The Rose In The Gap Tunebook - Gerry O'Connor
The Rose in the Gap, Dance Music of Oriel from the Donnellan Collection collected in a beautiful book by the renowned Louth fiddler, Gerry O' Connor KEY FEATURES OF THE BOOK : 288 Melodies 176 Pages Colour photos Cultural and Historical Background of Oriel Biography of Luke Donnellan Analytical Notes on Each Tune On-line Audio Recordings of Each Melody Alphabetical & Numerical Index of Tunes
GERRY O'CONNOR - THE ROSE IN THE GAP: DANCE MUSIC OF ORIEL BOOK
288 tunes from a previously unpublished collection from the turn of the 20th century, airing many of these tunes for the first time in over 100 years (176 pp, color photos, biography and tune analyses).
ABOUT THE BOOK
The South Ulster area has a significant local repertoire of instrumental music and song, most of which was not highlighted over the course of the post-1950s revival of Irish traditional music. This collection is a unique body of tunes from that region at the turn of the 20th century, recreational melodies with which the people of North Leinster would also have been familiar. The music was first seen in an article by Rev. Luke Donnellan entitled Oriel Songs and Dances which was published in 1909 in the County Louth Archaeological Journal. That included a number of hand-scribed pieces which were notated within the Oriel area, part of a larger collection attributed to Donnellan which is now held in the National Folklore Collection at University College, Dublin.
This edition of that body of work grew out of research by its editor, Gerry O’Connor, in the early 2000s. Here he has re-transcribed the Donnellan Collection in a contemporary playing format, with the original document’s occasional inaccuracies and shortcuts sensitively amended, a process informed by his insider knowledge of the traditional music style of the area, and of the aesthetics of contemporary local traditional music performance. The manuscript is further complemented by the editor’s playing of all the tunes, available online, airing them publicly for the first time since Luke Donnellan’s original project was assembled over a century ago. And so the music is made available again, not only to performers in the Oriel area and its neighbouring counties, but also to musicians and scholars in all of Ireland and the international world of Irish traditional music.
Gerry O’Connor grew up in the town of Dundalk, County Louth in a family of musicians, dancers and singers. His mother Rose (née O’Brien) taught Gerry and his siblings at home and she continued to teach from there for the next 40 years. Students travelling from Armagh and Dublin as well as closer to home to learn from the doyenne of fiddle teachers. His father Peter was a singer whose seven uncles all played music. From an early age Gerry was involved Irish music and dance, winning numerous All Ireland titles between 1967 and 1973 in a range of formations including duet, trio and four Céili Band titles. Playing with Michael Coleman’s contemporary John Joe Gardiner in the 1970’s formed Gerry's style of music, focussing on the fluid and ornamented lyrical fiddle playing of the great Sligo masters. His own background in step dancing translates into a vibrant pulsating dance music for which he is noted; today he is regarded as one of the great fiddle players of his generation. He has played and recorded with such highly-regarded groups as Lá Lúgh (Eithne Ní Uallacháin, Sony Music) and Skylark (Len Graham, Gary O’Briain & Mairtin O’Connor), recording four CDs on the Claddagh label. Gerry has toured and recorded with members of all the legendary groups including Planxty, Bothy Band, De Dannan, Boys of the Lough and Chieftains. Lá Lugh's album “Brighid’s Kiss” was voted Album of the Year 1996 by readers of the Irish Music Magazine. His solo album “Journeyman” was counted in the top five Albums of the year 2004 by the Irish Times. This critically acclaimed solo album, co-produced with his son Dónal (At First Light), was heralded as a significant milestone in recording the music of the “Oriel” region of South Ulster