Two beautiful pieces of Irish influence. Recorded by Gary Ryan on his CD "Visions and Vistas".
The composer writes:
'Out of Clonmel' - Over the past few years I have explored different tunings on the guitar. The instrument sounds fresh with a new tuning and harmonies or patterns that have become stale or are difficult to play with the traditional tuning can suddenly become reinvigorated, idiomatic and resonant in different ways. You are also forced as a player to explore the fingerboard differently and the different tension of the strings produces a subtly different timbre.
Out of Clonmel is tuned so that all of the open strings form a D major chord (D, A, D, F#, A, D). This can be confusing at first but you get used to it pretty quickly and tablature helps when notating the score. Both of these pieces were originally commissioned by Rebecca Baulch, a very fine player who I used to teach at the Royal College of Music. She was very good at reading tablature, hence the idea to retune the guitar.
Clonmel was the place my grandfather came from in Co. Tipperary, Ireland and the piece has an energetic Irish flavour which reflects Irish folk music, something I have always loved. The melody is decorated with ornaments which imitate those often played on the pipe or whistle. I dedicated this piece to my second daughter Caitlin, so full of life, who has of course in part come out of Clonmel.
'Lough Caragh (Glenbeigh)' - Lough Caragh is influenced by the traditional Irish ballad and expresses for me something of the incredible beauty of the South West of Ireland. When my eldest daughter Jenny was only one year old in the summer of 2004, we stayed on the shores of Lough Caragh, a beautifully tranquil lake west of Killarney, visiting Glenbeigh where Jenny first played in the sea. I was trying to convey through the music the memory of those early, magical childhood days which can never be recaptured. I had the melody going round in my head for a very long time before writing it down. When I compose, I like to think that if what I have written is good I will remember it several weeks or months later in my head. My aural memory therefore acts as a filter, retaining the best ideas before I put pen to paper. Lough Caragh uses a traditional drop D tuning.