Monday 16 January 2017

Chapter and verse on music-making

Barry Duggan

Published 15/11/2011 | 05:00

MAKING sweet music is an art. But making the instrument that can create stirring sounds is no less a skill.

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Now the skill and traditional craft of instrument making has been brought to life in a new book.

More used to seeing those who play their instruments take the acclaim, the most sought-after bodhran and uilleann pipe makers in the country have been cast into the spotlight by Limerick author Stephen Power.

Mr Power, who is also a photographer, travelled nationwide and across Europe in researching his new book, 'Traditional Notes -- A celebration of Irish Music and Musicians'.

Uilleann pipe maker Michael Vignoles, who works out of Claddagh, Galway, tells of the time involved in his industry.

"Pipe making is a slow and painstaking business and it can take many weeks, if not much longer, to produce a full set of uilleann pipes," Mr Vignoles said.

Malachy Kearns, of Roundstone, Co Galway, is the best-known bodhran maker in the country.

"He is known internationally for his work and many people would have gone to him just to have their bodhran made. He is known as Malachy Bodhran," Mr Power said.

Malachy started making bodhrans in 1976. "He trained with Peadar Mercier of the Chieftains and made the bodhran for 'Riverdance'. Christy Moore also uses his drums," Mr Power said.

Among the musicians featured in the book are John Spillane, Paul Brady, Donal Lunny, John Carty and Micheal O Suilleabhain, and traditional Irish groups such as De Dannan and Lunasa.

The book will be launched at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick tomorrow at 5.30pm.

Irish Independent

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