Traditional Irish Music
Welcome to the last 6 tunes in the Tradconnect/Tunes in the Church "New Tune Composition Award" 2014. This is now closed and we will not be accepting any more submissions. 61 tunes in total have been received which is nearly double what we were expecting. This award has been a partnership between Tradconnect and the award winning concert series Tunes in the Church, organised by Cormac Begley. The winning composer will receive a prize of €500 plus the chance to have the tune recorded on the next Tunes in the Church CD.
This has really been a showcase for composers of Irish traditional music and is not a competition as such, so thanks to everyone that submitted. Although a prize for the selected tunes exists, we have done this solely as an incentive to get people to submit their work.
The final tune will be chosen by Peadar Ó Riada.
Tune #56 - Alan Reid / The Replacement Reel
My name is Alan Reid and I am from county Leitrim but am now based in Limerick. I have been writing tunes intermittently for the past few years. My favourite composers in Irish traditional music tend to be writers of tunes that ramble and move modally such as Ed Reavy and the Dwyer brothers among others. I created this tune on a break while teaching banjo in a music school. I was substituting for a friend there and a student failed to turn up which left me with a free half hour slot. I resisted my smart phone and internet during that period and this tune was the result.
Tune #57 - Rónán Regan / Music is the Answer
I'm from Salthill, Galway and am a primary school teacher on Inis Mór, Árainn. I began composing tunes in 2001 as a result of a music course that I was on in Falcarragh, in North West Donegal. I remember wondering, why compose new tunes when there are so many beautiful old tunes and settings of old tunes to explore! None-the-less, I'm grateful I was given the opportunity and have enjoyed composing since.
Irene Guckian and I recently released an album called 'Drumshanbows' which is being well received. Irene joins me on this track, 'Music Is The Answer'. I composed the first half of this reel in Russia in early November 2011 where I was teaching dance and completed the second half when I returned home to Ireland. It remained 'Gan Ainm' until last year when; in response to an article I was asked to write for the 2013 Connacht Fleadh Booklet; I named it 'Music Is The Answer'.
Tune #58 - Ruairi Howell / The Saturday Night Reel
I am Ruairi Howell and I'm a piper from county Down. I have been playing music since the age of five although this is the first tune I have written. I was told about this competition by Cormac Begley at Meitheal summer school in Limerick and seen it as a great opportunity to compose a tune.
Tune #59 - Geraldine Maguire / The Deroran Jig
Here is a link to a little tune that I composed and subsequently taught my 10 year old daughter Katie, to play on her tin whistle. The link attached from soundcloud features her playing through the jig once. After some deliberation we decided to name it the "Deroran Jig". I am second generation Irish and belong to a vibrant community in Glasgow who celebrate our heritage through music, dance and song. Many of us hold great memories of going back and forth across the Irish sea on our holidays and for myself, that meant visiting the townland where my mother was reared called Deroran in Co. Tyrone.
Tune #60 - Daiv Boveri / Short Trip Home
My name is Daiv Boveri and I am a whistle and concertina player from Chicago, USA. My family has been playing Traditional music for four generations, going back to my grandmother and great grandmother in Lissergool just outside Ballaghaderreen in Co. Roscommon. I have been very influenced by my uncle, Brian McCoy of the Kells, as well as my grandma, Tesse McCoy. My grandma's first cousin, Úna McGlew, is a legendary figure of the traditional scene in Chicago and has influenced my style and repertoire to this day.
The title of the tune is meant to reflect the feeling of walking home after music and fun, ceol agus craic, as they say. I tried to capture how even the longest of walks—even the two miles back from Spanish Point to Miltown—flies past in an instant. There's nothing quite like a night's worth of tunes dancing between your ears in time with the beat of every step you take.
I composed this reel in G major to capture the very oldest style of traditional music. I crafted it carefully to match the rhythms and patterns of the old tunes. My basic requirement was to make sure that I could imagine my great grandmother playing the tune and enjoying it!
I was also inspired by the way I could imagine the bow of the fiddle rocking from B to G as the bow alternates up to high D and E. This is a central idea in the tune. As a child I was mesmerized by the ebb and flow of the bow for these very notes on the old tunes that my grandma played for me. Thus, I wrote the tune to also capture my fascination with sheer physicality and excitement of the fiddle in Irish music.
Tune #61 - Dr Karen McAulay / Come Holy Ghost
This is an old Scots tune called The Bonny Scot. It was in an early 18th century publication, Aria di Camera, which contained Scots, Irish and Welsh tunes. I set it for 3 voices and used the words of an existing hymn, Come Holy Ghost. It can best be described as a slow air, I guess. My name is Dr Karen McAulay, and I am a music librarian, musicologist and church organist living in Glasgow, Scotland. I enjoy arranging tunes for vocal or small instrumental ensemble. My inspiration is usually a traditional melody – or several! This is a soundfile derived from a Finale Songwriter file, and I only introduced it to my trio of singers a couple of nights ago.
Tune #62 - Pat Hargan / An Crann Crom
I live in Galway, where I have worked as a musician since 2001. Among the trad projects I have been involved in are the 2002 album 'An Raicín Álainn' by Lasairfhíona Ní Chonaola and the Youghal-based show 'Dancing Thru The Ages', with which I performed in Italy and the Middle East. For the past couple of years I have been a member of Tradiohead (tradiohead.com), a band that interprets the music of Radiohead through the lens of Irish traditional music; we are currently preparing for our second Electric Picnic appearance, and will be making our UK debut in the autumn. I wrote this reel especially for this competition.
Tune #63 - Caroline O' Shea / The Sleepless Night
I'm Caroline O'Shea, a flute and whistle player from the Boston area. I teach flute, whistle, and am the administrator for Boston's Reynolds-Hanafin-Cooley branch of CCE, in addition to teaching privately. I regularly play with bands The Ivy Leaf and Devri, and have released CDs with both groups (The Ivy Leaf: Traditional Irish Music; and Devri: Broad Street). I've also had the honor of teaching classes at the Killarney School of Music this past year, and (as evident from my tune!) competed regularly at All-Ireland Fleadhanna for several years. Vincent Broderick is one of my favorite players/composers; I love the lyrical quality of his tunes. And, I'll never say no to polkas!
Previously submitted Tunes
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