Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Irish musician set for pipes concert Wednesday

"The Celtic Society of the Monterey Bay is set to present Irish uilleann pipes virtuoso Paddy Keenan on Wednesday in Felton. Keenan's concert, with guitarist Padraig Conroy, will feature selections from his new CD to be released later this year.

ª What: Paddy Keenan uilleann pipes concert

ª When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday

ª Where: Don Quixote's Music Hall, 6275 Highway 9 in Felton.

ª Admission: $17 general; $15 for Celtic Society members. Tickets on sale online at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/157748 and at Don Quixote's & More Music, 512 Front St. in Santa Cruz

ª Reservations/information: 831-603-2294, 408-847-6982 or celtsoc@aol.com."

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Dalai Lama urges Irish self confidence

"The Tibetan religious leader, the Dalai Lama, has said Irish people must work with self confidence and co-operation to get out of our economic troubles.
Commenting on Ireland's economic woes, he said individuals who totally relied on money for their happiness really suffered during an economic crisis, compared to those for example with a happy family life.
He said people put too much emphasis on external values, and not enough on inner values, which brings inner strength.
He said Irish people must work with self confidence and co-operation to get out of our economic troubles.
However, when asked if Irish people should forgive bankers and politicians responsible for the difficulties, the Dalai Lama said while forgiveness doesn't mean you forget, people should not hold onto anger and hatred.
The Dalai Lama called for closer ties between Christian churches in Ireland.
On a visit to Kildare town this afternoon, the exiled Buddhist leader said it would be wrong to generalise about Catholic clergy following recent sex abuse scandals.
In Kildare, he was presented with a St Brigid's Cross and a St Brigid's Flame - the symbols of Kildare's spiritual heritage and of justice and peace.
Well-known uilleann piper Liam O'Flynn performed 'Tabhair Dom do Lámh' as the Dalai Lama walked the short distance to St Brigid's Cathedral where is saying private prayers."

Monday, April 11, 2011

Long wait for uilleann pipes spurs appeal for new makers

"ALL GOOD things come to those who wait, but in the case of the uilleann pipes that wait can be seven years.

The demand for the most quintessential of Irish instruments is so great that an appeal has been launched to increase the number of craftspeople making them.

The pipes, unique to Ireland, cannot be mass-produced and still have to be painstakingly assembled, piece by piece.

Throughout the world there are orders for uilleann pipes worth €7 million outstanding. A full set of pipes costs between €7,000 and €20,000, and the typical wait from a renowned pipemaker is seven years – and in some cases 15 years. Despite the shortage, only 20 per cent of uilleann pipes are made in Ireland.

Na Píobairí Uilleann, the organisation that promotes piping, has set up a 2,400sq ft industrial unit at the Port Tunnel Business Park in Clonshaugh, Co Dublin, to school a new generation of makers.

It is also showcasing the art and craft of uilleann pipemaking every day until April 26th at the Culture Box, Temple Bar, as part of the Year of Craft 2011.

Na Píobairí Uilleann believes 30 people could be employed full-time in making the pipes."

Young musician of the year is piping up a storm

"Coming from a family steeped in traditional music, it’s little wonder uilleann piper Pádraic Keane is tipped to become one of the piping greats

BALLYFERRITER’S Scoil Ceoil An Earraigh was in full swing in February, with sessions bursting from every pub, snug and backroom. Accordions, fiddles, concertinas, whistles and flutes (even the odd harp) jostled for space amid sessions, few of which wound down before sunrise. Into the midst of the melee loped Pádraic Keane, his pipes tucked nonchalantly under his arm.

Few may have noticed his arrival, but once he filled the bellows and flexed his fingers, he stilled the crowd. Even those more usually resistant to the sound of the uilleann pipes admitted that here was something special. It was there, plain to hear in the sharp definition of his fingering, in the inescapable momentum of his phrasing, and in particular, in his precise execution of slow airs."