Irish Tune Category: Reels

A Tune for Charlie

I lived in Spiddal, Co. Galway for four years. While there I had the pleasure of meeting the great composer, fiddler and pianist Charlie Lennon on many occasions, particularly at the sessions in Hughes’ Bar.

Charlie writes some great tunes and I guess his influence must have crept into my music because I came out with this tune one day and immediately thought it owed a debt to Charlie. So I named it after him. I wrote it in June 2009 in my then home in Spiddal.

Sibelius’ Reel

Jean Sibelius was a great Finnish composer, one of my favourites. In fact I like Sibelius so much I named my dog after him.
Unfortunately, after almost 10 years I had to give Sibelius away as a result of needing to stay in New Zealand during the Covid pandemic. He went to a really caring home where he’s loved. I miss him a lot though, but he’s better off where he is. The truth is, I travel too much to be able to mind a dog properly.

The Bright Reel

This reel was composed around the time I was composing the Fiddle Concerto Aontacht.
It’s a bit unusual so I’ve never done much with it!

The Martin-Lina Rumba Reel

I wrote this tune especially for the wedding of Martin Hayes and his wife Lina. Lina is from Spain, so I decided to write a tune that would fuse an East Clare reel style with a Spanish Rumba style. The tune follows a typical flamenco chord progression of Am, G, F, E which is not at all typical of Irish music. The 8/8 3+3+2 rhythm is found in Irish music though in a very subtle way. Some players, including Martin, phrase parts of their reels in this rhythm. I originally wrote this in Aminor but changed it to G minor as that is one of Martin’s favourite keys. Kevin Crawford from Lunasa, Dennis Cahill and I gave the ‘world première’ of this tune at Martin and Lina’s wedding in September 2011.

Tourish’s Tour Around the Box

I composed this tune for the piano accordion virtuoso Martin Tourish. Martin won the TG4 Gradam Ceoil award for Young Musician of the Year a couple of years ago. Few people have such a command of the piano accordion as he has. He plays in ever key and mode imaginable and so I wrote this as a tribute to his abilities. All the notes in the chromatic scale are in this tune but there’s no chromatic passages, so it’s a bit odd but not so odd as to sound out of keeping with Irish trad.
I used this tune as the basis for the finale to ‘Errigal Suite’.