Ceol Pipes at Kite Surf Pro World Championships Launch- Oct 2012

Achill Island is hosting one of the four events on the Kite Surf Pro World Tour 2012 calendar between October 19th and 28th.

The Kite Surf gang in Pure Magic, Slievemore, Achill, held a massive launch party on Friday October 19th and a few of us musicians from the Annexe Inn in Keel were invited over to play a bit of trad music for some of the coolest dudes and dudettes on the planet.

It didn’t take us long to convert them from their usual diet of Snoopy Snoopy Doggy Dog and Fortycents into baggy-jeaned and baseball-cap-ar-leath-thaobh wearing sean-nos Riverdancers lepping around to jigs and reels.

Best of luck to all competitiors and organisers!

Check out the video on the Video page, or see it here.

Ceol Pipes wins at RDS National Crafts Competition 2012!

I am absolutely delighted that a half-set of my uilleann pipes was awarded 1st prize in the Musical Instrument category at the RDS National Crafts Competition 2012.

I received a medal and certificate at the RDS on August 9th and my pipes will be on display at the Dublin Horse Show from August 15th to August 19th 2012.

My pipes will also be on display at the following venues with other winning entries:

September 21 – October 14                                                                                           Rathcroghan Visitors Centre, Cruachan Aí, Tulsk, Co. Roscommon

October 28 – November 18
Castlecomer Discovery Park, The Estate Yard, Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny

A slideshow of all the winning entries can be seen here.

Ceol Pipes at RDS National Crafts Exhibition- August 2012

I am delighted that a half set of my uilleann pipes has been selected for exhibition as part of the National Crafts Competition at the RDS Discover Ireland Dublin Horse show from August 15th – 19th 2012.

The exhibition can also be viewed, free of charge, on Friday, August 10th 2012, from 10:00am to 5:00pm at the RDS Concert Hall, Merrion Road, Dublin 4.

Music Makers National Tour 2012

The Music Makers show which features video footage of 4 Mayo-based musical instrument makers, including Ceol Pipes, combined with live musical performance, was first performed in The Linenhall Theatre, Castlebar, Co. Mayo in November 2011.

All involved are delighted to announce that the show is embarking on a national tour during the Summer and Autumn of 2012 at the following venues:

  • 1st July            4.00pm             Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny
  • 18th Aug          8.30pm             Half Moon Theatre, Cork Opera House
  • 21st Sept         8.30pm             Aras Inis Gluaire, Belmullet
  • 22nd Sept        8.00pm             Riverbank Arts Centre Newbridge
  • 28th Sept         8.15pm             Draiocht Arts Centre, Blanchardstown
  • 29th Sept         8.30pm             Droichead Arts Centre, Drogheda
  • 17th Oct           8.00pm            Hawkswell Theatre, Sligo
Check out the Audio & Video page for a flavour of what to expect.
We hope to see you at one of the performances!

New Video: Heather Clarke- May 2012

My old friend Heather Clarke, author of the acclaimed “The New Approach to Uilleann Piping” and general over-achiever, and myself were asked to play duet pipes at the wedding of our mutual friends, Maurice and Jennifer, in Keadue, Co. Roscommon on May 26th 2012.

As well as being an amazing piper, Heather also managed to re-arrange Mendelssohn’s Wedding March to make it somewhat more pipe-friendly than the original version.

I videoed Heather on the evening before the wedding playing a half set of my pipes. Despite not having played pipes in several years she cuts loose here with Cailleach an Túairne (The Hag at the Spinning Wheel). Mighty stuff Heather!

Ceol Pipes in The Mayo News- May 2012

Not a whole lot happened in the fair county of Mayo this week which left the editor of weekly newspaper “The Mayo News” faced with the prospect of large swathes of blank spaces in this week’s edition.

Enter the cavalry, in the form of Ceol Pipes, who were delighted to be visited by journalist Anton McNulty who put together a really nice article about me and my pipes with some lovely photos by Achill-based photographer Jake Scott.

And a very special thanks to Achill-man Tomás Mac Sheáin who organised the interview and gave me so much help and support in setting up my workshop. Go raibh míle maith agat!

You can read the article here.

Ceol Pipes Drones- April 2012

I have recently finished making my first set of uilleann pipes drones, based largely on my Willie Rowsome set made in 1924, but with plenty of my own creative input.

I am pleased to announce that I am now accepting orders for drones. Information on my drones can be found on the Pipes page of this website.

The materials used are Indian ebony, castello boxwood mounts and brass metalwork.

The mainstock is made from castello boxwood, and I have incorporated what I believe is a novel drone-switch mechanism.

The novel bass puck design is inspired by my signature sweep on my chanter keys.

The drones are very easy to play, not requiring a lot of air, and they produce a very stable tone over the full range of the chanter.

I have posted a video of the drones on the Audio & Video page. The soundtrack is played by myself on the drones shown in the video, along with a 4-keyed chanter I made in 2011.

I have also set up a new Drones Photo Gallery here.

Kevin Rowsome visits Ceol Pipes- April 2012

Kevin Rowsome visited the Ceol Pipes workshop in Achill on Saturday April 14th along with Tomás MacUileagóid, a highly respected Harp-maker based in Dublin. Tomás was checking progress on his practice set of uilleann pipes, including a 3-keyed chanter, which is due for delivery within a few weeks.

Kevin Rowsome is the fifth generation of pipers from the Rowsome uilleann piping dynasty. The uilleann pipes that I make are based largely on a set that were made in 1924 by Kevin’s great-grandfather, William Rowsome.

It was fitting that Kevin got to test-drive my first completed set of drones, along with a 4-keyed chanter made in 2011. A video of his wonderful playing can be seen in the Audio & Video section of this website.

For more information on Kevin’s piping, and the immense contribution of the Rowsome family to uilleann piping, check out Kevin’s website.

New Video: Harry Bradley- Feb 2012

I spent a few very enjoyable pipe-nerd hours with Harry Bradley on Feb 24th 2012 en route to the Leo Rowsome Commemoration Day in NPU.

Harry tried a few of my chanters and I have uploaded a video of him playing one of my 4-keyed chanters to the Audio & Video page.

The tune I think is “The Hunter’s Purse”- a great version- thanks Harry! It is unknown if the Hunter had matching shoes.

Check out more of Harry’s wonderful piping at:

Ceol Pipes Exhibiting at NPU, Feb 25th 2012

Ceol Pipes Uilleann Pipes will be exhibiting at Na Piobairi Uilleann’s headquarters, 15 Henrietta Street, Dublin 1, as part of the Leo Rowsome Commemorative Event on February 25th 2012 between 10:00am and 5:00pm.

I will have several practice sets and chanters on display and interested parties are welcome to try them out.

Further details can be found on NPU’s website.