In February 1994, Simon O’Dwyer was invited by the National Museum of Ireland to make recordings of eight original horns from various locations around the country. Seven instruments were carefully recorded and photographed in a six hour session at the Museum. It was decided that the eighth horn was a little too fragile to play. While it was very exciting to hear sounds that had been last been heard 3,000 years ago there was always an underlying fear that any one of these delicate instruments could be damaged. In the event they all played beautifully and there were absolutely no problems.
Several varieties of calls, drones, tunes and toots were played on each of the seven instruments. The best of these make up the first half of the album. One of the Bronze Age bells (crotal) of Ireland was also recorded playing a simple rhythm. Some of these sounds were then combined in a studio to form five simple tunes. These can be heard on the latter part of the album. Several discoveries were made during this process. (See cd cover for further information and photographs of the original instruments).
This cd features recordings of fifteen years reproducing and musically exploring Irish instruments from pre-history. They range from Late Bronze Age horns to the great Celtic trumpas of the Middle Iron Age and on to wood wind instruments of early Christianity. As no written or oral music survives from these times we can never be sure what was played by the musicians or the circumstances in which instruments were used. Our research has however indicated strong possibilities as to the reasons why horns and trumpas were designed and how they may have been played. We have established beyond doubt that these instruments were made as a result of a hitherto unrealised level of expertise and sophistication. It is remarkable that a bronze horn cast 3,000 years ago retains it’s integrity as a professional instrument and continues to function as a means to evoke the human emotions which are the essence of the universal timeless language that is music.
The first half of the album features recordings made in studio in Dublin and the second half features tracks played live at the Sound Symposium, St. Johns, New Foundland in July 2002.
This collection of recordings features a variety of instrument combinations and musical exploration specifically composed to reflect the story of the evolution of music, as told in ‘Prehistoric Music of Ireland’. (details below) It includes tunes for bronze horns, Iron Age trumpas (trumpa Créda), a unique recording of the original Ard Brinn Iron Age trumpa and the mayophone.
Please send a cheque payable to Maria O'Dwyer at the following address:
Prehistoric Music Ireland
Corr na Mona
|Each CD||Each additional CD|
|€25.00 Euro||+ €20.00 Euro|
|$30.00 U.S. Dollars||+ $25.00 U.S. Dollars|
|£18.00 Pounds Sterling||+ £15.00 Pounds Sterling|
Telephone: + 353 (0) 949 548 396