the Chieftains


the Chieftains
   Paddy Moloney (b. 1938) — uilleann pipes, tin whistle; Seán Potts (b. 1931) — tin whistle, bodhran (member until 1978); Michael Tubridy (b. 1935) — flute, concertina, whistle (member until 1979); Martin Fay (b. 1936) — fiddle; Seán Keane (b. 1946)—fiddle, whistle (member since 1969); Peadar Mercier (b. 1914)—bodhran, bones (member from 1969–1976); Derek Bell (b. 1935)—harp, dulcimer, oboe (member since 1973); Kevin Conneff (b. 1945)—bodhran (member since 1976); Matt Molloy (b. 1947)—flute (member since 1979)
   The Chieftains, who provide the original folk music in BARRY LYNDON (1975), are arguably the most recognized and respected folk group from Ireland, with a musical career spanning more than four decades. Their commitment to the legacy of Ireland’s music proved to be crucial in the transition from the pub folk of groups like the Dubliners and the Clancy Brothers to a traditional folk revival.
   The group’s original members (Moloney, Fay, Tubridy, and Potts) all received thorough musical training in traditional Irish music while performing with the Ceoltóirí Cualann folk orchestra from the late 1950s through the early 1960s. Mixing Moloney’s original compositions with arrangements of traditional songs, the Chieftains borrowed heavily from their tutelage under composer and music historian Seán O’Raida (b. John Reidy, 1931, Cork City) in Ceoltóirí Cualann. Despite their regular work with O’Raida, the members only played and recorded sporadically as the Chieftains. Their first record was released in 1963 on Garech Browne’s Claddagh label, but their semiprofessional status delayed their sophomore effort until 1969. Almost all of the songs performed by the Chieftains were traditional Irish folk songs inflected by a growing interest in the Celtic music of the British Isles and Brittany. Moloney was introduced to Celtic music during a 1961 trip to France to participate in a Celtic music festival. “The word Celtic never meant anything to me before 1961. . . . That’s when I fell in love with Breton music and I began to realize about Celtic culture and all the similarities. ” Through the inclusion of Celtic songs along with their Irish repertoire, the Chieftains rapidly gained a reputation as one of the finest purveyors of traditional folk music.
   On the strength of their reputation, the group was asked to participate at the Cambridge Folk Festival in 1970. It was there that they came into contact with bands such as Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span, and Pentangle, who were at the forefront of the electric folk movement. Infused with a sense that a new audience was being exposed to their music, the Chieftains embarked on a recording career that would see them releasing an album nearly every year for the next 30 years. Chieftains III represented a critical turn for the group as they embraced the potential of high-quality studio production by recording in an eight-track studio with the new Dolby noise reduction system. To ensure the high quality of the recordings, then Dolby vice president Ioan Allen was called in to serve as a technical engineer on the project.
   Despite proclamations that they were still only semiprofessional musicians, the Chieftains retained the services of Steeleye Span’s manager, Jo Lustig, in 1973. With the aid of their new manager, the group continued to tour extensively throughout Ireland and Great Britain. The Chieftains embarked on their first major tour of the United States in the autumn of 1974. By the time they reached the West Coast, their reputation had secured them a spot opening for Jerry Garcia’s side project, the folk group Old And In The Way. Along with their increasing recording and touring schedule, the Chieftains also continued a number of songs to the soundtrack of the film Ireland Moving (1974).
   In late 1974, Paddy Moloney received a call from STANLEY KUBRICK asking if he could use “Woman of Ireland” from Chieftains 4 in his current film project, Barry Lyndon. Moloney met with Kubrick in London to discuss the project, as John Glatt recounts: At their meeting Paddy took out his tin whistle to play some of the additional music he had in mind but Kubrick seemed unimpressed. The director looked Moloney straight in the face and said: “Come on Paddy, that’s something you hear on a Saturday night in an Irish pub when everybody’s plastered. That’s not what I want. ”
   Moloney felt his heart sink but then the director burst into fits of laughter and said he loved the tune and in the end asked him to do 25 minutes of music instead of the original five.
   In Kubrick’s attempt to achieve complete 18thcentury stylistic verisimilitude, the final soundtrack featured several period compositions from Mozart (“March from Indomeneo”), Handel (“Sarabande”), Bach (“Concerto for Two Harpsichords and Orchestra in C Minor, BWV 1060”), Frederic II (“Hohenfriedberger March”), and Vivaldi (“Cello Concerto in E Minor”). Yet even though historical accuracy was central to Barry Lyndon, Kubrick was also interested in evoking the mood of the period and locations through the music of Schubert (“Trio for Piano,Violin and Cello in E Flat, no. 2, Opus 100,” written in 1828) and the Chieftains. The soundtrack included “Woman of Ireland” and the original Moloney compositions “Piper Maggot’s Jig,” “The Sea,” and “Tin Whistles. ”
   After the film’s release, a Variety headline read “What The Third Man Did For Anton Karas And His Zither, Stanley Kubrick’s Upcoming Barry Lyndon Might Do For The Chieftains. ” The soundtrack proved to be extremely effective in the film and extremely influential in the music community. For his work scoring Barry Lyndon, LEONARD ROSENMAN received an Academy Award in 1976, while the Chieftains’ songs on the soundtrack exposed the group to an entirely new audience.
   On St. Patrick’s Day in 1975, after a sold-out show at Albert Hall in London, the group acknowledged their growing musical status and decided to function as a full-time band. In the audience that night was Chris Blackwell, who immediately signed the band to his label, Island Records, known for its success with the rock bands Traffic and Free, but its most recent success was with reggae icons Bob Marley and the Wailers. The Chieftains, heavily promoted by their innovative new label, started to appeal to a new rock-and-roll audience in addition to their folk following. During the second half of the 1970s they played live with Eric Clapton,Emmylou Harris, and Mick Jagger, while attracting fans as varied as musicians Jackson Browne, Mike Oldfield, and Don Henley. In 1979, the group played their largest concert ever, in front of 1. 3 million people for the papal celebration in Dublin’s Phoenix Park.
   The Chieftains expanded their musical horizons in the 1980s when they recorded a number of albums with classical flautist James Galway and became frequent collaborators with rock vocalist Van Morrison. They also continued to expand their interest in music from around the world, embracing such varied traditions as Chinese folk and American country music. The 1990s found the Chieftains recording several albums featuring myriad guest performers, among them Sting, Ry Cooder, Marianne Faithfull, Sinead O’Connor,Tom Jones, Mark Knopfler, Bonnie Raitt, The Corrs, Natalie Merchant, Joni Mitchell, and the Rolling Stones. But the group has always been best known and revered for its interpretation of Irish folk tunes, and their 2000 album Water from the Well returns to their roots of traditional airs, jigs, and reels.
   References
   ■ Ciment, Michel, Kubrick, translated from the French by Gilbert Adair (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1993);
   ■ Glatt, John, The Chieftains:The Authorized Biography (London: Century, 1997);
   ■ Hardy, Phil, and Dave Laing, “The Chieftains,” in The Faber Companion to 20th-Century Popular Music (London: Faber and Faber, 1991);
   ■ Larkin, Colin, “The Chieftains,” The Virgin Encyclopedia of Eighties Music (London: Muze UK, Ltd. /Virgin Books, 1997);
   ■ Meek, Bill, Paddy Moloney and the Chieftains (Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, 1987).
   J. S. B.

The Encyclopedia of Stanley Kubrick. . 2002.

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  • The Chieftains — sind eine 1962 gegründete irische Musikgruppe. Bekannt sind sie vor allem für ihre traditionelle irische Musik. Die Band nahm viele Instrumental Alben mit Irish Folk auf. Dazu kamen noch viele Zusammenarbeiten mit Musikern unterschiedlicher… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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