Friday, August 14, 2009


Talented Tinwhistle player Adrian McCarron will launch his first Solo CD 'My Own Style' at Hickeys Bar Dromahane on Sunday August 16. Its hard to imagine that anyone could make such wonderful music from a short pipe with a number of little holes in it, but this is what Adrian McCarron can do and can do better than most. Everyone is welcome to the launch where you can enjoy some great music from Adrian, from special guests 'Black Rose' and some friends of Adrian. Sean Donlon of C103 will launch the CD. Everything kicks off at 9.30pm and admission is free.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Boy in the Gap & Miss Hogan's Reel

Mp3 download with James Morrisson on tin whistle.

Tin Whistle and Flute, unknown - piano, Columbia 33357-F. Morrison plays tin whistle on this disc, the other side of which was on Viva Voce's 2 cassette Morrison release "The Professor." Morrison solos on Miss Hogan's, otherwise known as the Boys of the Lough. They finish with two parts of the Boys of Ballisodare. It is noteworthy that the piper Willie Clancy also didn't bother with the third part of this tune, which is more suited to the fiddle.

Colm O'Snodaigh

Colm Ó Snodaigh is a member of the traditional Irish folk group Kíla. He plays the flute, tin whistle, guitar, saxophone and percussion. He also sings with the group Kíla and released a solo album entitled Giving in 2007 where he sings in all the tracks. The album is a mixture of Colm's own compositions written in both Irish and English. He released another album in 1990 of 10 acoustic pop songs in Irish, entitled Éist.

Recording the Whistle

At some point after you begin learning to whistle, it may be beneficial to record your playing. Listening to recordings of your playing gives you a fresh perspective of your playing, and can be valuable in pinpointing areas where you need improvement.
Of course, a standard cassette recorder is perfectly serviceable to record your playing. However, you do have a few more options, thanks to current digital recording technology.

Recording Tunes Using Your Computer
Shareware/Freeware is available for downloading that works with the soundcard in your computer, allowing you to plug a microphone into your sound card and record .WAV files. These .WAV files can then be converted to the more standard MP3 files using separate software, also available for downloading from the Web. I have had great success with a freeware program called Audacity, which is availabe at

Using Audacity, I have recorded surprisingly good quality .WAV files of my whistle, fiddle (and, most recently, flute) playing using only the cheesy plastic microphone that came with my old Gateway desktop.

Recording Tunes Using Digital Portable Recorders

OK, now we get to one of the big debates: which is the best portable recorder for recording sessions, rehearsals, and MP3 recorder or a MiniDisk recorder? The basic pros and cons:

MiniDisk Recorders: Recording quality is usually either very good or excellent. Blank MiniDisks are fairly inexpensive. Unfortunately, with most MiniDisks you cant drag and drop MP3 files from a MiniDisk player to your PC (you can do this with an MP3 player)...this means that if you want to transfer 3.0 hours of music to or from your PC, you have to let the MiniDisk player run for 3.0 hours.

MP3 Recorders: Most have massive storage capacity. MP3 recorders have drag and drop capbability, allowing you to instantly move large files between the recorder and your desktop. With 20 Gigs or more of hard drive, you can also walk around with something like a bazillion CDs to listen to, and you can record for hours at a time (unlike MiniDisks, which only have an hour or so of recording time each--though rumor has it that Sony is coming out with a new format that will dramatically increase recording time on each disk).

Clips & Snips

An online collection of Irish whistle mp3s, that you can download for free. You can also participate by uploading your own recordings.