Tag Archives: Simon Quigley

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It being International Women’s Day…

…what better time to chat about last Sunday, recording four incredibly talented women here in the studio. Maria and Michelle Mason, Siubhan Ni Ghriofa, and Marie-Louise Bowe were in with me performing string quartet duties for new music from Simon Quigley. There’s more technical info on the session over on my own site, but I wanted to write a wee bit about the women in music that have been so important to me as teachers, friends, and sources of inspiration.

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Maria Mason (violin), Siubhan Ni Ghriofa (violin), Marie-Louise Bowe (viola), Michelle Mason (cello), Simon Quigley (composer)

I grew up playing traditional Irish music with my dad, me on the whistle and him on accordion. My mum would sing, and as I got older I was brought to the weekly seisiún in the village during the summer months. Here I got to meet a host of musicians not just from Adare but from all over Limerick and Munster. I was also getting into alternative and rock music at the time, playing guitar and bass; it has changed somewhat today, but the absence of girls in that scene at the time was lamentably noticeable. It was a different story in the trad world though, with the likes of Siobhan Condon, Fiona Lyons and her sisters, Annette Gorman and many others leading the way in proficiency, mentorship and flair in the field. And that’s just in Limerick county. More than that though, for me as a kid those girls were approachable, friendly, willing to share their vast knowledge and inspiring in their love of their music. They could “read the dots” much better than me, but they encouraged me to use my ear as well as I could and not be discouraged.

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A break in proceedings, looking down from the Control Room

It wasn’t until I moved to Dublin that I got to meet and work with classical musicians. I was intimidated and first, not knowing much about music theory and still being slow with the sight reading. Working with Maria Mason and the O’Grady sisters (Eimear and Larissa) on those first sessions years ago opened my eyes to the way string players work, so similar in many ways to the fiddle players I knew back in that wee courthouse in Adare.
Fast forward to last Sunday, mother’s day, and there I am listening to four mothers producing beautiful music in the Live Room; it was such a fun day, intense but enjoyable. I can’t think of a better way to mark International Women’s day than to celebrate them and all the talented women that have been such a powerful influence on me in my life. Here’s to you all.

2014 baby

So I rounded the year out by almost finishing the recording of the upcoming Fiach album. Three days of intense work, with Fiach himself and Simon Quigley producing. Lots of time spent on “ambient” guitar noises and synth parts, it’s funny how the finishing touches can very often take up quite a lot of time. We reckon we’ve got about another day or two of recording, but the finish line is definitely in sight.

For the guitar stuff I used a Line6 Echo Pro – it is the rack equivalent of the DL-4, I love it because I can control any parameter via MIDI using a MIDI foot controller. by using a digital delay with 100% feedback can build up layers of sound that repeat forever, until I back off the feedback with the pedal talking to the unit. Very nice for unique pad sounds.

We also got Simon doing some sub  bass stuff, using Logic’s ES-1 synth. I love it for its simplicity. I don’t love it though for its ability to blow speakers. Still, that’s rock’n’ roll I suppose… 😀

Up next: 5 Dollar Shakes, Hawklion, and Tell No Foxx. January is looking good!

Simon Quigley – Ryan Vs White Star Line

Over the past few months I’ve been recording piano, strings, and the amazing vocals of Martin McCann and soprano Clare Kavanagh for a new contemporary piece by Simon Quigley. The piece is based on a court case taken by Thomas Ryan from Askeaton in Co. Limerick against the White Star Line, the company that ran the titanic. This weekend we are going to visit his surviving relations to discuss the opening performance of the piece, hopefully as part of a documentary to be made about the process of writing, recording, and performing the work.

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Fiach Moriarty – bass sessions

Last week Fiach, producer Simon Quigley, bassist Phil Daly and myself holed up in the Bay for a couple of days to lay down bass tracks for Fiach’s upcoming album. It was the first time using the Apollo for bass so we had some fun using the Pultec EQ, some gentle 1176 compression and some of the different Studer800 tape machine emulations going to tape; we got some really gorgeous sounds that Phil was really able to vibe off, and he brought some beautiful guitars along so we were spoilt for choice. He’s a hell of a player too, most importantly, so that helps! We have spent a *lot* of time crafting the basslines and kick drum patterns to get very subtle but interesting grooves and shifts going on in the songs, and it has really paid off.

Anyway, here are some photos from over on our facebook page..