The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #92856   Message #1780892
Posted By: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
11-Jul-06 - 07:09 AM
Thread Name: Micheal O'Domhnaill has passed away...(July 2006)
Subject: RE: Micheal O'Domhnaill has passed away...
I was very shocked and saddened to hear this news. All the time I have been accompanying Irish traditional music on the guitar (to the best of my limited ability) it has always been Micheal O Domhnaill who was my greatest inspiration. I have always loved his playing for the seemingly instinctive understanding of the harmonies implied in what is, for me, a predominantly melodic musical form.

Unlike a lot of guitarists I could mention who have come along since, he never budgeoned the music into submission but rather gave the music space to shine through while adding another dimension to it that unison playing or strict rhythmic accompaniment could not do on its own. He understood, like a great jazz musician, that it was not just the notes or chords that mattered but also the spaces in between.

A great musician and a great accompanist, his playing was for me distinguished not just by the tunings he used but by his right-hand technique which often tended to play a rhythmic pattern that followed slightly behind the melody line (listen to his accompaniments on the 'Portland' album with Kevin Burke, for instance) and gave a whole new colour to the music without ever diluting or compromising its character.

HIs lightness of touch, as well, meant that he was equally at home accompanying or arranging slow airs and ballads as dance tunes and he could adapt his technique to many styles and musical traditions. His influence went far beyond Irish circles and I doubt that any of the guitarists who have come along in the last few years will ever have such an impact.

My deepest sympathies to his friends and family.