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 Post subject: Festy Conlon
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 2:00 pm 
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I was looking at a Wikipedia page on the tin whistle and I came to a section called "Well Known Performers".

In 1973, Paddy Moloney (of The Chieftains) and Sean Potts released the album Tin Whistles, which helped to popularise the tin whistle in particular, and Irish music in general. Mary Bergin's Feadóga Stáin (1979) and Feadóga Stáin 2 (1993) were similarly influential.[31] Other notable players include Carmel Gunning, Micho Russell, Joanie Madden, Brian Finnegan, and Seán Ryan. Many traditional pipers and flute players also play the whistle to a high standard. Festy Conlon, often considered the best slow air player.[32]

After reading that I was intrigued, to say the least, about the name Festy Conlon. With the words "often considered the best slow air player" I thought that kind of endorsement would certainly warrant a listen. I figured this guy would be all over youtube. Nope... I just found this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqejNEjoIKE which sounds to me like ole Festy is letting her rip fairly quickly. He seems to be in high gear for sure :) He is credited in the vid and I am assuming its the whistle he is playing and not the banjo.

Any who, I was just wondering if anyone would know where I could hear some samples of Festy having a go with some slow airs on the whistle?

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 Post subject: Re: Festy Conlon
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 2:22 pm 
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During the late sixties and early seventies some of Conlon's music was included on lps like Grand Airs from Connemara, More Grand Airs from Connemara and the Breeze from Erin. His playing is also included in the 'Totally Traditional Tin Whistles' compilation. Those will probably be easiest to track down for you. There's also a considerable amount of other, non commercial, recordings circulating. I'll see tomorrow if I can dig out a few bits. There are also tracks available through the ITMA sound collection.

'Best slow air player'? Those are big words. I'd be wary of that sort of qualifications at any time, regardless of whom they are leveled at (read Pat Mitchell's take on some of Conlon's airs in his review of the Breeze from Erin that appeared in Ceol).


[added:]

Here's one from a private tape from 1970: Donal Óg - Festy Conlon. I'll leave it there for a day or two.

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 Post subject: Re: Festy Conlon
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 6:19 pm 
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Thanks for taking the time to find the recording and post the link Mr. Gumby. I will look into the other information you included in your post as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Festy Conlon
PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 2:40 am 
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You're welcome. There plenty more of that but I eventually cut it down to Donal Óg because it's such a welknown song, which would make it perhaps easier to assess the quality of the air playing.

Quote:
Donal Óg, I f you should cross the water,
Oh, take me with you, when you are going.
In fair or market , you'll be well looked after,
And you shall sleep with the Greek king's daughter.

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 Post subject: Re: Festy Conlon
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 11:39 am 
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[Thread revival.]

I would be most interested in hearing this recording (Festy Conlon - Donal Óg) Mr. Gumby, would it be possible to post it again? I have a recording of him on my external hard-drive that I am nearly sure he is on it, the recording was in a folder marked "Paul de Grae" for some reason, but it definitely sounds like Festy, on it he plays "Ghile mo Chroí", and "An Droimeann Donn Dílis" amongst others.

By the way, there is some interesting insight into the difference between airs playing and dance tunes at this link: http://www.thedigitalfolklife.org/Mick.htm Mick also talks about Festy on two occasions. He is definitely one of the better slow air players I have heard in terms of phrasing. For dynamics, i'd have to go with Tony MacMahon.

Also, I was able to track down some of Festy Conlon's playing (the great slow air player on whistle), and there turns out to be quite a few of them on the British Library website here: http://sounds.bl.uk/World-and-tradition ... 4XX-0600V0 Just click on the "related items" on the bottom right hand side for more.


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 Post subject: Re: Festy Conlon
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 12:31 pm 
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The clip I put up was recorded by Terry Yarnell, the material in the British Library is from his collection I believe. The recording issued by Topic as the two volumes of Grand airs of Connemara also came from Terry Yarnell.

I usually don't keep files on-line long, this one was deleted long ago. I don't keep files created for this sort of one-off use although I have the digitised tape sitting somewhere but it's a bit of a job relocating the specific tune I used last time.

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 Post subject: Re: Festy Conlon
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 10:17 pm 
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[Thread revival. - Mod]

Ah, I found out eventually! In fact it was the great piper "Peadar Broe" who I was originally looking for and found out a lot about him in one of the old NPU magazines. Thanks for the info in any case.


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 Post subject: Re: Festy Conlon
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 11:38 am 
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Peadar Broe is a different story altogether, there was not the slightest of hints you were looking for him in your 2016 post (are you sure you are responding to the right thread?). There are recordings of him floating about. Not sure NPU has any of his music archived on the site (the site is non responsive right now). Lovely rhythmic player.

But here he 'was' , playing Trim the Velvet. A tape he recorded for a friend when practicing while getting back into the pipes. I got a copy decades ago. There is at least one air on it that I can remember and he does a nice version of 'The old man rocking the cradle'.


=The clip has done its job and is now gone again=

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Last edited by Mr.Gumby on Fri May 24, 2019 1:18 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Festy Conlon
PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2019 10:43 am 
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Thanks for posting this one, Mr Gumby, that's an interesting version of Trim the Velvet, first time hearing it.

I was originally looking for Festy Conlon's recordings, as it was suggested that he was the one that was playing on the recording I had been given. But when I eventually tracked down Peadar Broe and I heard him play the penny dropped :)


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