A new recording of traditional Irish music from Monaghan man Martin Mc Cormack brings to the fore another bright musical talent from the county of the ‘Stony Grey Soil’. Martin has been playing traditional music from a young age and although still only in his mid-20s, the maturity he displays on this, his debut recording, demonstrates an innate understanding and feel for the intricacies of his chosen instruments, particularly the Uilleann Pipes.
The beautifully straightforward album title only barely hints at the wonderful variety of pieces on display over the 12 tracks. Age old piping standards such as ‘Down the Back Lane’ and the ‘Groves Hornpipe’ mould effortlessly with more contemporary compositions from the likes of Vincent Broderick and Charlie Lennon with delightful arrangements also on O’ Carolan’s Madam Maxwell and the album’s sole song-track Roger the Miller. The recording also features tasteful contributions from a number of other young Monaghan musicians, showcasing the burgeoning folk talent that exists in the county.
Martin’s music is highly influenced by his piping teacher Tiarnan Dinkin and other local pipers Eamon Curran and Sean Mc Aloone (R.I.P.). He has also listened intently over the years to the piping masters Ennis, Clancy, Rowsome and Doran. His own style is highly rhythmic with an emphasis on sweetness of tone and use of subtle chanter and regulator work. Although Martin is well-known in traditional music circles around the border counties, the vibrant, thoughtful musicality of this debut recording will surely extend his reputation to a much wider audience.
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