1990s images from Peter Laban

Peter Laban is the ITMA Photographer-in-residence for 2021. Below are a selection of his images, along with his own thoughts about what was going on at the time the photograph was taken.

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Mary MacNamara, concertina ; Pat O'Connor, fiddle / Peter Laban

Hillery's, Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare in July 1998

I had played for a while in the backroom when these two came in, playing East Clare music before it became the fashionable thing.
Seán McNamara ; Mick Coyne / Peter Laban
Seán McNamara ; Mick Coyne / Peter Laban
Seán McNamara ; Mick Coyne / Peter Laban

Seán McNamara ; Mick Coyne / Peter Laban

© Peter Laban

Outside Crotty's, Kilrush, Co. Clare in August 1999

Seán McNamara lived in Liverpool but used to spend most of the summers in Clare. He was a long time member of the Liverpool Ceili band. He's playing here with Mick Coyne who has strong family connections with the band. They were flying it.
Jackie Daly / Peter Laban
Jackie Daly / Peter Laban
Jackie Daly / Peter Laban

Jackie Daly / Peter Laban

© Peter Laban

Jackie had asked me to take a few photos. This was at the back of the house. A few days later I was working on the films in the darkroom at home. Towards one o'clock I took a break and turned on the radio and heard serious classical music on Clare fm. That didn't sound right so I turned the television on to catch the news. The job didn't get finished, it was 11 September 2001.
The piper's hands = Tommy Kearney / Peter Laban
The piper's hands = Tommy Kearney / Peter Laban
The piper's hands = Tommy Kearney / Peter Laban

The piper's hands = Tommy Kearney / Peter Laban

© Peter Laban

The piper's hands

Wille Clancy Summer School reedmaking workshop, Vocational school, Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare on 6 July 1994

I was talking to Tommy Kearney in the reedmaking workshops one Willie week. He was always fiddling with the reeds. He played a tune when he was happy enough with them. I 'saw' my picture and popped the 105 mm lens on the camera.
Peter Laban
Robbie Hannan with his son / Peter Laban
Robbie Hannan with his son / Peter Laban
Robbie Hannan with his son / Peter Laban

Robbie Hannan with his son / Peter Laban

© Peter Laban

Robbie was playing a lunchtime recital for the pipers at the 1997 Willie Clancy Summer School. His son moved to the front at some point, perhaps suggesting it was time to move on.
Denis Brooks / Peter Laban
Denis Brooks / Peter Laban
Denis Brooks / Peter Laban

Denis Brooks / Peter Laban

© Peter Laban

Conway's, Mullagh, Co. Clare, July 1999

Late one afternoon we had gone to Mullagh for a few tunes. Denis has that lovely flowing old fashioned sort of sound. He was sitting opposite of me, catching the light of the low sun coming in through the window while smoking his pipe. I had to go out to car to get the camera.
Paddy Canny / Peter Laban
Paddy Canny / Peter Laban
Paddy Canny / Peter Laban

Paddy Canny / Peter Laban

© Peter Laban

Paddy Canny at The Falls Hotel, Ennistymon in August 1998 / Peter Laban

A concert was organised for the Merriman Summer School. It was a few weeks after Junior Crehan's funeral and he was still on the posters. Ciarán Mac Mathúna was presiding over the night. I remember Chris Droney, Tommy McCarthy, Bríd O Donohue, Helen Hayes, Miriam Collins, Peter O'Loughlin, Paddy Canny, PJ Hayes and Maureen O'Gorman playing. It was a great night.
Peter Laban
Úna Grogan ; Dympna O'Sullivan ; Mick Mulcahy ; Gerdie Commane ; Louise Mulcahy / Peter Laban
Úna Grogan ; Dympna O'Sullivan ; Mick Mulcahy ; Gerdie Commane ; Louise Mulcahy / Peter Laban
Úna Grogan ; Dympna O'Sullivan ; Mick Mulcahy ; Gerdie Commane ; Louise Mulcahy / Peter Laban

Úna Grogan ; Dympna O'Sullivan ; Mick Mulcahy ; Gerdie Commane ; Louise Mulcahy / Peter Laban

© Peter Laban

Another big gathering of concertina players outside Crotty's in Kilrush from August 1998. Úna Grogan, Dympna O'Sullivan, Mick Mulcahy and Gerdie Commane all playing concertinas, Louise Mulcahy play playing the flute. Gerdie's wife, Nora and Pat Costello sitting in to listen.
Geoff Wooff ; Máire Ní Ghráda / Peter Laban
Geoff Wooff ; Máire Ní Ghráda / Peter Laban
Geoff Wooff ; Máire Ní Ghráda / Peter Laban

Geoff Wooff ; Máire Ní Ghráda / Peter Laban

© Peter Laban

Geoff Wooff's house, Cloghanmore, Miltown Malbay in June 1998

At one point I embarked on a project that would document pipemaker Geoff Wooff making a set of pipes for Maire Ní Ghrada. This image was taken towards the end of that project when Maire came to collect her pipes. With the vacuum cleaner stored in the backroom echoing the shape of the chanter, I had to take this angle, hadn't I?