The Jolly, Slender, and Black-Haired Beggarman from the Mossy Banks on Dinny O'Brien’s Stoney Steps with a Peacock's Feather (2012)
for stereo fixed media
‘Jolly Slender Beggarman’, to give the piece its short title, is based on recordings made of me playing various tunes on the fiddle. I wanted to create a piece that had the very essence of traditional Irish music at its roots but without being disrespectful to the legendary players of the tradition. To this end, it was much more ethical to butcher my own playing! The piece is a whirlwind examination of different aspects of fiddle-playing, from bow noise, to harmonics, microtones and motoric rhythms. In two main sections, the work has two climaxes, the last of which is a huge layered transposition of the air 'An Buachaill Caol Dubh', roughly translated as 'The Slender, Dark-Haired Boy'. Although portrayed as a love song to the young man in question, many people think it is actually an ode to the dark liquid that the Irish are well-known for! I'll let the listener decide for themselves what it is I am portraying...
31.01.2017 — diffused by Brian Bridges & John Harding, IMBOLC International Festival of Music, The Glassworks, Derry, N. Ireland