'A Slight Rhythmic Shift': Lunny, Rynne and Barou

Dónal Lunny, Pádraig Rynne and Sylvain Barou

'A Slight Rhythmic Shift': Lunny, Rynne and Barou

On a break from Guidewires duty, Pádraig Rynne and Sylvain Barou started collaborating with Dónal Lunny in early 2011, and having played a string of gigs together since, they have now released an album, Triad, with a strong focus on new compositions.

Rynne explains how it came about: ‘Sylvain first met Dónal while they were working on one of Denez Prigent’s albums which Dónal was producing and Sylvain was playing on. The next time they met I was in their company. Myself and Sylvain were playing with Guidewires at the Festival of World Cultures in 2010 while Dónal was playing with Buille. We found ourselves after the gig having a pint together and chatting.

Sylvain was recording his solo album and Dónal and myself were guesting on it. We found ourselves playing on the same track and I guess there was a good result from the three of us combining so we decided to do a couple of gigs together. Belfast and Paris were the first two concerts. These went very well and we received some good feedback and things just snowballed from there,’

As well as seven tunes across four sets by Rynne, there are three compositions by Lunny, and one each by John McSherry; Breton, Gildas Moal (bombarde player); American, Randal Bays; and Swede, Olov Johansson. The traditional tunes ‘The Star Above the Garter’ and ‘The Rolling Wave’ make it into two sets, and there’s also a Macedonian dance tune, ‘Lesnoto Horo’.

Rhythm is very important to these musicians as reflected in the descriptions of tune types (slip slide, slow reel) and picked up in the liner notes: Barou points out that ‘Lesnoto Horo’ is in 7/8, apart from the last bit which is in 11/8; Lunny describes how ‘for many years my interest in alternatives to the ubiquitous 4-beats-in-a-bar … has had me silently superimposing other rhythms on top of 4’s for the mental craic.’ In one of his compositions, called ‘Skipstep’, he says he has ‘hit on a way to put threes across fours by starting the threes a few beats later, thus avoiding the uncomfortable bit that normally comes towards the end of the cycle.’

John McSherry (with whom Lunny and Rynne are often heard playing live) guests on the opening track as well as on the tune ‘Here Comes Herself’ that Lunny originally wrote for his band, Coolfin. Tóla Custy of Guidewires plays on the Johansson tune, ‘Svampmannen (the Mushroom Man)’, along with Barou hero Jacques Pellen, who also plays on ‘Skipstep’.

The opening track puts Rynne’s ‘It’s a thought when you think about it’ hop jig and McSherry’s ‘The Slide from Grace’ slip slide with ‘The Star above the Garter’.


Published on 1 March 2013

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