CD A0102: Harping On

Harping On
Kathleen Loughnane

CD Cover: Harping OnThere was a time in Ireland when many harp players were submerged in layers of cliché. Kathleen Loughnane was different, a player of quiet dignity, she saw both the harp’s place in history and its relevance to today’s music. She is perhaps best known as a member of the baroque/traditional band Dordán, but she maintains a strong independent streak. Harping On, her second album, is a diverse collection of old and new harp tunes, along with tunes borrowed from other traditions and other instruments.The Irish Examiner (October 3, 2002). Pat Ahern

Buy this album now    CD: £15.00 + p&p   

 

Track Listing & Audio Samples

1 Marie’s Welcome (descriptive piece)
The Queen of the Rushes (jig)
3.34
2 The Queen of the West (hornpipe)
Eleanor Plunkett (slow air)
3.40
3 Bright City
Margaret O'Carroll (waltzes)
3.55
4 Loftus Jones (descriptive piece)
3.34
5 Chaconne in G (Variations 1-3) G.F Handel
The Sandhopper (slip-jig)
3.14
6 Bean Dubh an Ghleanna (slow air)
5.44
7 Efterkalken (Swedish waulking tune)
Ben Hill (hornpipe)
2.59
8 Aisling an Oigfhear
The Derry Air (slow airs)
3.02
9 Grainne’s Jig
The Wheels of the World (jig)
2.40
10 Lament for Ó Domhnaill
The Three Sea Captains (set dance)
3.49
11 Martin Mulhaire's Reel
The Blacksmith’s Daughter (reel)
2.14
12 Lúcháir an Léinn (march, jig and slow air) 7.03
Total time
45.59

 

The sheet music for these tunes are in the companion book Harping On

Notes & Credits

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Kathleen Loughnane Harp
with
Sharon Shannon - accordian (tr. 3,5)
Catriona Cannon - accordian (tr. 7)
Jacqueline McCarthy - concertina (tr. 7)
Martina Goggin - djembe (tr.1,2,7,9,11,12)
Dearbhaill Standún - fiddle (tr. 12)
Brian McGrath - keyboard (tr.1,2,8)
Jimmy Higgins - trumpet (tr.12)
Séamus Begley - vocals (tr.6)
Sean Ryan - whistle (tr.8)
Mary Bergin - whistle (tr.12)
Cormac Cannon - whistle (tr. 7,9,11), uilleann pipes (tr.9,11)
Alec Finn - guitar (tr.3), bouzouki (tr. all except 2,8,12)

Programme Notes

MARIE’S WELCOME
A piece I wrote with the warmth and generosity of my sister Marie in mind.

THE QUEEN OF THE RUSHES
A jig popular with pipers.

THE QUEEN OF THE WEST
I learned this hornpipe from the playing of the great Donegal fiddle player, Tommy Peoples.

ELEANOR PLUNKETT
A slow air composed by Turlough O'Carolan. Donal O’Sullivan, in The Life Times and Music of an Irish Harper, describes a tragic incident in which thirty of Eleanor’s relatives died at their castle near Robertstown, Co. Meath, leaving Eleanor as the sole survivor of her family. The tune, never resting on the tonic, has a haunting quality. I have chosen to emphasise its quality as a lament.

AN CATHAIR GEAL / BRIGHT CITY
Walking back into Galway on a sunny day brought to mind The Road to Brightcity. The title of this book of translations of Máirtín Ó Cadhain short stories refers to a name used in Connemara for Galway. I had just finished writing this waltz and the name seemed right.

MARGARET O'CARROLL
A waltz written by the noted whistle player Sean Ryan in honour of Margaret, wife of one of the powerful chiefs of Offaly. Famous in medieval times for her learning, she hosted gatherings of musicians and poets. Sean lives in her castle at Leap, Co. Offaly, where he continues the tradition of hospitality!

LOFTUS JONES
Of O'Carolan’s tunes, this is one of my favourites. Written for a patron of that name who lived in north County Sligo. 

CHACONNE IN C (VARIATIONS 1,2,3)
Composed by G. F Handel.

AN TONACHÁN TRÁ / THE SANDHOPPER
I named this hop jig, or slip jig, having read Cillian Roden’s introduction to The Shores of Connemara. He quotes the naturalist Ed Ricketts:

‘Observers with a trace of sympathy for bohemian life should walk with a flashlight along a familiar surfy beach at half tide on a quiet evening. The huge hoppers will he holding carnival - leaping about with vast enthusiasm and pausing to wiggle their antennae over likely bits of flotsam seaweed”

(From The Shores of Connemara by Seamus Mac an Iomaire, translated by Padraic de Bhaldraithe)

BEAN DUBH AN GHLEANNA
(The Dark Woman of the Glen). I first heard this great love song in Kerty when I was 14, being sung by Séamus Begley. It is a great pleasure, just a few years later(!), to have Séamus sing it on the album.

EFTERKALKEN
A Swedish waulking tune from the repertoire of the legendary fiddler, Hjort Anders Ollson. I learned it from Mary Staunton, who in turn learned it from an album called The American Swedish Spellmans Trio.

BEN HILL
I learned this tune from my daughter Catriona who was taught it by the great accordian player Joe Burke.

AISLING AN ÓIGFHEAR
A lament written by the blind harper Ruairi Dali Ó Catháin (1550-1660) after the confiscation of Ó Catháin lands in the Plantation of Ulster. A variant of this air was collected by Jane Ross from a blind fiddle player in Limavady, Co. Derry, in 1851. It was appropriate that she should preserve the air for it was to her ancestors the Ó Catháin lands were granted. The tune has evolved to become the well known Derry Air. I am grateful to Sean Ryan for drawing my attention to Jim Hunter’s publication Jane Ross and the Londonderry Air.

GRÁINNE'S JIG
Written by Tommy Peoples.

THE WHEELS OF THE WORLD
A jig taken from Breandán Breathnach’s Ceol Rinnce na hÉireann (Vols. I and 3).

LAMENT FOR Ó DOMHNAILL
I learned this tune from the playing of the wonderful Sliabh Luachra fiddle player Pádraig O'Keeffe. Named after Red Hugh O’Donnell, whose departure into exile after the battle of Kinsale, 1601 heralded the demise of the clan system in Ireland.

THE THREE SEA CAPTAINS
A popular set dance.

MARTIN MULHAIRE’S REEL
Composed by the well-known accordian player, and former member of the Tulla Ceili Band, who hails from Eyrecourt in east Galway.

RÍL AN GABHA / THE BLACKSMITH’S DAUGHTER
A reel from Breandán Breathnach’s Ceol Rinnce na hÉireann (Vol.1).

LÚCHÁIR AN LÉINN
I was honoured to be commissioned by the National University of Ireland, Galway, to write an anthem to commemorate 150 years of student enrolment (1849-1999). The composition opens with a celebratory march, reflecting the onward momentum of the University’s growth. This is followed by an airy jig, linking with the vibrancy of Galway’s tradition of music. The piece concludes with a slow air, inspired by the peaceful and beautiful setting of NUI, Galway, on the banks of the river Corrib. 

Credits

Léiriú / Producers: Alec Finn, Kathleen Loughnane
Fuaim / Sound Engineering: Paul Mulligan, Absolute Music, Kinvara, Co. Galway
Mastered by Robyn Robins at Mid-Atlantic Digital, Enniskillen
Nótaí / Notes: Kathleen Loughnane
Design: Peggy McConnell, Propeller
Cover photograph (musicians): Eamonn Cannon

A special thank you to Moya Cannon for her inspired translation of Bean Dubh an Ghleanna, and a big thank you to Paddy Cafferky for my beautiful new harp.

Harping arrangements on this recording are published in the book Harping On, available from most shops or by mail order from Ossian Publications, Cork or directly from Reiskmore Music

All rights reserved © Kathleen Loughnane 2002
Bright City, The Sandhopper, Marie's Welcome, and Lúcháir an Léinn composed by Kathleen Loughnane.
All harp arrangements by Kathleen Loughnane.

 

Album & Artist Information

Title:     Harping On
Artists: Kathleen Loughnane + guests
Instruments:     Harp + acc on some tracks (see Credits above)
Genre: Traditional Irish
Format: CD
Our Ref: A0102
MCPS: --
ISBN --
Label: Reiskmore Music
Year: 2002
Origin: Ireland
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Also from Kathleen Loughnane

Available from Creighton's Collection:
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Compact Discs
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Affairs of the Harp Harping On The Harpers Connellan Harp to Heart
Sheet Music
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Affairs of the Harp Harping On The Harpers Connellan