The second “Underway” concert moderated by Roger Willemsen is about Celtic music traditions that have been maintained in Northern Irish Ulster and in northeast English Northumbria. The most important instrument in this music, at the same time a expression of national identity is the bagpipes. With the brothers Niall and Cillian Vallely and Kathryn Tickell and her ensemble, leading experts of modern Celtic music will be shaping this concert.
Niall Vallely Concertina, Cillian Vallely Uilleann Pipes
Kathryn Tickell Fiddle, Louisa Tuck Cello, Ruth Wall Harp, Amy Thatcher Clog Dancing
Part 2: Underway in the Celtic Belt
The second Unterwegs concert invites us to enjoy a foray through the Celtic belt, encountering two musical traditions and the bagpipes: music from Ulster in Northern Ireland and from northeast English Northumbria, near the city of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Since the mid-20th century modern Celtic tradition has been increasing in significance as an expression of national identity for the people living in both regions. And the bagpipes play a particular role in doing so: it is conjectured that it is a relic of an archaic ritual instrument, since the Celts saw in rams and bulls the embodiment of divinities.
The Northumbrian smallpipes are among the quiet bagpipes, well-suited to playing together with other instruments. They consist of a double-reed chanter with seven finger holes and a thumb hole, as well as four drones in one joint staff that lie over the player’s right arm. The Northumbrian smallpipes are played only with bellow. Irish uilleann pipes are probably the most complex form of the bagpipe. They have a pitch range of two full octaves and are among the few instruments played only while seated. When the player places the lower end of the chanter on his or her thigh, the tone can be interrupted, enabling staccato playing. With the brothers Niall and Cillian Vallely from Ulster and Kathryn Tickell and her ensemble from Northumbria, leading experts of modern Celtic music will be offering this concert.