san francisco tionól 2001
The raggle taggle bunch at the San Francisco Tionól 2001.... name them all and win a prize! ;) Thanks to Sal Borges for providing this photo and nine others at the bottom of the page.
Friday night party session in Oakland at Peter Heelan's home with Gay McKeon and Seán Óg Potts on pipes and Amy Nemeth playing the fiddle. She picked up her new B set this weekend from Andreas too, so she'll be back piping soon.
Benedict Koehler playing a Quinn/Koehler B set at the Noe Valley Ministry during the Saturday night concert.
Seán Óg Potts was up after Benedict, playing his Andreas Rogge B set made from plumwood I believe.
Next up, in a spot I didn't envy, was Gay McKeon playing his new Cillian O'Briain set.
Gay and Seán were joined for the "grand finale" by banjo player (not so famous) Séamus Egan and piper Tom Creegan. Blistering tunes played at this stage in the game, great stuff!
The Beez were buzzin'! John Walsh playing his new Rogge B set along with Andreas himself at the party on Saturday night after the concert. Kevin Rietmann's new Brad Angus set is a semitone flat for this session! Is anyone making "A" flat pipes yet? ;) Kevin's new set is a miracle of ancient technology though, five regs... tubes and bends up the kazoo.... I can't believe I didn't take a photo of it.
Seán Óg Potts played a good few tunes this night too along with Gay. Here he is playing his Peter Hunter chanter.
Gay playing in his sleep! He was out for the count but the fingers never stopped :)
Gabriel McKeagney keeping an eye on Seán, "absorb mode" was switched on at this point. Some great piping going on over the weekend.
One of the great things about tionól is seeing old friends again and strengthening bonds with new ones. It was great to see one of the original SCPC crowd who has since defected to the Far East ( Carolina? :) His name..... Sam O'Kane of course, along with Gabriel and Larry Dunn.
The Sunday wind down before heading off to the Plough and the Stars for the recitals and final finale.
The following nine photos are from Sal Borges, thanks Sal. Lewis Blevins taking mental notes as David Quinn makes a reed.
Andreas Rogge "strapping one on" as they say?
Benedict Koehler and Michael O'Donovan discuss the minute features of reed construction, and arn't we glad they do!
Gay McKeon teaching a class with Colin and Matt in tow.
Seán Óg Potts teaching a bunch of us.
Let the ceremonies begin! - Seán Folsom playing some other instrument to rouse the troupes for battle?
Seán Óg Potts playing at the Saturday night concert. From the stage eyes view.
Gay McKeon, "Shameless" Egan, Tom Creegan and Seán Potts play us one for the road.
Gay McKeon giving Ted Anderson's Cillian O'Briain chanter a run for it's money.... seems that it kept up very nicely.
Here are three photos taken last year in beautiful Hawai'i. I was blown away by the beauty of this place and *definitely* want to return.... wink wink ;) I was over there playing with my good friend Ric Blair who is good enough to take me out on the road with him whenever he can. This is a shot of Ric, myself and Martin Stillion (who was very good to supply me with these fine photos) warming up before a show.
Here's a shot of Yun (Ric's wife and tin whistle player), Ric, a conga player that joined us for the night (sorry I can't remember your name!!!) an myself playing my Eugene Lambe D set. As you can see from the glow off my head I got a bit of sun.... to say the least.... I got burn't to a crisp snorkling in Kai'Lua Bay.... it was gorgeous there.. did I say that already?
Here we are playing for a morning radio programme in the top floor dining room of the Waikiki Hilton. The hosts, view and crowd were great and so was the food! Later that day we visited the Pearl Harbour Memorial.... amazing part of history. I particularly liked how the story was being portrayed with no bias for either side.
Some of the boys from the club hopped in a car to go to Flagstaff, Arizona for the weekend to see Liam O'Flynn perform there for St. Patrick's Day 2001. Martin Hayes was also playing which made a perfect duo and a great nights music. No fear of any foot and mouth disease in Flagstaff.... atleast there wasn't before this bunch got there ;)
L - R: Tim Doughty, Victor Fitzsimmons, Liam O'Flynn, Zachery Abbott and Larry Dunn.
'Séamus Ennis (1919-1982) was one of the most dynamic and influential figures in the history of Uilleann piping.' Quote and photo are taken from The Master's Touch, A Tutor for the Uilleann Pipes, by Seamus Ennis, Edited by Wilbert Garvin and Robbie Hannan, and published by Na Píobairí Uilleann ...and this segment has, in turn, been taken directly from Tony McMahon's website.
I had to put this up on the site! Dave Riddles drew this fine, remarkably true to life, cartoon of my wedding night :) Thanks Dave :)
I got these next three photos inadvertently from NPU through P.J. Curtis's book "Notes From The Heart".
Here is a great photo of Séamus Ennis presenting a tune as only he could. Maybe he's telling his audience about Don Nipiri Septo or his Thruckilee How"?
The famous old photo of Johnny Doran (right) with Pat Cash and Pat's son Michael with their old Pavee wagon in the background.
Patsy and Mae Touhey in their Vaudevillian finery. Compare this picture of Patsy's set with the one of them in the safe hands of Seán McKiernan. I am lucky to have a few old 78 recordings some of which are of Patsy playing. Here's a nice selection:
  1. Touhey: Drowsy Maggie/Scotch Mary/Flogging
  2. Touhey: Steam Packet/Miss McCleod's/Morning Star
  3. Touhey: Maid On The Green/Jackson's Drink of Water
Out of curiousity, which do you think influenced the other? ;)
The Blind Piper (aka The Limerick Piper) - The wonderful painting of Patrick O'Brien that now hangs in the halls of Na Píobairí Uilleann by Joseph Haverty in 1844. I found this discertation on the Labasheeda, Co. Clare website.

Patrick OBrien was born at Labasheeda about the year 1773. He was a native Irish speaker and had attended the local hedge school. At the age of 26 years, he became totally blind. Patrick turned to music for a livelihood and learned to play the Union Bagpipes. He went to Limerick City and became a street musician, where he was one day discovered by Joseph Patrick Haverty, the famous Galway artist, who, struck by the fine figure and noble features of the piper, made him the immortal subject of his painting: The Limerick Piper. Patrick was buried in Limerick.

Other links on the subject:
  • One of me playing at the Celtic Arts Center, Los Angeles. Sometime around July 2001.
    Here's a picture of Paddy Keenan and Jungi Shirota playing in Santa Monica on the 23rd of September at McCabe's Guitar Shop.
    For a full report and photographs on the 2001 Southern California Tionól with special guest Todd Denman please visit the Southern California Uilleann Pipers Club website ::: more»
    new york tionól
    november 1st 2001
    Now isn't that a sight?
    Photo by Bob Shanley
    Photo by Bob Shanley The New York Tionól November 1st, 2001. Hosted by pipemaker Seth Gallagher, Jimmy O'Brien-Moran was one of two guests, Todd Denman being the other. It was a great weekend and the best attended ever! Photo by Bob Shanley
    Here's one of the class I was in, Jimmy was my teacher, mighty!
    Seth Gallagher presents the first of the master classes which was presented like an "interactive" concert to great effect. A Q&A format if you will. Lot's of good info shared and interesting snippets about Séamus Ennis and Paddy Conneelly.
    Gifts were presented to the two guests for their coming to the tionól which was *almost* overshadowed by the events of September the 11th. All of our spirits were high that weekend though thanks to the tionól!
    NYC shirts were a very "fitting" gift considering where we were.
    Here's a shot of the piping bunch just after the group photo.
    A C session no less! Suzanne Ward with her Wooff C set, Todd Denman borrowing a Quinn/Koehler C chanter, Benecict Koehler playing a Quinn/Koehler, Cillian Vallelly also playing a Quinn/Koehler hiding behind Patrick Sky's noggin. Pat was playing one he made himself.
    The same troupe tuning in on Benedict's playing.
    Benedict and Cillian pump up the volume.
    Matty Connelly entertained us on Saturday evening with a round of tunes and songs. Matty plays Jimmy Cagney's (Yankee Doodle Dandy) old Alf Kennedy set pitched in D. He uses his Leo Rowsome chanter with the set, although he maintains the original chanter in playing condition too.
    Matty presented and played the tunes brilliantly. It was inspiring to hear him play lovely well paced tunes with marches, airs and the occasional song thrown in for safe measure. I remember he did a wonderful full rendition of "The Green Fields of Canada" on both pipes and in song.
    This is the reedmaking workshop with Patrick Sky. Lot's of interesting tips flying around this table I can tell you. Pat has some great points about reedmaking and some handy tools too!
    He had some very innovative methods for creating the same size slip by using his own version of a tool he saw carpet layers use.
    "What do we have here?" He also has a method of making a conical staple from cylindrical hobby tubing by heating the tube in a propane flame and placing it into a steel mold. More on that later...
    Thanks Pat!
    Suzanne Ward and Cathy Sky played some really lovely tunes together. "Where's my bloody tape recorder?"
    Seth looks like this *all the time!* :) No, huge thanks to Seth and all his gang for organising this weekend. It was a hassle free and well planned occassion and very much appreciated.
    Seth and his first uilleann piping teacher.....
    The photos of the main concert on Sunday didn't come out very well but you get the idea. Here we have Benedict Koehler and Hilari Farrington, in unison. Hilari played the harp and the two played very well. A tune that stood out to me was an O'Carolan composition called Planxty Loftus Jones, a wonderful meandering piece.
    Willie and Siobháin Kelly were up next with some lovely tunes on fiddle and flute.
    Willie was then joined by flute player Mike Rafferty for a very fine final set. Mike is an immigrant to New York, hailing originally from Ballinakill, Co. Galway. He has kept a firm grasp on the East Galway style and displayed his art keenly on this evening.
    Todd was up next. I don't think I've ever heard his pipes playing better. The regulators were amazingly in tune, it was a sound to behold! Pipemaker David Quinn and his personal reed guru, Benedict Koehler supplied Todd with one of their newly developed chanters styled on Paddy Keenan's Rowesome chanter, a very nice D indeed!
    Then came the bowld Jamesy! His pipes were playing great by this time of the day. They had earlier experienced a bout of central heating but recovered nicely for the main event. Lovely tunes, and a song! Would you credit it?
    Too late for piping Jimmy! This was later in the evening shall we say :) Having fun and laughs at Seth's sisters house after the party.
    An amazing collector's item here, a classic piping postcard. A description of it appeared in An Piobaire some years ago. The card was part of a series of two or three piping images and was printed on paper which was actually made from turf. Quite the rarity.
    northern fiddler exhibition, UCLA
    november 1st 2001
    Apart from the great weekend in October up in San Francisco with Eoin Ó Riabhaigh and the rest of the ScoilTrad boys we had another weekend of music closer to LA at UCLA, Westwood on November 17th 2001.

    We had a great weekend with Robbie Hannan, Paddy Glackin and Lillis Ó Laoire. It was a rare and valuable opportunity for our club to get a class with a truly inspirational piper and also to delve into top class sean nós singing with Lillis and fiddling from Paddy.

    The workshops were a very welcome addition to the exhibition The Northern Fiddler: Irish Traditional Fiddle Playing in Donegal and Tyrone 1977-1979 which was a treat to see. I was lucky enough to get the brochure from the exhibition so that I could take a little bit of it home with me.

    Friday the 16th there was a concert open to museum members only. I was able to sneak in as I took part in the organization of the pipers class. There was a "session" which was staged for the museums members'. It was very enjoyable despite being in relatively formal settings. We gathered round and enjoyed much music and song. Paddy O'Neill surprised us all I think with some great songs of the lighter variety.

    The following day brought the early rise and workshops. We had a great gathering with people coming from as far away as San Francisco and Santa Barbara. It was a solid day of music starting at 12noon and continuing until the end of the concert that night. The class was a great success with everyone gaining much knowledge via Robbies teaching skills. We focused on the tunes Sweet Biddy Daly and The Bare Haven Lasses . Two powerful tunes. We also looked at Séamus Ennis' cran.

    Following this was Lillis' introduction to Irish Music and a discussion with Robbie and Paddy on the music focusing on the music of the Northern Fiddler. Some great music examples were given which let the audience have a sneak peak into what was going to come later that evening during the concert. The concert was excellent but not long enough, as is always the case when one is having a great time I think you'll agree :) One highlight for me would be their rendition of "The Jolly Tinker" I was out of my skin during that one! The evening rounded off nicely with a few social pints down what became the local over the course of the weekend, The Westwood Brewing Company. We left there due to too many good looking women distracting us from the matter at hand and went to a quite refined restaurant/bar down the road. A great send off ensued.

    Thanks to everyone involved in organizing this weekend especially Roy Hamilton. We look forward to the next one!
    Robbie and Paddy playing great despite hangovers em no.... jet lag ;) We started off with a party at Roy Hamilton's house to welcome the guests. Roy organized the exhibition and was responsible for the whole weekend. He is curator of the Fowler Museum, UCLA, which was the ideal location for the weekend. Thanks to Roy for all his hard work, it is greatly appreciated. Hopefully we can work together and have another weekend like this again soon!
    Robbie and Paddy playing some northern strains with fiddler Cait Reed. Cait later joined the guests on stage for a few tunes during the concert.
    The jet lag finally closing in I thought I'd play a few tunes.
    Myself and Cait.
    Roy was open to the idea of a workshop and the idea helped secure Robbie and Paddy coming over to Los Angeles. Here are the people that attended the class.
    Left to Right: Tom Wolverton, Victor Fitzsimmons (seated), Robbie Hannan, Patrick D'Arcy, Conall Ó Raghallaigh, Steve Pribble, Dave Collins, Barry O'Neill & Larry Dunn
    Lillis Ó Laoire presented a lecture and the musicians on the Saturday afternoon. It was free to all and very enjoyable. He spoke on the music of the Northern Fiddlers and also gave an introduction to Irish traditional Music which was very interesting.
    Robbie & Paddy flaking out those "old mountain reels" to the ecstasy of the crowd.
    Here are a couple of nice sets owned by Giles Bettison. The first is a lovely B set of ebony, brass and mammoth by Geoff Wooff.
    The second is a three quarter set in D from Craig Fischer, boxwood, brass and hard white stuff, the chanter is narrow bore and is ebony, brass and hard white stuff. Both sets widely travelled, working completely almost all of the time and playing nicely.
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