaol. Chas muid ceol sa seanscoil agus is ann a tógadh na pictiúirí don albam seo. Ba saghas oilithreacht domsa a bhí ann… téann laethanta mar seo níos mo i bhfheidhm ort nuair a thosaíonn tú ag éirí níos sine agus do thuismitheoirí ag dul in aois. Níl aon chall dom an bhrí atá i gceist agam le Siar a mhíniú do mhuintir na Gaeltachta agus lucht na Gaeilge… is iomaí ciall is féidir a bhaint as.

If I am going to make so bold as to inflict fifteen tracks of my own composition and a classical track on the traditional music world I ought to offer some context by way of explanation. Like many musicians I know, music dominates my private life, my social life and my public life. It is fair to say that my life is about music and so it follows, and this is my own personal credo, my music should be about my life. It should be about my family, my friends, musicians I admire, musicians who are no longer with us.

Now, music per se is not about anything. It is about itself and that is what makes it the most mysterious and elusive of all the art forms. Neither is it the most important thing in life. Family, friendship and love are more important, but I doubt there is a more powerful vehicle than music for expressing how we feel about these things. So, on that note, I offer these pieces of mine; these souvenirs, mementos and recollections in music of a life among family and friends, of encounters with great musicians, and of some sad and many joyful events. This is my attempt to convey my feelings about all this through music.

The word Siar has many layers and shades of meaning to a native Irish speaker, but in the context of this album it evokes the awareness of belonging, identity and roots, my father’s island, his music, the language and unique culture of Conamara and my own place within it.

Ach is é an ceol fhéin an teanga is tabhachtaí ar fad, an teanga is éasca a thuiscint, oscailte do chuile dhuine agus neamh-chonspóideach, agus mar sin tá súil agam go dtaitneoidh an ceol seo leat más Gaeilge, Béarla nó Swahili a labhrann tú.

Le deá-ghuí, Johnny Óg.

Track Listing

    1. Sean Gannon’s / Colm’s Happy Days! (Flings)
    2. The Buncrana Boy / The Coleman-Kreisler Hop Jig (Hop Jigs)
    3. Waltz an Chleamhnais – Conamara Wedding Waltz (Waltz)
    4. The Monaghan Fiddler / The Laird of St Johnston (Hornpipe & Strathspey)
    5. Planxty Dordán (Planxty)
    6. Caoineadh Mhaolra Seoighe – Maum Trasna Lament (Lament)
    7. Homage to Rooney Jig / The Roscrea Lass (Jigs)
    8. In the Warm South (Waltz)
    9. The Summer Bride’s March (March)
    10. Seáinín’s Rambles in London Town / Ríl Sheosaimh (Reels)
    11. James’ Way (Air)
    12. Caoineadh Jane Simmonds (Lament)
    13. Máirseáil an Fhile Laochta – Rosmuc 2016 (March)
    14. The Blakes of Mayo (Reel)
    15. A Corelli Jig (Gigue)
    16. Siar go hInis Bearachain / An tOileán Aerach (Waltzes)

This is one of the tracks from the album. I composed Waltz an Chleamhnais, the Conamara Wedding Waltz, for my sister Mary-Ellen and her husband Patrick as a first dance at their wedding.