Friday, March 17, 2006

music: st. patty's day edition

Image Hosted by I may not be Catholic, but I am a part-Irish critter who loves beer. With that in mind - Happy St. Patty's Day! I'm not in a Guiness mood this year, so I went out and purchased a 6 pack of O'Hara's Irish Red, brewed in Carlow, Ireland. Good stuff.

Speaking of good stuff, I have some music to share. I am extremely lacking when it comes to Irish music, but I have just enough to make a musical St. Patty's Day post worthwhile.

Image Hosted by For starters, I have an album by the worldly and prolific producer and bassist Bill Laswell titled Emerald Aether: Shape Shifting/Reconstructions Of Irish Music. The album is nothing special, but it does represent Laswell's attempt to work with Irish music and come up with something unique. The following two tracks sound especially Irish and give a good taste of what the album is about. The first one is his mix of a song by Karen Casey called "The Labouring Man's Daughter" and the second number is a re-working of a Jerry O'Sullivan tune called "Wendel's Wedding".

ALBUM: Emerald Aether: Shape Shifting/Reconstructions Of Irish Music (Shanachie/The Orchard, 2000)
MP3: The Labouring Man's Daughter
MP3: Wendel's Wedding

There is an instrument that is a part of my Irish and Scottish heritage that has a love/hate relationship with many people. Personally, I love the bagpipes! The rest of the tunes I'm sharing today feature this simply marvelous instrument in both traditional songs and something, well, off-kilter.

First, the traditional. The following two songs come from an album titled Irish Uillean Pipes, Northumbrian Small-Pipes, Scottish Highland Pipes.

ALBUM: Bagpipes of Britain & Ireland: Irish Uillean Pipes, Northumbrian Small-Pipes, Scottish Highland Pipes (Saydisc - Qualiton/The Orchard, 2001)
MP3: Rowsome's Slip Jig
MP3: Wild Hills O' Wannies

This last song does not come from an Irish artist. In fact, the only relation to Ireland whatsoever is that it features the lovely sounds of bagpipes. Free jazz legend Albert Ayler recorded the album Music is the Healing Force of the Universe in 1969, and one of the tunes is noticeably different from the others. "Masonic Inborn, Part 1" is a long and chaotic number that showcases Ayler's ability to take the bagpipes and blast off into another dimension. I doubt that many people will care for it, but I love it! Even though this album in general was rather disappointing, I'm glad I bought it just because of this song.

ALBUM: Music is the Healing Force of the Universe (Impulse!, 1969)
MP3: Masonic Inborn, Part 1

Image Hosted by I'd like to end this post on a serious note. This Liberty and Power blog post by Mark Brady brought my attention to a website called Black From the site's main page:
Welcome to the Black Shamrock dot org, the website of the Black Shamrock Campaign, where people are invited to post photographs of the Black Shamrock at various locations in Ireland and throughout the world.

The Black Shamrock symbolises our mourning for all those who died as a result of Irish collaboration in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, for which the airports at Shannon, Aldergrove and Baldonnel have become pit-stops. It also symbolises our mourning for the loss of Irish Neutrality.

Equally the economies both north and south are daily becoming more integrally linked to the fortunes of the US led ‘military industrial complex’. What price is being paid for ‘peace’ in the north and ‘prosperity’ in the south with the arrival of Raytheon (the world’s largest Missile manufacturer) in Derry, and companies like Timoney, Data Devices Corporation, Zillings and Moog Ltd (all of whom make components for the international arms industry) in the south?

Among other conflicts this collaboration is fuelling, is the one caused by the ongoing Israeli military occupation of the Palestinian territories.

The Black Shamrock is also, of course, a symbol of resistance. In wearing it, all of those who do declare their opposition to any Irish involvement, be it economic, strategic or logistical, in the unjust and illegal wars.

The Black Shamrock campaign is a grassroots non-party political, non-partisan campaign to highlight the views of the majority of people in Ireland and in the rest of the world; that we want no part in these dirty occupations and instruct our leaders to follow Irish and International law and immediately withdraw support for the occupations. The campaign welcomes the support of members of all political parties and none.

Wear a Black Shamrock! Get your friends to wear Black Shamrocks! Download posters, pictures and graphics here, or make your own Black Shamrocks for display in your window, your car, your workplace, or elsewhere. Get pictures of your Black Shamrocks and upload them here for all to see!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just heard a great Irish jam band, called Peatbog Faeries, and bagpipes are central to their music. You should check them out if you get a chance.


11:57 AM  
Blogger freeman said...

It's too bad they're not on I'll have to keep my eyes open for them. Thanks.

3:18 PM  

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