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Fionnuala MacLochlainn

keberoxu 24 Apr 16 - 07:16 PM
michaelr 24 Apr 16 - 09:51 PM
maeve 25 Apr 16 - 06:54 AM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 25 Apr 16 - 08:20 AM
keberoxu 25 Apr 16 - 01:07 PM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 25 Apr 16 - 01:58 PM
FreddyHeadey 25 Apr 16 - 02:33 PM
keberoxu 25 Apr 16 - 06:12 PM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 25 Apr 16 - 08:12 PM
keberoxu 26 Apr 16 - 12:01 PM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 26 Apr 16 - 12:58 PM
keberoxu 26 Apr 16 - 02:19 PM
keberoxu 11 Jul 16 - 04:32 PM
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Subject: Fionnuala MacLochlainn: Irish singer
From: keberoxu
Date: 24 Apr 16 - 07:16 PM

The Gael-Linn recording label has published a CD anthology in the last five or so years, documenting eight Irish singers who made recordings for the label, all of them women. The name of the album is Amhráin Ghrá.
Fionnuala MacLochlainn recorded, in the 1960's, enough songs to be released on an Extended-Play/EP record. From that product, three songs were chosen for release on Amhráin Ghrá. They are:

Spailpin a run
Éamonn a chnoic
Ó bhean a' tí

This is my first acquaintance with this singer. She is accompanied by a guitarist named Norman Watson. By the evidence of these three tracks, Mrs. MacLochlainn is indeed a traditional singer and one worthy of attention here at the Mudcat Café.

If I am mistaken, I hope someone will correct me; but I believe that this singer was the wife of Alf MacLochlainn, formerly of the National Library of Ireland, and author of the words to "My Son in Americay/Amerikay;" and their son is Colm MacLochlainn who is known to traditional Irish musicians although I do not know of him being on any recordings himself.
Fionnuala MacLochlainn had a voice on the low side, gentle and plaintive. Her Gaelic diction is that of a storyteller, unforced and precise; it must be easy for a native speaker to understand her singing. And for this alone, her voice is in marked contrast to many of the other seven voices on "Amhráin Ghrá." Most of the other artists on the album were involved in some way with the Gael Linn Cabaret, and sound that way, with their singing technique out of classical music and their highly theatrical diction. Mrs. MacLochlainn was no cabaret singer, you can hear that in seconds.

Here on existing Mudcat threads, Fionnuala MacLochlainn is remarked upon for her singing of "Little Jimmy Murphy," which she also sang for that recorded anthology of tribute to the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem (forget the name of the anthology). She deserves to be known for more than that.

"Éamonn a chnoic" is the Gaelic version of "Ned of the Hill," and she sings it with a melody very similar to the one in the Digital Traditions database for the Samuel Lover translation, "dark is the hour."
"Ó bhean a' tí" has been recorded by Moya/Máire Brennan, with Clannad and possibly on her own; this recording predates Ms. Brennan's.
"Spailpin a run," I believe to have been a sean-nos song. With a guitarist in the recording studio, and accompaniment, the song loses a little freedom and has to be paced kind of squarely. But you can still enjoy phrasing and ornamentation in Fionnuala MacLochlainn's singing, the sort that sound most natural when passed from singer to singer; she sings like a living link to an immortal past. I am glad to have made her acquaintance.


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Subject: RE: Fionnuala MacLochlainn
From: michaelr
Date: 24 Apr 16 - 09:51 PM

Can these songs be heard on the web? If not, could you put the recording on Soundcloud or similar?


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Subject: RE: Fionnuala MacLochlainn
From: maeve
Date: 25 Apr 16 - 06:54 AM

Listening to "Little Jimmy Murphy" I understand what attracted you to her voice. It seems some of her songs are available on iTunes for those who use it: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/fionnuala-maclochlainn/id540624705 as well as Spotify.

I do see some hits for her name on eBay.

Excellent choice for a thread feature, keberoxu.


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Subject: RE: Fionnuala MacLochlainn
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 25 Apr 16 - 08:20 AM

A few years ago, I was at a session not far from where I live in the West of Ireland when one of the "locals" sang "My Son in Amerikay"... Talking to the singer afterwards, I mentioned who the author had been. "I know" sez he "He was my father!".That was Colm...

I don't recall hearing that recording of "Jimmy Murphy" ( a great favourite of mine) before. Lovely rich voice alright.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Fionnuala MacLochlainn
From: keberoxu
Date: 25 Apr 16 - 01:07 PM

There is remarkably little information on this artist that comes up with online searches. One citation said that her career started out in Dublin, and then she relocated with her family to Galway. I can't even discover:
her maiden name;
if she was born and/or raised in some part of the Gaeltacht.

Nor can I discover when she and Alf MacLochlainn were married.

Now, if she were one of the Ó Séaghdhas whose ancestors came to Dublin from Cork, it would be a different story, as that redoubtable family enjoyed a high profile within their circle of Dublin, and occasionally condescended to talk to a newspaper columnist. But the MacLochlainns, God bless them, seem to have kept to their trad-music community and not gone out of their way to promote themselves.

Does anyone know anybody who knows anything more?


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Subject: RE: Fionnuala MacLochlainn
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 25 Apr 16 - 01:58 PM

I don't meet with Colm regularly these days, but will await an opportunity to check.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Fionnuala MacLochlainn
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 25 Apr 16 - 02:33 PM

michaelr
The album is on Spotify if you can get that
http://open.spotify.com/album/5VJWCAJPye3yr9FiEGVOSA


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Subject: RE: Fionnuala MacLochlainn
From: keberoxu
Date: 25 Apr 16 - 06:12 PM

From the dust jacket notes to A Corpus in the Library, written by Alf MacLochlainn: it appears that his wife's maiden name was Fionnuala Ní Riain.


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Subject: RE: Fionnuala MacLochlainn
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 25 Apr 16 - 08:12 PM

... no relation! (Ní Riain is the feminine version of "Ryan" in Irish.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Fionnuala MacLochlainn
From: keberoxu
Date: 26 Apr 16 - 12:01 PM

Wonder if she is any relation to Nóirín Ní Riain?


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Subject: RE: Fionnuala MacLochlainn
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 26 Apr 16 - 12:58 PM

Not that I know of - there's a lot of Ryans in Ireland!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Fionnuala MacLochlainn
From: keberoxu
Date: 26 Apr 16 - 02:19 PM

It's "Come West Along the Road," volume 2, that has Fionnuala Mac Lochlainn singing "Little Jimmy Murphy."


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Subject: RE: Fionnuala MacLochlainn
From: keberoxu
Date: 11 Jul 16 - 04:32 PM

Attempting my first ever blue clicky link

Spailpin a Run


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