Enda Seery(Éanna Ó Saoraí) is releasing his sophomore album Síocháin na Tuaithe which means Peace of the Countryside in English. The album is traditional but with added ingredients that incorporate a bigger “Celtic” sound. We can take this interview as a sort of a closer look into the process of creating an album. And there are many challenges when one is doing it independently. So it is quite interesting to learn something from someone who spent a great deal of time polishing the album and working with the best musicians in the field.
Your new album is going to be released this April. Are you nervous, happy…excited?
I suppose I’m nervous, happy, excited all of those. In all honesty, I’m very satisfied with how the album turned out. It’s a much more varied and detailed album than the first album “The Winding Clock”. I’m a little bit nervous of how people will react to my vocals and flute playing but I think if one wasn’t nervous there would be something wrong! I’m really excited about the launches that will take place around Ireland with three planned and maybe one more.
You laboured with the tracks for months. You even sang vocals. What are other new things that listeners can expect on Peace of the Countryside?
Yes I did labor with the tracks for months. I like to get things right and the way I want it. As I stated “Síocháin na Tuaithe” is a little different than “The Winding Clock” whistle album. As well as the vocal tracks, listeners can expect flute tracks too. Also there are some duet tracks on the album. One track is a flute/fiddle duet with myself and James Hughes from Co. Offaly and another is a whistle duet with myself and Eoghan MacAogáin from Limerick accompanied by Tom Delany on guitar with a French/Irish family background.
What were the challenges in conceiving the second album that was not present in the first?
Well the challenges were taking the feedback on board from the first album and trying to put them in place for the second. I took the constructive criticism on board with the duet tracks, flute tracks and vocal tracks. Not to sound big-headed, but my repertoire of tunes has greatly increased in the last few years, so it was a major challenge trying to pick out suitable tunes for certain tracks. I got some brilliant tunes on the Masters course in Traditional Irish Music Performance at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick.
Any expectation upon the release?
My expectations would be higher this time round. I’m now a full-time traditional Irish musician, composer and teacher so as I said in the sleeve notes introduction, “music is now my life”. That’s why I’m a having a mini-tour of launches this summer. I want to promote the album to as wide an audience as possible. I also have the expectation and hope that my compositions will gain further recognition. I love composing and I especially love mixing my own tunes with older tunes and other recent compositions of others.
What are the memorable moments in the studio working with other artists in this one?
Yeh a few funny and happy memories alright. As well as recording most of the album again withat Black Rose Studios, Kilcock, Co. Kildare, I also recorded two tracks at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick. I had great fun recording with James Hughes, Eoghan MacAogáin and Tom Delany. James and I were surprised how well the flute/fiddle track came out considering we had been out late the night before! We also had a quite unusual set-up for the microphones in the studio which I won’t go into too much detail about!I enjoyed working with John Byrne on guitar again. He was calling me “one take Seery” after getting a recording take in one go! Some really accomplished and intricate guitar playing from John on the album.
What instruments and brands did you use in recording Peace of the Countryside?
Well I rarely record and perform without my trusted John Sindt whistles these days. I absolutely love them. I have four: D, Eb, C, Bb. They are really hard to get with the long waiting list so I consider myself lucky to have them. I play a Martin Doyle D flute on the album along with a Yamaha keyboard.
Why the title?
The title “Síocháin na Tuaithe” (Peace of the Countryside) is a reference and celebration of the beautiful countryside of Ireland, particularly that of Co. Westmeath where I live. It is also the title of a slow waltz I composed last year which is on the album. I was delighted to play the tune at my brother Ciarán’s wedding to Margaret last July. I am a fluent Irish speaker so Ireland’s language, culture and heritage, is very important to me. I like to name some of compositions in the Irish (Gaeilge) language.
What’s the list of things you will be doing this year in promoting the album?
As I already stated I will be having three launches, one in my home county of Westmeath on April 26th in Áras an Mhuilinn, Mullingar. Another launch will take place at the Fleadh Nua festival in Ennis, Co. Clare on May 25th or May 26th. In August, I will be having a launch at the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil in Derry, Northern Ireland. The venues and times of the launches in Ennis and Derry will be confirmed soon. In July, the new album will feature as part of the Joe Mooney Summer School in Drumshambo, Co. Leitrim where I will be teaching an advanced whistle class for the week. Irish Music Magazine will have a feature article and interview with me during the summer too. Finally, tracks from the album will hopefully get some air play on radio stations in Ireland and abroad too.
After the completion of “Síocháin na Tuaithe” , what have you learned so far in the whole experience. What thought would you impart to readers who are trying to gather materials for their own solo albums?
I have learned that variety is important. You have to try broaden the horizon a bit. My experience in Limerick has certainly broadened my mind and outlook on music a bit. I am still very much into pure trad music but I now am open to variety. There is a wide range of material on this new album, ranging from the regular jigs, reels, hornpipes to polkas, slip jigs, slow pieces and of course the songs! My advice is those trying to gather material for new albums is to take time and do it right. No point rushing it just for the sake of releasing an album.
Where can we buy “Síocháin na Tuaithe” ?
At the moment “Síocháin na Tuaithe” is only available directly from my website at www.endaseery.com. Go to the buy albums link. After the release on April 1st, the album will be available from the regular distribution outlets for traditional Irish music which I’m working on at the moment. Of course people in Ireland can buy the album also by going to the launches too!
Yes we are up to date with our artist of the week. Yes that’s Enda Seery above. A review of Síocháin na Tuaithe will be out soon but I feel that doing an interview is a great intro to his album. So what do we have on the menu? I will tell you:
Welsh musician Derek Smith recommended Ta Fechu from Chile. According to him: ” I had the privilege of meeting Ta Fechu from Chile at Lorient in 2011. They’re great people and they deserve to be heard.” Here is the video of the song called Añoranza. You got to admire the sound of pipes in this track. I also love the use of Latin flavour: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tz9c5aSvQ3s&feature=share
Here is the second part of our teaser for the Kevin O’Donnell upcoming release
More Than an Album
As the acclaimed author of Fadó: A Memoir of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness,Kevin is known as more than a singer-songwriter but also an author and historian. DEEP IS THE WELL is a work of historical fiction drawing extensively from real-life events. Kevin has penned a novel-worthy history of the Fagan family, from 1837 through today, steeped in a real American past.
Upon purchase of the album, we invite you unlock interactive multimedia content at www.deepisthewell.com. From there, as you listen to the album you can become acquainted with each of the songs’ characters as you read their complex backstories , view their family photographs, and explore their family tree. Watch videos, listen to the author read a chapter from his book, Fadó, download a bootleg bonus track, and gain access to the lyrics, chords, and the author’s personal notes from the album. Those curious about the evolution of writing and recording a song, from the first lilt of the melody to the last day in the studio, will be especially interested in a short documentary on the making of one of Kevin’s most intriguing songs.
Here is something from Calum Stewart:
Here is the video of Calum and Gareth: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2N6HwXmY2c
Check out this Dave Rooney promo video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5ncEE2Pxog&feature=share
If you love harp music check out this upcoming special Galway performance hosted by Galway Early Music, the Historical Harp Society of Ireland and others.
Here’s what it says:
The duo of Phil Holland: Clarsach (Irish Harp,Celtic Harp), Fiddle, Vocals and Dave Palmley: Guitar, Vocals have their website redesigned to give you more access to graphics and music. Have a listen and also check the goodies in their music store. Support your independent Celtic musicians.http://hollandandpalmley.wix.com/html_celtictwist
Want to know how’s the Irish music scene doing in Ottawa Canada? Please join Irish Music Ottawa: http://www.facebook.com/groups/172682729446933/
Ok that’s it folks. If I miss anything the next edition is this Friday. Take care 🙂