Irish exploration: Peadar Ó Riada
Triúr Sa Draighean
Music often rises out of landscape: that’s an idea especially true of Irish music. Peadar Ó Riada tends to think of himself as receiving music, rather than composing it. Listening to his latest recording, sixteen tracks of original music on which he plays concertina, accordion, and whistle, and Martin Hayes and Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh turn up on fiddle, one can hear both the landscape and the man, and the connection of friends who’ve come along to share the journey.
There are jigs, reels, hornpipes, and a pair of polkas, along with one song. They arise, as he explains in the liner notes, from and through varied circumstance. From that he has created musical comment and thought and conversation which carry on beyond that immediate place and time. The song, which finds Ó Riada using his voice as much as an instrument as for a conveyer of ideas through word, arose from a combination of ideas to mark a friend’s passing. Waiting for Connie came about while waiting for a session, while Bob and Bernie came to Ó Riada on watching two friends leaving after a visit. Fiddler Martin Hayes mentions in the notes that he could easily have thought these were tunes for an earlier time, and that is true. They hold the connection and energy of the three playing on this recording too. Martin Hayes and Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh each in differing ways reach for the edges and go to the heart of tradition in their own work, and that is present here as well.
“We recorded this ourselves three,” says Ó Riada, and that they did, in Ó Riada’s home in Clare, just the three playing and letting the recording run. That’s a fine way to listen, as well: just let the music unfold and see where it leads.
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