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Re: Different Drums of Ireland

Hi Paul,

Hi Tim & Elizabeth

Wow, talk about a small world:

Try cabling it!! LOL

right after I posted a
description of Elizabeths looping rig, she came home
and I mentioned to her that Id bookmarked the link to
your site so she could check it out. I was downloading
the video clips as I described Different Drums to her,
and how I wished your US gigs werent limited to
Wisconsin this time around.

It's unfortunate but the band only seems to work in this 'small' area at
this point (bigger than all of Ireland I'm sure :), we have actually been
talking for the first time about making contact with festivals ourselves 
fancy some west coast in the winter and East coast in the fall.  We have
contacts in Texas too who want us to work there too but we need a few 
gigs in a short space or a presidential invitation to make it financially
viable :)

Before Id finished, she
told *me* the story about "The Drum Formerly Known As
Prince" (which I had not yet read at

Actually the drum is still known as 'Prince' we have it on tour with us,
actually we have the two princes (who adore you ...) on tour as well as a
greyhound drum.  To elucidate, Prince was Stephen's German Shepherd dog who
passed away peacefully in his old age and was then professionally separated
from his skin which was then used on a bodhran, (an Eamon Maguire) the
second bit of Prince's skin is now on a Albert Alfonso drum, (it's alright
but nothing like an O'Kane or a Maguire).  Dog has been used for years as a
bodhran skin, greyhound normally, it's very oily and gives a great low warm

and then
over dinner told me of the political significance of
having bodhran and lambeg sharing a stage;

Yes that is what makes us unique, we have a foot in both camps in N Ireland
(thereby exposing our tender 'underbelly' but we'll not go there), the band
is 50/50 Catholic/Protestant and there is more co-incident strangeness as
the Catholic members of the band have British passports and the Protestant
members have Irish passports - talk about bucking the stereotype!

The bodhran is associated in contemporary terms with the
Nationalist/Catholic tradition and the lambeg is associated with the
Unionist/Protestant tradition, even the skins are different, although both
use goat most commonly, the lambeg skin is much thinner.  The irony is that
both drums have a history of being used by both traditions.  The 'cultural'
divisions are longstanding and stem from the indigenous and 'settled'
populations, it goes waaay back beyond the 30 years that is touted as the
'troubles' maybe 800 or more years although the drums are more recent, the
Lambeg from about 1680 (descendant of the military field drum) and the
bodhran being an indigenous drum (made from a seed sifter) fused with the
frame drum which has its origins in Persia.  Its playing style is unique.  
have articles on both on www.drumdojo.com type lambeg or bodhran into the
search engine if you're interested

it turns
out that she joined you at a seisiun at Molly Malones
in Portsmouth, NH a couple of years ago, the day after
your Portsmouth Music Hall performance! (She was the
vocalist in Awen at the time, and is a friend of the
Angel Band... She says you might remember her from the
seisiun as the one who sang 'Foggy Dew' "not as a

Unfortunately Tim, I'm only with the band full-time since last September
although I was drafted in for specific events / deputising in previous
years, so I will not have met Elizabeth.  Seushuns are mighty craic, we're
hoping to get a few started when we're away, I'll play all night if the
Guinness keeps coming LOL.  I'll pass on Elizabeth's wishes to the band.  
Elizabeth remembers the members, I replaced both Kevin & Ruarai (Rory),
Ruarai's parts are now played on my double bass drum pedals and HTS
'Snodhran' whilst Kevin manifests on my trusty Spiritdrums djembe.  It took
a bit of working out but we got there and I'm just getting to the point
where I can start to let rip a bit, Mamady Keita meets the Chieftans LOL

Best of luck with the tour!

Very kind of you Tim and everyone else who took the time to put finger to
keyboard to comment or wish luck.  My offer of tickets and a
beer-opportunity still stands if anyone can make it, I'd love to see y'all
stateside :)  Regards to Elizabeth, I hope we get to meet up.

See y'all in a couple of weeks


Paul Marshall
Portfolio Sound Artist
NI Facilitator for the Da Capo Foundation

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