I sat down with one the writers from Celtic Life to chat about my album, what I'm up to these days and the challenges of being an uilleann piper today!
Read the interview in full - https://celticlife.com/richard-neylon/
A friend of mine got in touch to say he was making a video featuring drone footage of Ireland’s countryside and landmarks. He wanted some music that would compliment the stunning beauty of the countryside.
I got in touch with a great sean-nós singer from Dublin, Saileog Ni Ceannabháin to ask if she could help.
She sent me a recording of her singing the air An Draighnean Donn.
I got to work putting some backing music to the vocals and eventually the track came together!
The video has been shared and viewed thousands of times on youtube, facebook and instagram.
I think my friend Max has a future working on behalf of Tourism Ireland for this. Have a look for yourself.. Truly stunning..
I recently came across a re-mix of a track I recorded on in 2018 - “Seven Nights in Éire” by country music star Lee Matthews.
The track was re-mixed by DJ Johnny O’Neill.
Have a listen to the remixed version here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVw8USeIqj0
I can just hear myself shouting techno.. techno.. techno..
‘Sonda’ featured as album of the week with Donal Mac Ruairí for RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta.
“Gach seachtain, roghnaíonn Dónall Mac Ruairí albam na seachtaine dá éisteoirí ar An Chóisir Cheoil ar RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta.
An tseachtain seo, tá Sonda le Richard Neylon.
Every week, Dónall Mac Ruairí chooses an album of the week for his listeners. This week he has chosen ‘Sonda’ by Richard Neylon.
Dónal Mac Aodh - A new song written by Eilín Ní Bhaoill and sung by Clíona Ní Ghallachóir will debut on RTÉ Raidio na Gaeltachta this Friday 30th November.
I had the pleasure of arranging, playing and recording the accompaniment and instrumentals to go along with Clíona’s vocals.
Tune in to ‘Rónán Beo’ for a listen!
Listen here - https://rte.ie/r.html?rii=b17_10968969_1752_30-11-2018_
(skip to about 1:36:00 to hear Eilín and Clíona introduce the song)
The song featured again on RTÉ Raidio na Gaeltachta in December 2018. Máirtín Tom Sheáinín interviews Clíona on the programme ‘Ardtráthnóna’.
The song is played around the 5 minute mark:
The new album from Richard Neylon "Live in Galway" is due for release in early 2019.
The album was recorded live in St. Nicholas' Church, Galway city and features a stellar line up of musicians and singers.
"Live in Galway" will be available to buy or download here and on all major platforms.
Tuesday 6th November 2018
Richard Neylon (Pipes)
Liz Kane & Yvonne Kane (Fiddles)
Tadhg Maher (Songs)
Traditional Music Recital in The Cobblestone Bar, 77 North King Street, Dublin 7
Starting at 9:30pm (Doors 9.00pm)
Admission : €12.00 (concession €8.00)
Please note that the Cobblestone is an Over 18s Only Venue
Supported by The Arts Council.
The Cobblestone Bar, 77 North King Street, Dublin 7
You can now watch the live concert of Sonda on youtube by clicking on the youtube icon on this site or by following the links below.
The live album will be available soon!
December 21st, 2017
Arts Week with Dara Bradley
“You’re just trusting your own ear,” says multi-All-Ireland champion musician Richard Neylon about the process of composing an original piece of music. Sonda, Irish for sonorous, is a newly-composed tune; one of the highlights of Richard’s debut album of the same name, which will be officially launched in January.
The distinctive sound of Richard’s uilleann pipes, made by Cillian O’Briain and Andrea Rogge, sings beautifully on this recording.
“The translation for Sonda is a ‘voiced sound’. I wanted a word that would describe the sound, almost,” he says. “Sometimes you’d sit down and say ‘I want to write a piece’ and go through it mechanically almost. Other times you’d just be playing something and it would just come to you. Sonda came to me, just from playing around.
“I wrote that one a good few years ago when I was living in Dublin and I wasn’t able to practise the pipes really, because I was living in a house and the walls were like paper and there were neighbours everywhere,” he says of the tune. “When I got home from college or after work, I used to take out the whistle – something quieter – and I was just playing around with that, and bits of it came out and I put it together then.”
Richard’s parents, Des and Teresa, are both primary school teachers with an interest in music, which they passed onto their son. Now aged 31, he began playing piano in playschool growing up in Wellpark in Galway City, and then when the family moved out to Loughrea, he got involved with the local branch of Comhaltas.
It was there Richard developed a love of Irish music – and the uilleann pipes, in particular.
His first encounter with this uniquely Irish musical instrument came when he was 12 or 13, when pipe player and maker, Eugene Lambe from Kinvara, brought them to Comhaltas one day.
“He took them out of the case and started playing,” recalls Richard. “I just loved the sound. I thought it sounded cool. That’s my first memory of me saying, ‘yeah, I want to play the uilleann pipes’.”
He was taught by some great Galway pipers including Tommy Keane and Richard Murray of Oranmore, and attended regularly at piping summer schools around the country.
An All–Ireland senior champion in various categories on pipes, flute and saxophone, Richard Neylon should be a familiar name. Neylon’s playing is memorable too, old style, grand tunes, big sets of powerful piping, and a few flute pieces to lighten the mix.
I’m not sure if An Buailteoir Aerach refers to a hurler or a beater, but either way it’s a belter of a reel to open this debut album. Catalina is a much gentler track, the flute intro layered with pipes and saxophone on Maurice Lennon’s Waltz. Richard also provides drums, with accordion from Stephen Doherty and fiddle from Fiachra Hayes. More reels, including Finbarr Dwyer’s Hollybush and the great old Cameronian, really show off the pipes in a flowing yet rhythmic performance, a touch of wildness combined with some tight closed fingering and staccato triplets.
The pace and control are exciting, exhilarating, and the accompaniment from Conor Early drives the tunes along. Relaxed low whistle delivers a gorgeous version of The Kilnamona Barndance, and I’d have kept the pipes and sax back until the punchy shift into Lucy Farr’s. Neylon does a fine job of being a one–man Irish skiffle band in the vein of At the Racket, sticking a snappy Jim Ward’s Jig on the end for good measure.
Having run through most of the colours in his repertoire on the concert pipes, Richard switches to a Rogge low B set for a pair of classic piping jigs, regulators and drones providing the only accompaniment, a real virtuoso performance in the bygone style of fairground pipers. And then round we go again: a set of reels, the slow air An Spéic Seoigheach, three very familiar slip jigs with concertina from James Frawley, plus a few more reels and jigs.
The title piece is by Neylon, perhaps combining his Irish and jazz influences, and starts a trio of jigs with a more modern feel and a surprise ending on the old favourite known variously as Father O’Flynn or The Top of the Cork Road.
On the other hand, the final lament Cumha Mhichil Breathnaigh on solo pipes is stately and moving, a wonderful piece of piping and a melody, which will stay with me I’m sure. Look out for the name Richard Neylon, and expect great things.
Own Label, 12 Tracks, 55 Minutes