Monday 20 November 2017

Treasure trove of composer's 'lost' work discovered

Sean O'Riada
Sean O'Riada

Tom Prendeville

A treasure trove of hitherto unknown material recorded by Sean O Riada just months before his sudden death in 1971 has been unearthed.

The rare musical compositions only came to light in the vaults of Gael Linn's Dame Street studio, Dublin, when staff were sifting through old archive material.

Sean O Riada (pictured) was Ireland's greatest composers and during his short life he was a leading light in the revival of Irish traditional music in the 1960s.

The rare recordings include a live album as well as a slew of traditional sessions recorded in Trinity College. Among the material are recordings of the composer accompanied by legendary fiddler, John Kelly and Tony Mc Mahon on accordian.

Liadh Ni Riada (43), the composer's youngest daughter, said the music was recorded around 1970 or possibly 1971.

"They were actually lost, it was unpublished work and they were in the vaults of Gael Linn.

"The reels are called The Lost Tapes and there is over an hour's worth of original material – it is very exciting," she said.

"The Trinity sessions are my father jamming on a piano. The sessions are quite different – it is really easy listening and quite beautiful.

"He liked jazz and they were quite short pieces so we think they were possibly for film scores. During his life he did a huge body of work," added Ms Ni Riada, who is a musician and TV producer.

Irish Independent

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