On 17 November 2010 Na Píobairí Uilleann launched Na Píobairí Uilleann: Source, an Internet resource that includes Irish music web tutors, Irish music collections dating back to 1724, reed-making and pipe-making videos, recitals, and historical data on iconic musicians.
While the site is specifically intended to support students of uilleann piping, pipe-making, and maintenance, it includes material of interest to players of other traditional instruments, traditional singers, and all lovers of Irish traditional music.
Source is a free collection; membership in Na Píobairí Uilleann enables use of organizational tools to create personal bookmarks and galleries. Content will be added regularly, and the site’s design provides for possible future enhancements such as the ability for members to upload and share their own content.
Many thanks to Patrick Hutchinson for bringing this to our attention! Below, Séamus Ennis plays Pat Ward’s jig on the uilleann pipes.
Although he never mentioned it in his published writings, the collector and compiler of traditional Irish tunes Francis O’Neill (1848–1936) made wax cylinder recordings of some of his fellow musicians in Chicago, probably in the late 1890s and early 1900s. Once believed lost, 32 of these recordings were discovered in 2003 when David Dunn opened a suitcase that had belonged to his grandfather, who had been a friend of O’Neill. Dunn brought them to the Ward Irish Music Archives in Milwaukee, which contacted the American Folklife Center for help in digitizing them. Several recordings by the renowned uilleann pipe player Patrick J. “Patsy” Touhey (1865–1923) are included, along with performances by four other luminaries of the Chicago Irish music community.
The recordings now comprise the cornerstone of The Dunn Family Collection, an online exhibit hosted by the Ward Archives that also includes manuscripts, artifacts, photographs, and sheet music collected by the instrument maker and repairer Michael J. Dunn (1855–1935). Dunn was also a captain in the Milwaukee Fire Department, while O’Neill—when he was not pursuing his passion for Irish traditional music—served as Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department.
Thanks to Patrick Hutchinson for alerting us about this collection! Patrick plays the uilleann pipes with Bento Boxty.