Session with the Pipers

Séamus Ó Rócháin (Uilleann Pipes)
Seán Keane (Fiddle)
Lorraine O’Brien (Concertina)

Lorraine O’Brien- Concertina

Lorraine grew up in Toonagh, Co. Clare and started learning Irish traditional music from Frank Custy at the age of 6 on tin whistle. At the age of 7 she began to learn concertina and was taught by Dymphna O’ Sullivan, Terry Bingham, and Noel Hill. She was very influenced by the music of her teachers and the music of local musicians. Lorraine grew up playing in pub sessions in Ennis, Miltown Malbay, Lahinch, Doolin and Lisdoonvarna and continued to play regularly in Co. Clare until she moved to Belfast in 2011. She works full-time as a music therapist and teaches concertina in Belfast and Castlewellan, Co. Down. Lorraine is also a tutor at the annual Willie Clancy Summer School in Miltown Malbay.

Seán Keane- Fiddle

Seán, a native of Dublin, grew up in a home steeped in the traditional music of Ireland. His parents were both traditional fiddlers and he began playing the fiddle at a young age.
He displayed his talents at an early age and was sent to the Dublin School of Music where he received classical training. However, after a number of years, traditional music began to take over his playing and he soon left the classical. He soon became one of the most talented young musicians in Ireland winning a score of awards including first place in the All-Ireland Championships and the prestigious Fiddler of Dooney competition, thus earning him the title of master fiddler.

His talents soon caught the eye of Seán Ó Riáda and he was invited in the mid 1960’s to join Ceoltóirí Cualann to play fiddle alongside Martin Fay and John Kelly. He joined The Chieftains in 1968 upon invitation by Paddy Moloney and his first appearance with them was at the Edinburgh Folk Festival.

Besides his work with the Chieftains, he has also recorded a well received solo album, Seán Keane and a duet album with fellow Chieftain Matt Molloy on Contentment is Wealth. He has also recorded with Mick Moloney and his brother, James Keane, on the album Reel Away the Real World in 1980. He also joined his brother on his album, Sweeter as the Years Roll By in 1999, as they played with a number of younger artists in the Irish tradition including Seán’s sons, Darach and Páraic.

Seán is best known for his fiery fiddle style and his style is often influenced by that of pipers, especially Willie Clancy and his first solo album Gusty’s Frolics reflects a piper playing. Seán maintains the tradition of collecting fiddle tunes from throughout Ireland and takes the time to teach youngsters his incredible style on the fiddle

Séamus Ó Rócháin- Pipes

From Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare, Séamus Ó Rócháin acquired a practice set of pipes from Nick Adams who also gave him his first lessons on the instrument. Séamus later moved to Belfast in the late 1990s and learned a lot of piping from Tom Clarke, Francie McPeake and Robbie Hannon.

Since 1997 Séamus has been almost exclusively playing a B Coyne set that used to belong to Willie Clancy, only playing in Concert Pitch occasionally. The playing of Willie Clancy and having the use of his pipes has been a huge influence on Séamus’ playing and he has acquired as many recordings as possible of Willie Clancy to research his technique.

Séamus plays his Coyne set at recitals both at home and abroad, including the Inter Celtic Festival in Lorient and in Cape Breton in Canada. He has said that the flat pitch of these pipes is particularly suitable to playing music in the west Clare tradition and always uses these pipes when playing with whistle player Brid O’Donoghue. His CD ‘An Buachaill Dreoite’ was recorded using this flat set alone. ‘We’ll Meet in Miltown’ featuring Bríd O’Donohue on Tin Whistle with sean-nós singer Meataí Jó Sheamuis Ó Fátharta is Séamus’ most recent CD.

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