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Author Topic: Francis O'Neill wax cylinders  (Read 1261 times)

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jack

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Francis O'Neill wax cylinders
« on: December 08, 2014, 09:02:03 AM »

Not directly melodeon related as these are all pipes or fiddle, but these field recordings do give a fascinating glimpse into Capt. O'Neill's working methods as well as a clear idea of what the 1001 actually are!

Well done UCC!

http://www.music.ucc.ie/henebry/
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KLR

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Re: Francis O'Neill wax cylinders
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2014, 06:31:51 PM »

Holy crap, thanks.  These will go well with the Dunn Family Collection and the Patsy Touhey cylinder recordings.  Touhey is featured prominently on all of these, I think he made more homemade cylinders than Michael Coleman made commercial 78s, he must have been one of the most prolific home recording artists of the time - definitely the king of trad music.

I've had dubs of some of these for years now, Touhey playing Drowsie Maggie etc and the sound hasn't improved drastically with these new dubs, even though they use lasers to read the cylinders; but much of this music is new to me.  The story is many of these records were stored in a damp barn attic for years, messing up the grooves in the wax; Breandan Breathnach attempted to dub them in the 60s and couldn't get some of them to play at all.  Great that we can now hear them all, recordings like this are a link to another time.

Most of these are recordings made by Fr. Henebry himself too, not O'Neill - there are a few of those as well, gifts sent by O'Neill, who later complained in a letter how Henebry never sent thanks. Some of the recordings of Touhey are announced that they are for "John Henebry," this was the Fr.'s pipemaking brother.  I guess some of those are in here as well.
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Stiamh

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Re: Francis O'Neill wax cylinders
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2014, 07:36:20 PM »

I dimly recall learning that Capt O'Neill was no great fan of squeezeboxes so it's not surprising if he didn't bother recording any. Haven't got far enough in my perusal of the Rev Henebry's Handbook to discover what he thought of free-reed instruments - but given his strong views of scales and intervals used in Irish music I don't expect to find any love lost there either.
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KLR

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Re: Francis O'Neill wax cylinders
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2014, 12:29:04 AM »

O'Neill only mentions free reed instruments in passing and then in a quite condescending manner.  Considering how great the pipers and fiddlers he was listening to were it's no wonder he looked down on the comparatively rudimentary music that was being played on these new instruments, though.

He wasn't alone in this attitude - accordions were banned from attending sessions at the revitalized Dublin Pipers' Club in the 40s, for instance.  In the US Pipers' Club journal there was a remark about how brave a box player was to dare to attend a tionol in Seattle in the 80s, too.   ;D  Good God but they must have slagged him.  It's a proud tradition with pipers to consider ourselves a cut or 10 above you wet tuned lot.   >:E

Years ago I bought a CD-ROM of the good Fr's tome - forget what, if anything, he had to say about boxes.  I do remember it confirming what I'd read about him elsewhere - that he was more than a bit of a crank.   ::)
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triskel

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Re: Francis O'Neill wax cylinders
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2014, 02:18:47 AM »

Patsy Touhey ... is featured prominently on all of these, I think he made more homemade cylinders than Michael Coleman made commercial 78s, he must have been one of the most prolific home recording artists of the time - definitely the king of trad music.

Only rivalled, for home cylinder recordings, by the melodeon playing Wyper brothers in Scotland...
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