Sean Nós recommended listening

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Rusco
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Sean Nós recommended listening

Post by Rusco »

Hi everyone

I'm trying to improve my knowledge and understanding of ITM; any recommendations for Sean Nós listening, preferably in Irish? I know a bit of Joe Heaney but my knowledge of the old style singing is woefully short.
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Re: Sean Nós recommended listening

Post by Mr.Gumby »

Nioclas Toibín, Sorcha ni Ghuarím, Seán 'Ac Donncha, Labhras Ó Cadhla, Seán de hOra are a few singers of a previous generation you may want to listen to, from different part s of the country.

The late Diarmuid Ó Súilleabháin was a beautiful singer (listen to Tá me Sínte ar do Thuama, for example)

Trying to think of others, Johnny Mháirtín Learaí Mac Donncha, Nan Tom Teaimín de Búrca, Roisín Elsaftay, Pól Ó Ceannabhain (as well as his sister), Josie Sheáin Jeaic MacDonncha, Áine UíCheallaigh (as well as her son Aodhán), both Dainí and Eoiní Maidhhci Ó Súilleabhain, Iarla Ó Lionard, Eamonn de Broithe. So many lovely singers, even if not all are Sean Nós in the Connemara tradition. But who cares about labels, given the chance, I could listen Nell ní Chróinín forever.
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Re: Sean Nós recommended listening

Post by An Draighean »

Another favorite of mine (also of the past generation) is Seosamh Ó hÉanaí. Gael Linn released a double-CD retrospective of his work in 2007, titled "Ó MO DHÚCHAS". Included is a thick booklet with all of the lyrics (in Irish). An excellent album; highly recommended. It's in eternal rotation in my playlists; never get tired of listening to it.

Gael Linn has a lovely Nioclas Toibín record as well: "Amhráin Aneas".

EDIT: Re-reading the original post, I see you have already discovered Seosamh Ó hÉanaí.
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Re: Sean Nós recommended listening

Post by Rusco »

Thanks so much. That's fantastic. Yes labels are unimportant to me too, I just wanted to give a sense of what I was looking for. Can't wait to check out your suggestions.
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Re: Sean Nós recommended listening

Post by Mr.Gumby »

I was just shaking my memory to see what would fall out on short notice, obviously I forgot people like Darach Ó Catháin and many others as well as not knowing for certain if there are recordings of singers I mentioned are available but at least it's a start at finding out the type of singer you enjoy listening to.

Clare library's Singers and songs is a great resource of traditional singers, not necessarily of the Sean Nós variety.

Cerbh é Darch Ó Catháin is a nice little film, worth watching.

There is a lot, once you start looking.

Here are a few faces tio put to names:

Pól Ó Cheannabháin

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Catriona ni Cheannabhean
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Dainí Maidchi Ó Suilleabháin
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Johnny Mhairtin Learai MacDonncha
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Jimi O Ceannabhain
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Nell ní Chroínín
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Eoini Mhaidhci O Suilleabhain
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Nan Tom Teaimin de Burca
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Re: Sean Nós recommended listening

Post by An Draighean »

Mr.Gumby wrote:... as well as not knowing for certain if there are recordings of singers I mentioned are available ...
I was disappointed not to find any commercial recordings of Nell ní Chroínín (except as a contributor to someone else's project). Spent a good while yesterday listening to her on YouTube though, at least as long as my meagre satellite internet connection would allow.

Thanks for the recommendations and links Peter.
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Re: Sean Nós recommended listening

Post by Mr.Gumby »

I think Nell ní is now semi permanent with Danú. She was extensively featured on TG4 when she won her Gradam award a few years ago. I also remember her featured somewhere singing with Eoiní Maidchi who mentored her from a young age, it was a TG4 program, possibly a Sé mo Laoch one or one one of both Eoini and Daini Maidchi, some of it should be on youtube and is worth pursuing.
[Edit/Added : this is from the program I was thinking of, there's more of it though]

On one hand I think there are perhaps too many recordings out already and I don't mind the many good musicians who haven't jumped on that bandwagon. On the other hand you can take heed from what happened to Diarmuid Ó Súilleabháin, when he died in a car accident, there wasn't a lot of recorded material left behind and they really had to scrape and dig to find stuff to put a CD of him together in tribute.

So I don't know. But it's just one of these things, not everybody is too pushed about recording. Having a CD calls for self promotion, going out there, advertising, pushing it, launching it a dozen times all over the place,chat up this person and that. And a recording is a calling card, trying to generate attention, gigs. And again, not everybody is looking for that. It is also putting something of yourself out there. Not something that suits all people. And that's fine.

Some days I think music is like that, perhaps should be like that: you play it or sing it and it drifts away, with no need to freeze it in time. But at the same time I am grateful I can hear the singers and musicians who have left us. And before you know it we'll be talking about Séamus Ennis' story of Henry Bohannon and what that all meant.

And as Clare library is hosting a bunch of my photos, here's another one :

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Re: Sean Nós recommended listening

Post by NicoMoreno »

Nell ní Chroínín is also a member of the Raw Bar Collective - they have two CDs out now with a good few songs on them. It's fantastic music anyway, but with the singing they're must haves!
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Re: Sean Nós recommended listening

Post by s1m0n »

While he sang most often in English, Paddy Tunney was a giant of sean nós singing.
And now there was no doubt that the trees were really moving - moving in and out through one another as if in a complicated country dance. ('And I suppose,' thought Lucy, 'when trees dance, it must be a very, very country dance indeed.')

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Re: Sean Nós recommended listening

Post by Mr.Gumby »

Paddy Tunney was a giant of sean nós singing.
As I indicated above, traditional singing doesn't quite equate with the general understanding of 'sean nós' singing and I am equally guilty of slipping in a few names earlier because I love their singing, even if a lot of people wouldn't put them in a sean nós bracket. But perhaps we should try not confuse things too much, or not any further.

To my mind Tunney too would perhaps fit better in the 'traditional singer' pigeon hole than in the sean nós one, even if you want to define the term in the broadest sense of 'old style'. But when you include him, you probably will want to include Roisín White, Joe Holmes, Len Graham. Geordie Hanna, Brian Mulliins, Gabriel McArdle and people like that. And you'll have the floodgates thoroughly open. I would feel Bess Cronin should get a mention then too, as a recommended singer.

Sean nós : the basics for leaving cert students
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Re: Sean Nós recommended listening

Post by Rusco »

Thanks a lot for all the suggestions. I only mentioned Sean Nós in the original post to give an overall indication of what I was looking for. I'm out this weekend but look forward to doing some intensive listening sessions next week. You've been really generous with your knowledge guys. Thank you so much.
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Re: Sean Nós recommended listening

Post by Mr.Gumby »

Sorry about going on about the general traditional vs sean nós divide. There's really a grey area although calling certain, very fine, singers sean nós feels wrong sometimes, even if it's not all that important how you pigeonhole someone's singing.

I accidentally omitted Lillis Ó Laire from from previous posts and he really should have had a mention. Antain Ó Farachain and Saileog Ni Cheannabhain are another two you may want to hear as well. And look into Finola Ó Siochrú and perhaps Sile Denvir at some point as well.

I'll leave it at that, adding more singers, and I have a few names bouncing around my head (Rosie Stewart is can't wait to get a mention), will probably confuse things even more.

A few things to watch though:


Sé Mo Laoch - Eoiní agus Danny Mhaidhcí Ó Súilleabháin, which is the program I referred to a few times earlier.

And as Paddy Tunney got a mention, Se mo Laoch Paddy Tunney is probably a good one to watch (I don't think I have seen that one but all the Sé Mo Laoch [programs are worth watching)
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Re: Sean Nós recommended listening

Post by s1m0n »

Mr.Gumby wrote:
Paddy Tunney was a giant of sean nós singing.
As I indicated above, traditional singing doesn't quite equate with the general understanding of 'sean nós' singing and I am equally guilty of slipping in a few names earlier because I love their singing, even if a lot of people wouldn't put them in a sean nós bracket. But perhaps we should try not confuse things too much, or not any further.
Tunney wasn't exclusively a sean nos singer, but then neither was Joe Heaney. Both recorded non sean nos pieces. I don't see having sung in other styles as disqualifying.
And now there was no doubt that the trees were really moving - moving in and out through one another as if in a complicated country dance. ('And I suppose,' thought Lucy, 'when trees dance, it must be a very, very country dance indeed.')

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Re: Sean Nós recommended listening

Post by Mr.Gumby »

I could argue that 'sean nós' is the style of singing, not the nature of the songs sung (although arguably language can be an issue to some).

But with regards to Paddy Tunney: it's not all that important, although my initial reaction, which wasn't a reasoned one but one of gut feeling, was one of never having thought of him as a sean nós singer.
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Re: Sean Nós recommended listening

Post by kenny »

Bit of an aside here, but - Nic Moreno, when did the "Raw Bar Collective" release their 2nd CD ? I was only aware of one, but would be very eager to get the second. Any information gratefully received.
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