Ceol Pipes First Full Set- July 2013

I am very pleased to announce that I have just finished my first full set of concert D uilleann pipes. I have continued with the same materials (Indian Ebony, Castello Boxwood and Brass) and I have carried on my signature asymmetric sweep shape for the regulator keys. This motif is also mirrored in the regulator tuning pins, the bass drone puck and the decorative feature at the top end of the bass regulator balancing bar.

Each key is individually cut from a length of brass bar, shaped with files, sanded and finally polished to finish. I also make the regulator key springs from strips of phosphor bronze. I believe there is more beauty in the minor imperfections of a handcrafted object than in the industrial perfection of a machined one.

Internally, the regulators are as close a copy as was possible to make of my own 1924 William Rowsome set.

I will be exhibiting the set at the pipemakers showcase during this year’s Willie Clancy festival in Miltown Malbay- click on the link for more details.

In the meantime, please have a look at the full set here.

Sound and video clips to follow.

Please email or phone me if you are interested in Ceol Pipes Uilleann Pipes.

Ceol Pipes Regulators Launched- February 2013

Ceol Pipes are delighted to announce the launch of the first tenor and baritone regulators which were unveiled at the Pipemakers Showcase which took place as part of the Leo Rowsome Commemorative Day held at Na Píobairí Uilleann headquarters, 15 Henrietta Street in Dublin, on Saturday, February 23rd 2013.

The materials used, as in my chanters and drones, are Indian ebony, brass metalwork and castello boxwood decorative mounts.

In keeping with the distinctive aesthetic I have created for my chanters and drones, my signature asymmetric sweep features on the regulator keys as well as on the tuning pin end-detail.

I was delighted with the positive feedback I received from so many attendees at the pipemakers showcase, in particular from Helena Rowsome-Grimes, granddaughter of William Rowsome whose wonderful pipes inspire my own work, and also Sean Potts Snr.

The tuning of the regulators is excellent. They are based on the regulators on my own 1924 William Rowsome set, although I have made modifications to minimise the need for rushing of the bores.

Photos of the first ¾ set can be seen in the “3/4 Set Gallery” section of the Gallery page

Two fine pipers are also pictured playing my ¾ set- Bill Haneman, notably resplendent in a tie, whose patience, encouragement and generosity of knowledge got me started on this path, and one of my piping heroes, Mick O’Brien. Click to hear Mick give the 3/4 set a Quick Test Run. Thank you both very much, gentlemen!

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.