Thursday, 10 May 2012

‘The Anvil’ pays tribute to father’s memory

Cillian Vallely playing Uillean Pipes during a...(Photo credit: Wikipedia)In New York City, we’re privileged to have strong institutional support for traditional music. Organizations like Irish Arts Center, Glucksman Ireland House and the New York Irish Center, for example, each do myriad things for the advancement of the traditional arts in New York City and their work is of great benefit to the community at large. Another such entity doing great work is the Consulate General of Ireland in New York, led by Consul General Noel Kilkenny and his wife Hanora O’Dea Kilkenny. Since arriving in New York in 2010, the Kilkennys have shown an unusual commitment to Irish music and dance by opening wide the Consulate’s doors to the community countless times.
One such moment occurred at the Consulate on April 25, when they hosted the launch of Consulate Protocol Officer Marie Reilly’s new CD, “Anvil.” The drew people from all over the tri-state area, including Reilly’s friends and family and a phalanx of musicians. People like Tom Dunne, Don Meade, Cillian Vallely, Marie Barrett, Desi Groarke, Marie Reilly (who also plays fiddle, and would be known for her work with her brother Martin and with Cherish the Ladies), Marian Makins, Donie Carroll, Niall O’Leary and Dan Milner (to name several, but not nearly all), proved an engaged audience and – after a few short speeches and a brief spotlight performance from Reilly and Gabriel Donohue – all took part in a lively session that lasted well into the evening. The goodwill in the room was palpable.

I spoke with Reilly a few days after the event about her life in music, and her album. Born into a musical family in County Longford, she began playing the fiddle at six years of age and learned from her father Michael, who in addition to being a musician (and the album’s dedicatee), was also a blacksmith. His work is an important detail here: as a child, Reilly would spend time with her father as he worked at the forge. There, they would “perform” together – he would whistle tunes and she would lilt along with them. At the end of every tune, he’d tap the anvil with his hammer. The sound of her father’s anvil is one of Reilly’s dear memories, and the inspiration behind her album’s title.
Unfortunately, her father died when she was a young woman, and in time she drifted away from her instrument. She missed it, however, so once her family was grown she found her way back into playing – a process she found thrilling and immediately rewarding. She credits her friends at the Doonbeg Social Club (a group of over 250 members that meets at the Kerry Hall in Yonkers, and which just celebrated its 50th anniversary) with providing the support and encouragement she needed to not only get back to the music, but to pay tribute to her father’s memory with an album.
“The Anvil” is a delight. Comprised of tunes from South Leitrim and Longford, much of the music was taken from manuscript collections compiled in those areas in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Although some of the tunes will be familiar to experienced listeners, Reilly’s versions all have delicate touches that many will find pleasantly surprising. (Several of the tunes, however, are rare and unusual, and will likely be unfamiliar to even experienced listeners!)
Reilly’s playing on the album sensitively demonstrates the “slur-and-cut” style of bowing she inherited from her father. In combination with Gabriel Donohue’s nuanced backing, Reilly has yielded an album of light, flowing music that bounces along with a pleasant gait. The CD’s final three tracks – archival recordings of Reilly’s father Michael playing – complement the package perfectly and help make “The Anvil” a wonderful tribute.

Marie Reilly will be playing at New York University’s Glucksman Ireland House as part of Don Meade’s Blarney Star concert series on Friday, June 1 at 9 p.m.

‘The Anvil’ pays tribute to father’s memory:

No comments:


accordion achill activities Affiliate Program Alan Kelly Alan Shatter Alasdair Roberts Alison Krauss All Ireland Fleadh Altan Andy Irvine antrim archive armagh Arthur McBride Arts Arts and Entertainment Arts Council Arty McGlynn Athlone Baltimore band banjo Bantry Barney McKenna Baroque music Bill Whelan Bluegrass music bodhran Bodhrán bouzouki brendan begley Brendan Dolan brian boru Brian Conway Brian Cunningham Brock McGuire Band bunsatty Caoimhin O Raghallaigh Cape Breton Castlebar Cathy Davey Cavan cd ceili Céilí Band Céilidh celtic Celtic music Celtic rock ceol charlie lennon Chicago chieftains christmas Christmas music Christy Moore ciorras clancy Clancy Brothers classes classical music comhaltas Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann Compact Disc Compass Records concert concertina Concerts and Events Connemara Conradh na Gaeilge Cootehill cork Cork County Council Cork University Press Cormac De Barra County Clare County Leitrim Dáithí Sproule Damien Dempsey Dán Dance Dancing at Lughnasa Danny Boy danu Dave Swarbrick De Dannan Declan Sinnott Deezer Derry dervish dkit Dolores Keane Dónal Lunny Donegal Donegal Fiddle Tradition Donnacha Dennehy doolin drisheen Drogheda Drumkeeran drums Drumshanbo dublin Dubliners dun uladh Dundalk early music East Clare Ed Reavy Education Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin Eileen Ivers Eleanor McEvoy Electric Picnic emer mayock ennis European Union Fairytale of New York Feakle feis Feis Ceoil felix dolan festival Festivals fidde fiddle Fiddling Film festival Fleadh Fleadh Cheoil Fleadh Cheoil Competition Céilí Band Jig Comhaltas Fleadh Cheoil fleadh nua flute Folk music Folk music of Ireland folklore france outdoors Francis O'Neill Frank Harte Frankie Gavin frankie kennedy free download Gaeilge gael-linn Gaelic galway Galway Arts Festival galway bay George Bernard Shaw gig glor goodman manuscripts Grammy Award Green Linnet Records group Grouse Lodge Guinness guitar harp hinse history holidays hornpipe Iarla Ó Lionáird iPhone Ireland irish Irish American irish arts centre irish dance irish flute Irish language irish music Irish people Irish Recorded Music Association irish times irish traditional music Irish Traditional Music Archive irish whistle IrishCentral IrishTimes Israel itma Ivan Goff jack coen JAMES JOYCE James Joyce Centre Jig jigs Joanie Madden Joe Derrane John Carty John Doyle John McCusker John McKenna John McSherry john spillane John Wynne Julie Fowlis Junior Crehan Karan Casey Karen Matheson Kathleen MacInnes Kevin Crawford Kilfenora Kilfenora Céilí Band Latin America Le Vent du Nord learn Len Graham Leopold Bloom Lieutenant of Inishmore Literature Liz Carroll London London Irish Centre Lord of the Dance louisburgh lunasa Lúnasa MacTalla Mor Maggie MacInnes Máirtín Ó Direáin mairtin o'connor Máirtín O'Connor Malawi Mandolin Margaret Bennett Martin Carthy martin fay Martin Hayes Martin McDonagh Martin Quinn Mary Bergin Mary Black Maryland Massachusetts Matt Molloy mayo McMahon Merry Sisters of Fate Michael Flatley Michael Rooney Michael Tubridy Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin Micho Russell Mick Moloney mick o'brien milwaukee Monaghan Moya Brennan mp3 Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh music Music festival Music of Ireland Musical composition Natasha McShane Neil Young New York Noel Hill Northern Ireland npu NUIG o'carolan omagh Orkney Paddy Fahey paddy keenan paddy moloney paddy o'brien Padraig Rynne passionfruit theatre Paul Brady penny whistle pennywhistle Peter Horan Philadelphia Philip Duffy piano pipes Planxty podcast Poetry Pogues Quebec radio radisson Raidió Teilifís Éireann recording reel reels riverdance Robert Downey Jr Ronan Browne Ronnie Drew Roscommon rose of tralee rowsome Royal Irish Academy of Music RTÉ Concert Orchestra Ryan Molloy Saint Patrick's Day school scoil acla Scoil Éigse scotland Seachtain na Gaeilge Sean Nós Seán Ó Ríordáin Séan O'Riada séan potts sean tyrell Sean-nós song session Set dancing Shanachie Records shannon shannonside Sharon Shannon shetland show singer Singing Skara Brae Sliabh Luachra sligo solas Sorley MacLean st.patrick stephen ducke Streaming media Stuart MacRae summer school teada teetotallers tg4 the forge theatre Tin whistle Tommy McCarthy Tommy Peoples Tommy Sands Toner Quinn Town Hall Theatre trad trad music traditional Traditional Folk and Celtic Traditional music tradschool trocaire Tulla Tulla Céilí Band tune makers tunepal tutorial tv uilleann pipes Ulysses University of Limerick vallely Van Morrison venue Vermont video Violin W. B. Yeats Waterford westmeath whistle willie Willie Clancy Willie Walsh workshop workshops world fleadh