Le Chéile is in Aonar

The music performed gave a cutting edge quality that also proved
challenging to the musicians and entertaining to the audience who
responded to their efforts with a standing ovation at its conclusion.

Paul Keating – The Irish Voice

Le Chéile is in Aonar (2010) – 25′

for traditional music ensemble (2 fiddles, 3 tin whistles, 2 Irish flutes, uilleann pipes)

Composed with the aid of a bursary from the Arts Council of Ireland’s Deis Scheme.
Premiered by Harry Bradley, Aoife
O’Brien, Mick O’Brien and Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh in August
2011 at the Masters of Tradition Festival, Bantry.
Excerpt from demo recording of ‘Le Cheile is in Aonar’ by Dave Flynn.
Performed by Harry Bradley (flute), Mick O’Brien (uilleann pipes),
Caoimhin O Raghallaigh, (fiddle), Siobhán Peoples (fiddle).
Le Cheile is in Aonar (excerpt) by daveflynn

Programme Poem

 

Some people
think Irish music all sounds the same


Perhaps
because some tunes have the same DNA


They’ll start
and end with the same little turn


But the notes
in between are for those who discern


Well Seán Ó
Ríada tried this first


He took two
slip jigs and told his band to rehearse


Playing the
tunes together at once


Now I thought
to myself, that’s a clever little stunt


Then Seán’s
son Peadar tried another way


He composed a
tune with three parts to be played


The first time
around the parts sound on their own


Then the
parts combine into a new kind of tone


Now I’ve
taken the Ó Ríada’s ideas to extremes


In the space
of 20 minutes you’ll hear reams and reams


Of familiar
tunes combined in counterpoint


Some of you
might love it, some may wonder what’s the point


Whichever way
you take it I’m sure you’ll agree


The musicians
who are playing are of the highest pedigree


So please sit
back and listen with open ears


Now welcome
the musicians, as I disappear………….

(This programme poem was used to introduce the music at the premiere)

Programme Note

Together but Apart is a rough translation of the title of this piece.
This is the only piece I’ve ever composed where existent traditional
melodies are used in the context of a ‘new’ piece of music.

I had the idea of creating a large piece where all the musicians maintained their individuality yet still merged as an ensemble.

I
noticed that many traditional tunes sound superficially similar. So in
this piece old traditional tunes which seem to have the same basic DNA
are played together. When the players bring their individual sound and
approach to rhythm, variation and ornamentation the similarities are
stretched and unusual rhythmic and harmonic counterpoints occur.

There is some precedent for this idea in Seán Ó Ríada’s arrangement of The Whinny Hills of Leitrim for
Ceoltóirí Chualann on the record ‘Ó Riada Sa Gaiety’. In this
arrangement two slip jigs of the same name are played simultaneously.
Seán’s son Peadar also experimented with something similar on his recent
‘Tríuir’ album with Martin Hayes and Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh. At one
point all three parts of a jig are played simultaneously.

This piece
elaborates this concept to a large scale work of over 20 minute’s
duration. Up to four different tunes are played simultaneously in this
piece. If you know your traditional music you should be able to isolate
each tune in each short connected section as listed below.

Section I – The Jolly Tinker and Sporting Paddy go to The Abbey

Section II – Tommy Peoples brings The Maids of Feakle &The Primrose Lasses to meet The Blacksmith

Section III – Julia Delaney’s Mother’s Delighted to find The Porthole of the Kelp in Scarriff

Section IV – As I went out upon the ice at the Top of Maol near Ballydesmond I thought to myself ‘I’ll buy boots for Maggie!

Section V – Tatter Jack Walsh and Garrett Barry go to Fraher’s to see the Hag at The Churn

Section VI – The Return to the Forest of Ornaments

Section VII – The Kid on the Mountain watches The Butterfly on the Promenade

Section VIII – The Kid on the Mountain met Dever the Dancer The Night Poor Larry Was Stretched

Section IX – John Doherty’s Steeplechase over The Graf Spee

Section X – The Bucks of Oranmore meet Lucy Campbell and Davy Maguire at the Boyne Hunt