January is such a cold tentative month for musical events and Lynn Cahill eased the audience into the Coffee Concert mood with a gentle Sunday morning treat of uilleann piper, Martin Nolan and Seattle guitarist, Dan Carollo.
It is difficult to create intimacy in a cathedral and not having a stage or a printed programme, doesn’t help and neither of these fine musicians have the talking skills to be heard beyond four rows of seating. Polite audiences won’t shout up to speak up, no matter how much you invite them to.
Carollo was dressed in grey fleece and grey jeans, with a mike for his guitar and Nolan was in a wine/rust woollen and blue jeans and he set out to create intimacy of a dining room. The pipes filled the yellow space with a wild echoing sound that reduced the guitar to a strumming hum. A chase-me-charlie sort of jig up-the-leg-of-my-drawers set the tone as the pipes created a winter wildness. A polka sounded great and soft guitar work was gentle and beautiful.
I was happy to be there as Nolan’s tin whistle let into the expansive tune of Munster pipers. Carollo linked hymns to O’Carolan’s Draught – a fine memory of O Riada and Micheal O Domhnaill.
Nolan gave us a version of Droimeann Donn Dilis on low flute with guitar accompaniment, as he segued into fine pipe work. While Carollo settled into a here’s-a-tune-I-wrote mood.
A beautiful Swizz Waltz was excellent before a couple of reels ended the event.
The content of the concert reminded me of the excellent Keep ‘Er Lit now available of the songs and music of the late Michael O Domhnaill and the three cd set Plearaca an Riadaigh, now available from Gael Linn.