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Tunes From Doolin Episode 05 - Mary MacNamara

Takayuki YAGI

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I know it's the name of the website but I initially flinched at the incongruence of Mary Mac and 'tunes from Doolin'


I'll put in another word for Mary MacNamara's new book 'Sunday's at Lena's' that was launched during the Feakle festival in August.


The book is filled with transcriptions of music by local musicians Mary encountered while growing up and learning music, whistle and flute player Joe Bane, fiddlers Bill Malley and Martin Rochford and concertina players Mickey O Donohue, John Naughton and Paddy Grogan.


Most tunes included are wellknown enough, although they appear in local settings or settings personal to the musician they were written down from.


The concertina players were all on the row players so many tunes appear in C and related keys and so do some of Rochford's tunes, Martin had strong opinions on the influence of key on the mood of tunes and he played a lot of his tunes in 'the flat keys' on the fiddle.


The book is a well produced 127p hardback in A4 format. It weighs 819 g so postage for most of the world borders on prohibitive, unless you really, really want it. A CD with recordings used for the transcriptions is included.


It can be ordered from Mary directly. I got mine in Custy's



I couldn't help noticing the version of the Swallow's Tail Mary plays in the podcast. She lists it as Martin Rochford's version. I got a completely different version of the tune from Martin, one he played on the pipes and which he said he got off Johnny Doran, who wrote it down for him, if I recall correctly. Mary's setting is more like that of Mickey Donoghue's, which is in the book. Martin may well have had that too, he played a lot with Mickey at one point, although I never heard him play it.




Johnny Malley (Bill Malley's son) in conversation with Martin Rochford

Edited by Peter Laban
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