Sunday, April 10, 2011

Aiming for the Moon: Chieftains founder Paddy Moloney always looking for Celtic converts

"Even after almost 50 years, the Chieftains’ music is still out of this world. Literally.

In December, NASA astronaut Cady Coleman took her place on the space station. Two instruments belonging to members of the acclaimed Irish folk music group went with her — the pennywhistle of Chieftains founder Paddy Moloney and the 100-year-old Irish flute of Chieftains flutist Matt Molloy.

Then, on St. Patrick’s Day, Coleman recorded a video of herself playing them.

Watching that video was incredible enough, says the 73-year-old Moloney, who lives in Naples part time with his wife, Rita. But then, Coleman also called Moloney on his cell phone from the space station to chat more about her performance.

“She was afraid her playing might not be up to scratch,” he says. “And it was lovely.”"

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