Seán Ó Riada

TrackAlbum
An Poc Ar BuileAn Poc Ar Buile Agus Amhráin Eile
NeilíAn Poc Ar Buile Agus Amhráin Eile
An Spáilpin FánachAn Poc Ar Buile Agus Amhráin Eile
Cearta An DuineDing Dong
Mná Na hÉireannÓ Riada Sa Gaiety
Marcshlua Uí NéillÓ Riada Sa Gaiety
Limerick's LamentationÓ Riada Sa Gaiety
Sí Bheag, Sí MhórÓ Riada's Farewell
Do Bhi Bean UasalPort Na bPúcaí
Cois An GhaorthaighPort Na bPúcaí
Bonus Track
Ag Críost An SíolCeol An Aifrinn

Sean O Riada photo 6

 

spotify-logo-primary-horizontal-dark-background-rgb-sm
Seán Ó Riada playlist

 

Sean O Riada photo 7

Ó Riada sa Gaiety Concert, March 1969 (l to r): Seán Ó Riada, Seán Ó Sé, Niall Toibín, President Éamon de Valera, Ruth Ó Riada

 

Contributor: Andrew Shields

I thought I would start this Toppermost with a question: what Irish musician/composer links Jeff Beck, Kate Bush, Sinead O’Connor, Mike Oldfield, The Chieftains and Davey Graham? The answer of course is Seán Ó Riada as all of them have recorded one of his best-known compositions, Mná Na hÉireann (Women Of Ireland).

Jeff Beck’s version can be heard here – the fiddle playing is slightly too ‘Celtic Twilight’ for me but Beck’s playing is superb.

Kate Bush’s superb version (sung in excellent Irish) is here.

Sinead’s equally good version can be heard here.

While this is Davey’s beautifully subtle one.

Mike Oldfield has an ambient take on the song.

The Chieftains also used the melody of the song for their soundtrack to the Stanley Kubrick movie, Barry Lyndon.

For comparison’s sake, here is the original version by Ó Riada’s group, Ceoltóirí Chualann, sung by the great Seán Ó Sé:

I will look in more detail at the background to the song later in the piece, but the question that now arises is …

 

Who Was Seán Ó Riada?

Seán Ó Riada was born John Reidy in August 1931. At the time, his parents were living and working in Adare in County Limerick in the south of Ireland where his father was a member of the police force, the Gardai. Both of his parents were talented amateur musicians, his father playing the violin and his mother the piano. From an early age, they encouraged Seán’s interest in music sending him to take lessons on the piano, organ, and violin. Eventually, this led to him studying at University College Cork, from where he graduated with a degree in music in 1952.

While in his academic studies, Ó Riada concentrated on classical music, at the same time he was also making money through playing piano with several local jazz and pop bands. Indeed, throughout his life, he maintained an insatiable curiosity about all types of music. He was also a gifted linguist and maintained a keen interest in literature and film throughout his life. After finishing university, he went on to work as an assistant director of music at the Irish national broadcaster, Radio Éireann (as it then was). This involved a good deal of routine work such as organising concerts and writing scripts to be read while introducing them. He also composed short pieces of music for various purposes and began to develop a reputation as a rising talent in the then very small Irish classical music scene.

Ultimately, however, he came to see the bureaucratic side of the job as being too stifling for his tastes and decided to leave. After a brief stay in Paris, where he underwent the ‘starving artist’ phase, he began to work as musical director at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. This gave him the opportunity to work with a small orchestra and contribute incidental music for the theatre’s productions. Through his work there, he also came to the attention of George Morrison, the film director. At that time, Morrison was looking for a composer to write the soundtrack for a documentary he was planning to make on the 1916 Rising. This was going to be an innovative production, incorporating a good deal of archival footage which belonged to Gael Linn. It was a not for profit non-governmental organisation designed to promote Irish language and culture. It also ran a record label of the same name which subsequently played a key role in Ó Riada’s career.

Sean O Riada Nomos

Up to that time, Ó Riada’s music had been principally classical in its character. He had been strongly influenced by what then would have been seen as avant-garde composers like Schoenberg and Webern. His best-known works in this vein had been ones like his songs based on poems by the German poet Hölderlin written in 1956 and his Nomos No.1: Hercules Dux Ferrariae, first performed in 1957 (a part of the latter can be heard here). Indeed, at this point in his career, Ó Riada was the most promising classical composer Ireland had produced since John Field in the early nineteenth century.

The nature of the film score for Morrison’s Mise Éire meant that Ó Riada was faced with the challenge of arranging Irish traditional music for a full orchestra. This was a highly original step and meant that he was in a position to achieve something for Irish folk music along the lines of what Bartók had achieved for its Hungarian counterpart, and Holst and Vaughan Williams for its English. At that time, for various reasons both historical and otherwise, many people in Ireland viewed traditional music and culture as being associated, in the Irish historian, Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh’s words, with “stagnation, backwardness [and] an incapacity to advance”.

By presenting the music in an original way, however, Ó Riada did much to shift this perspective. His fellow composer, Gerard Victory, later referred to his ability “to present the richness and beauty of Irish traditional music in a new and personal guise”. The soundtrack album rapidly became a bestseller in Ireland. Writing in Billboard, the Irish music critic and radio presenter, Ken Stewart, described it as having “attained a measure of popularity normally afforded artists such as Elvis Presley”. While the score was brilliantly adapted to the images shown in the documentary, it has also achieved a longstanding life of its own. Part of the reason for this is the brilliant way in which Ó Riada managed to adapt Irish traditional tunes such as Roisin Dubh, The West’s Awake and Kelly The Boy From Killane to an entirely new medium and a very different idiom (extracts from the Mise Éire score can be heard here).

Sean O Riada Mise Eire

In this sense, it combined being both a superb film score and an act of cultural reclamation, the repercussions of which have continued to play out in various ways in Irish culture ever since. It was also around this time that Ó Riada began to use the Irish form (‘Sean O Riada’ rather than John Reidy) of his name exclusively. In a sense, this was symbolic of his new immersion in the Gaelic language and in Irish culture more generally.

His growing enthusiasm for Irish traditional music was also reflected in his involvement in presenting a radio programme called Our Musical Heritage on Radio Éireann. The programmes concentrated on a different instrument each week. The format enabled Ó Riada to present music from instrumentalists of the calibre of Séamus Ennis on pipes, Junior Crehan and Patrick Kelly on fiddle, Séamus Tansey on flute, and Paddy Moloney on the tin whistle (as we shall see shortly, Moloney was also an extremely talented uilleann piper). In his programme on singers, Ó Riada also extolled the virtues of sean-nós singers, including the great Connemara vocal stylist, Darach Ó Catháin. This increased exposure to a variety of Irish musical styles, combined with a transformative visit to the Kerry Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking area) in the summer of 1959, helped to sharpen Ó Riada’s own ideas about how that music should be performed and presented.

At that time, the main type of groups playing Irish music at the local level were the céilí bands. Such bands were usually made of amateur musicians and they often tended to play a rather ersatz version of Irish traditional music. In his own characteristically blunt fashion, Ó Riada later complained that they abandoned “the most important principles of traditional music – the whole idea of variation … [and] the whole idea of the personal utterance”. Instead, he complained, “everyone takes hold of a tune and belts away at it without stopping”. The result, Ó Riada argued, was a “rhythmic but meaningless noise with as much relation to music as the buzzing of a bluebottle in an upturned jar”. The other main type of music making at the time was the ‘session’ (or ‘sessiun’ to use the Irish word) in a local pub. This was an informal type of music making which was essentially spontaneous and unarranged. There were also individual players and singers who made music locally, but this was not really the type of music making which he envisaged for himself. Later there were also the ‘ballad’ groups like the Dubliners and the Clancy Brothers, but the genre in which they worked had very little in common with Sean’s musical interests.

Ó Riada’s difficulty now was to try to find a form of ensemble playing for Irish traditional music which would fit his own artistic vision. After a process of experimentation – often based around lengthy musical sessions in his home in Dublin – he eventually settled on the line-up which became Ceoltóirí Chualann. From the time of its formation, Ceoltóirí proved to be one of the most important and innovative groups in modern Irish music history.

 

Sean O Riada photo

Ceoltóirí Chualann – see Footnote 3 for credits

 

Ceoltóirí Chualann

I have come with meagre voice
to court the language of my people

(Michael Hartnett, ‘A Farewell To English’)

The line-up of musicians which formed the first incarnation of the group originally emerged from the work which Seán Ó Riada had done at the Abbey Theatre. During his time there, he had occasionally needed to find musicians who could work within a traditional music type format. Among those who played in those productions were Éamon de Buitléar on accordion, Paddy Moloney on uilleann pipes, Seán Potts on tin whistle and Michael Tubridy on flute. The line-up was completed by Martin Fay and John Kelly on fiddles and was occasionally supplemented by Sonny Brogan on accordion and Ronnie McShane on bones. Seán himself generally played the harpsichord (he thought it more suitable to Irish music in general than the piano) but also, on occasion, the bodhran, an Irish goatskin drum. Although it had a long history, the bodhran had fallen out of fashion long before this. Indeed, Ó Riada’s championing of it was key to its subsequent popularity among Irish folk musicians. His decision to use it was based on his belief that regular drums lacked the flexibility needed in Irish traditional music.

Sean O Riada photo 3

More broadly speaking, Seán had by now moved towards a settled idea about how Irish music should be played in a group setting. His theory rested on the notion that a group should begin by “stating the basic skeleton of the tune to be played”. Once that had been done, it could then be “ornamented and varied by solo instruments or by small groups of solo instruments”. This would preserve the spontaneity and freshness which he viewed as being key to the music. It would also allow the musicians to express their own individuality while maintaining a respect for the tradition from which the music had come. The music would be loosely arranged, but within that basic structure the musicians retained a good deal of freedom.

The journalist, Seán Mac Réamoinn, who heard the group’s early rehearsals, later claimed that the “only parallel” he could make was with “jazz”. As with it, he suggested, the different soloists within the group were each given “their head” but Ó Riada also “managed to weld them into a unity”. In essence, this approach was one which later groups like Planxty, the Bothy Band, Altan and Lúnasa – whatever the other differences in terms of their musical approach – were to follow. In this respect, Ó Riada was a pioneer who opened up new possibilities on which later musicians could build and expand.

Sean O Riada photo 5

Ceoltóirí Chualann – see Footnote 4 for credits

 

Ceoltóirí Chualann themselves made their first appearance in concert at the Dublin Theatre Festival in 1961. The group also accompanied Ó Riada on a series of radio programmes in which he explored the history of Irish traditional music. On those early recordings, he used the great sean-nós singer, Darach Ó Catháin, as the group’s main vocalist (an example of their early work can be heard here and a translation of the song is here). When Ó Catháin left the group in the following year, Ó Riada replaced him with Seán Ó Sé. Unlike Ó Catháin, Ó Sé was at home both with the traditional style of unaccompanied singing but also could sing in a more conventional ‘Irish tenor’ type style which reflected the influence of earlier vocal stylists like Count John McCormack. For Ó Riada’s purposes, this ease in a variety of styles made Ó Sé a natural fit for the group.

One of the earliest recordings Ó Sé made with Ceoltóirí was their classic version of the Dónal Ó Mulláin song, An Poc Ar Buile (The Mad Puck Goat – a translation of the song can be found here). Their version soon became the definitive one of the song:

A criticism that is sometimes made of Ó Riada is that he “sanitised” Irish traditional music for middle-class audiences. However, I fail to see how anyone who hears the anarchic energy, spontaneity and freshness of this record or my next choices, firstly Neilí and secondly An Spáilpin Fánach could agree with this view. Translations of those two songs can be found here (for Neilí) and here).

My next selection, Cearta An Duine (The Rights Of Man), comes from Ceoltóiri’s 1967 album, Ding Dong. It features one of the group’s most brilliantly intricate arrangements and some typically superb harpsichord playing by Seán himself. It also includes some fine piping by Paddy Moloney.

The group’s next record, Ó Riada Sa Gaiety, is one of the landmarks albums of the Irish folk revival. Christy Moore has been quoted as having said that without it there would be “no Planxty”. The concert from which it was drawn was held in the Gaiety, a well-known Dublin theatre, in March 1969, as a memorial to the eighteenth-century Ulster poet, Peadar Ó Doirnín. He had written the poem on which Ó Riada’s song, Mná Na hÉireann (which we discussed above and is my first selection from the album) was based. While the words were borrowed (a translation can be found here) – the beautiful folk-influenced melody was Seán’s own.

The next selection, Marcshlua Uí Néill (O’Neill Cavalry March) is another masterclass in arranging a folk melody. To most Irish people now, it will also be best known for providing the source for Johnny Fean’s classic riff in Horslips Dearg Doom.

Unlike the martial tone of ‘Marcshlua’, my next choice, Limerick’s Lamentation, is a beautiful melancholy slow air to which Ceoltóirí do full justice.

One of Ó Riada’s main intentions in forming Ceoltóirí was to draw attention to the ‘high’ element (as it might be described) in traditional Irish music. This element was based on the compositions of harpist-composers like Turlough O’Carolan (c.1670-1738). Before the gradual English conquest of Ireland, such composers had generally been attached to the aristocratic houses there. As a result, their compositions tended to be celebrations of their patron’s great deeds or lamentations for their misfortunes or early deaths. With the decline of the Gaelic ruling class in Ireland, their music came to be widely neglected and was preserved only among the peasantry there (although some of it was later published in collections like Edward Bunting’s “The Ancient Music Of Ireland” in 1796).

My next choice, Sí Bheag, Sí Mhór, is a brilliant arrangement of one of O’Carolan’s early compositions. Ó Riada’s version served to popularise the tune, which subsequently has been recorded by a host of artists, including Planxty and Pierre Bensusan. Another harp tune which Ceoltóirí revived interest in was Tabhair Dom Do Lámh (Give Me Your Hand) by Ruairí Dall Ó Catháin (although this attribution has recently been questioned). It was also recorded by Planxty and – more recently – by Chris Thile and Brad Mehldau.

 

Port Na bPúcaí

In 1970, Seán Ó Riada finally disbanded Ceoltóirí, feeling in Seán Ó Sé’s words that he had taken the project “as far as he could”. Several of the group’s key members, including Paddy Moloney, Seán Keane, Martin Fay, Michael Tubridy and Seán Potts, then went on to play key roles in the Chieftains. Indeed, that group could be seen as carrying on and broadening key aspects of the Ó Riada legacy.

My final selections, however, come from Port Na bPúcaí (The Music Of The Fairies) the posthumous album of live recordings by Ó Riada from March and May 1971. Despite its high quality, the album was only released in 2014. In the early part of the following year we drove from east Galway to Newport in County Mayo with my brother and his wife. On the way, he played this album more or less on repeat. Every time I play it now – which is very regularly – I associate it with the stunning scenery you see in the course of that journey. This picture will give an indication of how beautiful it is …

Sean O Riada landscape

Ó Riada’s music seemed to fit that scenery perfectly.

Although I am not generally a fan of the use of the piano in Irish traditional music, such is the quality of his musicianship and his innate feel for its subtleties that I am prepared to make an exception in this case. My first choice from the album, Do Bhi Bean Uasal (There Was A Noble Woman) is a beautiful take on the earlier song on which Carrickfergus is based …

… and there is more about the background to the song here. By contrast, the next selection (if I had room!), The Three Sea Captains, is an old Irish set dance tune, which Ó Riada plays in a beautifully ornate way on the harpsichord. He later joked that he played it “as it might have been played by Bach, had he known about it”. My final choice from Port na bPúcaí, Cois An Ghaorthaigh (a song in praise of the village of Ballingeary near his mother’s birthplace) is another example of Ó Riada’s exquisite way with a slow air.

Seán Ó Riada’s death in October 1971, at the tragically early age of 40, means that he remains one of the great ‘might have beens’ in Irish music history. Given the scale of his contribution up to that point, it remains hard to know where he might have gone to next, musically, if he had lived. His straddling of two musical worlds has meant that since his death he has faced some sniping from both sides of that musical divide. On the one hand, traditional purists have accused him of bringing too much classical formalism to that music. On the other side, classical critics have complained that he was wasting his time with folk music when he should have been following up on the promise of his early work in that field. For me, at least, such criticisms seem wide of the mark. There are very few individuals in Irish musical life who have left behind such a rich legacy or opened up so many avenues which later musicians could explore.

 

Bonus Track

In 1963, Ó Riada was appointed Lecturer in Music at University College Cork. By all accounts, he proved to be an inspirational teacher. Here’s a short clip of Seán talking in a very knowledgeable way about Irish music – he also manages to introduce references to Indian classical music, Japanese court music and Korean novices music as well!

After taking up the position he and his family moved to Ballyvourney, a small village in southwest Cork which was close to his mother’s birthplace. It was part of the Cork Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking region) and had a reputation as being an area which was exceptionally rich in terms of the preservation of traditional music and folklore.

Seán Ó Riada became keenly involved in the community life both there and in the nearby village of Cúil Aodha (a documentary about his life there can be downloaded from here.) In 1964, with his friend, the local priest, Donnacha Ó Concubhair, he founded a choir, Cór Chúil Aodha, in the latter village, Between then and his death in 1971, he wrote a good deal of music for it, including two well-known masses.

My bonus selection, Ag Críost An Síol, comes from the first of these. As with Mná Na hÉireann, it shows Ó Riada’s ability to compose a melody which fitted seamlessly back into the tradition from which it sprang. A translation of the song (the question of who actually wrote the poem is unresolved) can be found here. A more recent performance of the song by Seán Ó Sé and Cór Chúil Aodha, with Ó Riada’s son, Peadar, playing the organ can be seen here (from 1.00 to 3.24).

Since Seán’s death, Peadar has carried on his work both with the choir and in other musical areas. Among the singers whose talents were nurtured there is Iarla Ó Lionáird, whose own work is strongly influenced by the Ó Riada legacy.

 

Sean O Riada photo 2

Seán Ó Riada memorial in Cúil Aodha, County Cork

 

Footnotes

1. For anyone interested in exploring Ó Riada’s life and work further, the biography by Tomás Ó Canainn, “Seán Ó Riada: His Life And Work” is highly useful, as is Seán Ó Sé’s memoir (written with Patricia Ahern), “An Poc Ar Buile: The Life And Times Of Seán Ó Sé”. The sleeve notes by Sean’s son, Peadar, to the recent CD reissues of his father’s Gael Linn album are also invaluable. The documentary, Faoi Sholas An Riadaigh (a rough translation would be ‘Under The Light Of Ó Riada’), which first appeared on Irish television can be seen here (it is in Irish but has English subtitles).

2. The best choice for those beginning to explore his work is the 3CD compilation, Seoda An Riadaigh: The Essential Collection. This gathers selections from a wide range of his work including his film music, his orchestral compositions, and his work with Ceoltóirí. For an introduction to his solo recordings, I strongly recommend the 2014 CD Port Na bPúcaí. It is a beautifully mellow classic and a suitable memorial to this master musician.

3. In the first photo of Ceoltóirí Chualann above: Seán Ó Riada (harpsichord), Peadar Mercier (bodhran), Éamon de Buitléar (accordion), Martin Fay (fiddle), Seán Keane (fiddle), John Kelly (fiddle), Seán Potts (whistle), Michael Tubridy (flute), Paddy Moloney (pipes), Seán Ó Sé (singer) – Dublin 1969 (copyright: Gael Linn and reproduced from the Irish Traditional Music Archive website).

4. In the second photo of Ceoltóirí Chualann above: (l to r) Michael Tubridy, Éamon de Buitléar, John Kelly Senior, Anthony Kelly (child underneath), Sonny Brogan (on the whistle), Paddy Moloney, Martin Faye, Seán Ó Riada, Ronnie McShane, Seán Potts. Mansion House, Dublin, October 1962 (from the John Kelly website, photo courtesy of Peadar Ó Riada – visit the site for more photos, audio, video and Ceoltóirí Chualann ephemera.)

 

Sean O'Riada photo

Seán Ó Riada (1931–1971)

 

Two concerts in memory of Sean Ó Riada, the first staged in January 1972, a live broadcast from the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin. ‘Limerick’s Lamentation’ is the second piece. The other memorial concert to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Ó Riada’s death came from Cork Opera House and took place in October 1981.

Seán Ó Riada official website

Peadar Ó Riada official website

“Seán Ó Riada: His Life And Work”
by Tomás Ó Canainn (Collins Press, 2003)

Iarla Ó Lionáird on Seán Ó Riada
(The Journal of Music, 2006)

John Bowman’s appraisal of Seán Ó Riada
on RTE radio (YouTube)

“Why Seán Ó Riada is Irish music’s pop icon”
by Siobhán Long (Irish Times, 2011)

Gael Linn Records Discography

Seán Ó Riada biography (AllMusic)

Andrew Shields is a freelance historian, who grew up in the West of Ireland and currently lives in Sydney, Australia. Along with an interest in history, politics and literature, his other principal occupations are listening to and reading about the music of Bob Dylan and, in more recent years, immersing himself in the often brilliant and unduly neglected music of Phil Ochs ….

Here are just some of Andrew’s other posts on Irish musicians on this site:
Willie Clancy, Clancy Brothers, Dubliners, Johnny Duhan, Séamus Ennis, Joe Heaney, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Planxty

TopperPost #884

9 Comments

  1. Peter Viney
    Jul 8, 2020

    Andrew, a great job in that I enjoyed reading it, want to know more and I hadn’t even heard of him. A recent version of Women of Ireland is the instrumental by Dexys on “Let the Record Show: Dexys Do Irish Country & Soul.” It’s the opening track in 2016 and one of my favourite pieces of that year.

  2. Andrew Shields
    Jul 9, 2020

    Peter, thanks for the kind words. It is a pity that Sean’s music is not better known outside Ireland.
    Thanks also for alerting me to Dexys version. Since finishing the piece, I have come across a few more excellent versions of ‘Mná’ including this excellent one by Sibéal Ní Chasaide and Steve Cooney and this fine one by Alan Stivell.

  3. Colin Duncan
    Jul 10, 2020

    Thanks, Andrew, an excellent piece of work. I had not heard of Sean O’Riada before, yet I can make many links with your article. The Chieftains are special to me and back in the day we used to marvel how great it was when the individual players came together as one, perhaps a trait they developed with Sean. I have been to the Abbey, and I was lucky to see the Chieftains and guests perform a Celtic Wedding at the Gaiety – a truly brilliant evening. I love Women of Ireland and my wife’s favourite film for many years was Barry Lyndon with the beautiful cinematography and the music combining beautifully. We had a cassette of the music score for many years. I have known O’Carolan’s music through Derek Bell for many years, and we had friends who ran sessions in the local pub and their house for many years, until they retired to Achill Island. Sessions were followed by detox sessions on the following Sundays. The only thing about this lovely couple were that they were terrible purists and tried to control what had to be played in the session and your description of Sean reminds me of them. Still great times. Perhaps Sean made the Bodhran too popular… I’m laughing here. On a serious note, I think the clips show that Sean O’Se was a great singer and I love the Ceoltoiri Chualann music clips and the orchestral music. An Irish journalist called Ken Stewart – you’re having a laugh? I learned a great deal and will explore further because of your excellent write up. Thank you, Andrew.

  4. Andrew Shields
    Jul 11, 2020

    Colin, thanks for kind words. Paddy Moloney has always credited Seán as the key influence on The Chieftains’ work. Saw one interview where he said that they had always remained ‘faithful to his model’.
    Have always thought one of Seán’s great achievements was to revive O’Carolan’s brilliant music – Derek of course carried on that work in his own inimitable fashion.
    Extraordinary too that Seán Ó Sé is still going strong as this great clip from 2012 shows.

  5. Colin Duncan
    Jul 11, 2020

    I didn’t know anything about his influence on the Chieftains. Interesting about Sean being the ‘model’ for the Chieftains. I think perhaps when they were getting to Chieftains 7 repetition was beginning to set in. Maybe that’s a little hard, but I have really enjoyed the Chieftains’ collaborations with other musicians. The show I saw in Dublin with Breton and other musicians was brilliant. I read several times in the Irish papers many years ago that some of the other Chieftains were not happy with Paddy Moloney because of some of the collaborations he had set up. To go back to your previous article, I almost missed Jock Tamson’s Bairns, who are brilliant, because of the Chieftains. When I think about the link between classical and traditional Irish music, I always think of Micheal O’Suilleabhain. Is there a link between Micheal O’Suilleabhain and Sean O’Riada? I have managed to access quite a lot of Sean O’Riada’s music and look forward to exploring it. You’ll need to write a book on post war Irish music. Many thanks, Andrew.

  6. Andrew Shields
    Jul 11, 2020

    Thanks for this Colin. Mícheál acually studied music with Ó Riada at University College Cork. He talks about his influence on him here. Mícheál also worked with Iarla Ó Lionaird who, like him, was strongly influenced by Ó Riada. Watch out for an Iarla Toppermost in the relatively near future.

  7. Colin Duncan
    Jul 12, 2020

    Many thanks, Andrew. I will seek out those links. I had a long afternoon of Sean O’Riada and Sean O’Se yesterday – all new to me, which is the great thing about Toppermost. I finished with a beautiful rendition of ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’ by Sean O’Se. Thank you.

  8. Dave Stephens
    Jul 16, 2020

    My education continues apace thanks to you, Andrew. Another excellent Toppermost. Loved the concept of a Bonus Track too.

  9. Andrew Shields
    Jul 17, 2020

    Thanks for this Dave. Think of it as part of the ‘special offers’ section.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

↓