Finally had a chance over the last fortnight to begin putting sets together for the ‘Our Dear Dark Mountain with the Sky Over it’ CD project. Had a couple of very productive days this week working on material with TG4 Young Musician of the Year 2013, Dónal McCague. Finalising a number of sets and beginning the initial process of arranging material for recording, it was especially gratifying to hear long forgotten material in the hands of one of the region’s, and indeed the country’s, finest young musicians.
Among the tunes identified for recording are a number of pieces collected from the last of Sliabh Beagh’s blind itinerant fiddlers, Mick ‘Dall’ Rooney (1826 – 1867). Blinded by small-pox in childhood, Rooney according to reports performed and taught in houses throughout the Sliabh Beagh mountain district during the 19th century.