A Kerry Artist and Musician
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Turlough added Italian Baroque flourishes to his music. These were popular  at the time amongst the nobility. “Carolan’s Concerto” was created by Turlough as an instant response to hearing Vivaldi’s pupil  improvise on the violin. This piece is possibly his most wonderful composition in the new Baroque style.

 

Many of his pieces have very interesting dedications, giving a fascinating insight into his life. The sample track is a delicate and graceful  piece entitled  “Carolan’s Quarrel with the Landlady”.  He is said to have composed  this piece for his landlady, to make peace with her  after late night music making with very noisy guests!

Turlough O Carolan was born in County Meath in 1670, the son of a poor family of farm workers. Turlough fell ill with smallpox at the age of 17. He survived but lost his sight as a result. It was after going blind that he learned to play the harp, thanks to the kindness and patronage of Mrs Anne MacDermott Roe. She took him to live in her home as one of the family, educated him and paid for three years of  lessons on the harp.

 

Turlough was an extremely gifted harpist. He  had perfect pitch and understood how to interpret  and develop traditional Irish music, expressing it in his own style.

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