Compositions by Lisa Shields

Lisa shields
Lisa Shields

ITMA is delighted to have Lisa Shields as our featured composer for January 2022. Lisa is a long-time friend to ITMA and has made an invaluable contribution to the collections with her work on Eddie Butcher, Canon James Goodman, Dusty Bluebells and the collections of her late husband Hugh Shields. Her three compositions have been recorded for ITMA by Hugh Magee on flute.

Compositions

  1. Banks of the Dodder [comp. Lisa Shields], jig (January 2014)
  2. The trip to Ballinteer [comp. Lisa Shields], reel (December 2018)
  3. The Dodder in Full Spate [comp. Lisa Shields], jig (January 2021)

Listen: A playlist of all three compositions, performed by Hugh Magee, flute

Learn: Interactive scores of Lisa Shields' compositions, with playback, ABC notation and more (see user guide for more details).

Read: Transcriptions of compositions, composed and transcribed by Lisa Shields


Banks of the Dodder [comp. Lisa Shields], jig

Banks of the Dodder [comp. Lisa Shields], jig / Hugh Magee, flute

I named this jig after the river Dodder, which is the largest tributary of the Liffey. It rises near Kippure in the Wicklow mountains and flows through several Dublin suburbs before rejoining the Liffey near Ringsend. My favourite route to the Friday daytime sessions in O'Donohue's and the Cobblestone was to walk from Clonskeagh along the nearby banks of the Dodder to reach the Milltown Luas stop.

Learn the tune:

Banks of the Dodder [comp. Lisa Shields], jig [played slowly] / Hugh Magee, flute

Interactive score, with the tune played slowly by Hugh Magee
Transcription of the tune
(PDF)


The trip to Ballinteer [comp. Lisa Shields], reel

The trip to Ballinteer [comp. Lisa Shields], reel / Hugh Magee, flute

I have a soft spot for the Dublin suburb of Ballinteer because that is where we first owned our own house, in the Wyckham Park estate near Dundrum. That was in the early sixties when it was the last estate on the edge of the countryside. You could walk out into the nearby fields and pick blackberries.

Learn the tune:

The trip to Ballinteer [comp. Lisa Shields], reel [played slowly] / Hugh Magee, flute

Interactive score, with the tune played slowly by Hugh Magee
Transcription of the tune
(PDF)


The Dodder in full spate [comp. Lisa Shields], jig

The Dodder in full spate [comp. Lisa Shields], jig / Hugh Magee, flute

During the January 2021 lockdown piper Roger O'Keeffe sent a short video to Shay Fogarty's Meitheal Deardaoin WhatsApp group. It showed the River Dodder in Dublin bursting its banks after heavy rain. He wrote:

'As the Banks of the Dodder disappear, we need a new tune: The Dodder in Spate.'

I took up the challenge and composed my tune 'The Dodder in full spate' that evening. I sent in my score of it the next day, along with a watercolour I had done of the weir at the Dodder in Milltown in sunnier times.

Banks of the Dodder [artwork] / Lisa Shields
Banks of the Dodder, watercolour by Lisa Shields

Piper Dave Fadden then recorded himself playing my tune on the whistle, and posted that to the group. More compositions followed - Dave's tune called 'Roger's dawdle down the Dodder' and 'The Rolling Dodder', a jig from Shay Fogarty. Hugh Magee is also a member of that Meitheal Deardoain group and he picked up my tune from there.

Learn the tune:

The Dodder in full spate [comp. Lisa Shields], jig [played slowly] / Hugh Magee, flute

Interactive score, with the tune played slowly by Hugh Magee
Transcription of the tune
(PDF)


About Lisa Shields and Hugh Magee

Lisa Shields and Hugh Magee

Lisa is a graduate in modern languages from Trinity College Dublin, and worked for the Irish Meteorological Service for many years as Librarian and translator. She plays concertina, whistle and uilleann pipes.

Hugh is a flute player, who regularly plays in sessions with Lisa. He retired a few years ago from the Department of Health. He plays a Radcliff model flute. The Radcliff system was invented by the Rudall and Carte company in 1870 and named after John Radcliff who was a prominent flutist of the period. The flute is fully keyed but maintains the same fingering as the simple system flute. Its greatest exponent for Irish traditional music was Paddy Carty from Loughrea from whom Hugh acquired his first Radcliff flute.


Presented by Treasa Harkin, January 2022, with thanks to Lisa Shields, Hugh Magee and Alan Woods