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Piping, Poetry, Singing & Puirt-à-Beul Videos from Armagh, 2004

Piping, Poetry, Singing & Puirt-à-Beul Videos from Armagh, 2004

The Irish Traditional Music Archive has been making audio field recordings since 1995 and video field recordings since 2001 at the annual William Kennedy International Piping Festival in Armagh city and district. The festival was established in 1994 by the Armagh Pipers Club and organised by a committee led by Brian and Eithne Vallely. It was named in honour of the blind maker and developer of uilleann pipes William Kennedy. He was born in Banbridge, Co Down, in 1768 and was sent to Armagh as a child to learn music. Largely self-taught as a craftsman, he supported his family by making pipes, clocks, and furniture. He is believed to have made more that thirty sets of uilleann pipes before his death in Tandragee in 1834. The festival has put an emphasis from the first on the universality of bagpipes; it regularly features pipers of bellows-blown and mouth-blown pipes from Europe, America, and Africa. It also emphases the interaction of bagpipes with other instruments and with various vocal traditions.

The video selections published here were recorded by ITMA staff over two days at the 10th William Kennedy Festival of 2004, on 20–21 November in the restored Primate's Chapel. They feature the Dublin musicians Michael O’Brien, uilleann pipes, & Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh, fiddle; the singers Brian Mullen from Derry and Anne Martin from the Isle of Skye; Belfast poet Gearóid Mac Lochlainn with Jarleth Henderson, Armagh, uilleann pipes; and Co Longford uilleann pipers Peter & Noel Carberry.

With thanks to the featured musicians, singers and poet for their permission to publish their performances here, and to Brian and Eithne Vallely & the Armagh Pipers Club for the facilitation of ITMA's field recording at the Festival over the years.

NC & TH, 1 October 2012