Gerry O'Connor & Giles le Bigot
1. The Yellow Wattle / Pat McKenna's / The Butlers of Glen Avenue (jigs)
2. Dónal Dubh (Highland + reels)
3. Mál Bhán / The Destitution (reels)
4. Bonny Anne / Traver's / Sporting Nell (reels)
5. Mummer's March / Bog an Locháin / Rosebuds in the Summer / Launching the Boat (march,highland, reels)
6. A Bruxa (air)
7. Stirling Tom (hornpipes)
8. The Boy in his Pants / Big John's (jigs)
9. Hanly's / The Old Dudeen / The Widow's Daughter (reels)
10. La Retour de Madagascar (air)
11. Jig in A / Dancing Eyes / Up & About in the Morning (jigs)
12. Shetland Bus
13. The Donnellan Set (reels)
14. The Chicken's Gone to Scotland / Kitty the Hare / Jim Irvin's /
The Drunken Maids of Ardnaree (highland / reels)
Click on underscored titles to MP3 hear sound samples.
are delighted to announce our release of this recording.
Gerry O'Connor & Giles le Bigot
www.netrhythms.com: "An inordinately fine live album". David Kidman
The Folk Diary: "This an album of the highest quality". Vic Smith
The Living Tradition: "this is one of the great records of fiddle music". Paul Burgess
The Irish Post: "I feel sure you will enjoy this mighty recording of two masters at work". Joe Mularkey
Two brilliant musicians from two very different disciplines, come together in concert to swop and share their enormous talents. Wonderful music, full of passion, fire and energy, which can only be captured in live performance, and rarely captured in the rarefied area of the recording studio. I always liken it to capturing a butterfly. Long live live music.
We at Copperplate are delighted to add this fine title to our catalogue, in fact Gerry was dubious about releasing it, (content just to sell it on his live gigs), with 4 of the titles already available on Journeyman. But we were so knocked out with his playing on this live album, have persuaded Gerry to make it available more widely.
We hope you will support our actions by buying in shedloads, but also marvel at the playing of two masters at work, In Concert.
Gerry O'Connor is a leading player of traditional music in his home country of Ireland. This live concert CD captures the brilliance of his playing in the duo format. Here on this CD Gerry is accompanied by Breton guitarist Gilles le Bigot, a player with many credits over a number of years with the distinction of being the person to really develop the open tuning style of accompaniment on guitar for traditional music.
sparkling ... immaculate ... with dazzling ability were words used recently by the Irish national press to describe the music of Gerry O'Connor, one of Ireland's most outstanding fiddle players. His family has played fiddle for at least four generations and Gerry is able to draw on this wealth of music learned from his mother Rose O'Connor and also from hand-written manuscripts passed down through the family. Later he came under the influence of Joe Gardiner the great Sligo fiddle player, who lived in Dundalk for many years. Gerry breathes new life and intensity into many long forgotten tunes from his home area in the North East of Ireland. His unique personal style and splendidly fluid bow-hand combined with technical virtuosity have brought him to concert stages throughout the world and have earned him international renown. Gerry is sought after throughout the world as a master musician for masterclasses . Over the years Gerry has brought his vibrant fiddle music to Siberia, Denmark, Sweden, Italy Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Norway, Brittany and Spain. Some of this was with "Lá Lugh" but other projects included working with various musicians including Donal Lunny, Breton guitarist Gilles le Bigot, and Italian pianist Antonio Breschi. Gerry was also a founder member of the now legendary Skylark.
le Bigot Originating from Saint-Brieuc (Department Côtes d?Armor), he
took up the guitar in 1972 at the age of 13. This instrument lead him naturally
to listen to music from different origins : from rock to baroque folk, and then
to jazz music. During the big celtic wave of the 75s, he discovered celtic music
through groups such Planxty, Bothy Band, Clannad and Alan Stivell. He then discovered
the Fest-Noz, at first as a dancer, and later as a musician, accompanying the
group of singers Les Pillotouses (1976), and then playing with the group Gallorn
(1978). A self-taught man, these two experiences lead him to adopt the open
tuning method and to develop a guitar playing style adapted to Breton music.
Since the 1980s, this style has gained widespread acceptance and a lot of guitarists
have adopted it.
Check the lads out at
Also available from Copperplate LUGCD962 Gerry O'Connor: Journeyman
The Irish Post 30th Sept.06
Gerry and Gilles go live
"Sparkling", "immaculate" and "dazzling" were words used recently by the national press to describe the music of Gerry O'Connor, one of Ireland's most outstanding fiddle players.
His family has played fiddle for at least four generations and Gerry is able to draw on this wealth of music learned from his mother Rose O'Connor and also from hand-written manuscripts passed down through the family.
breathes new life and intensity into many long forgotten tunes from his home area
in the North East of Ireland.
His unique personal style and splendidly fluid bow-hand combined with technical virtuosity have brought him to concert stages throughout the world and have earned him international renown.
December 2004 saw the release of his album entitled Journeyman which traces Gerry's musical development and experiences as a skilled performer in the traditional art of fiddle playing.
Gilles le Bigot originating from Saint-Brieuc, Brittany, and took up the guitar in 1972 at the age of 13.
He discovered Celtic music through groups such Planxty, Bothy Band and Clannad. A self-taught man, he adopted the open tuning method and developed a guitar-playing style to suit Breton music. Since the 1980s, this style has gained widespread acceptance and a lot of guitarists have adopted it.
This 14-track CD has a superb selection of jigs, reels, hornpipes, and a beautiful slow air. I feel sure you will enjoy this mighty recording of two masters at work.
The music world has been knocked out with the playing and interplay between these two fine musicians, reacting to each other's expertise. Joe Mularkey
The Living Tradition Sept/Oct.06
I have a bit of a problem with this one. I put it in the CD player ready to hear it a few times and then write my normal balanced review - this worked ok, but the CD is still there. Every time I go to hear something else, there it is looking at me, until I think - well I'll just hear the track that... After, I realize that I've listened to the whole album once again. I don't really feel I want to hear anything else, I've been seduced all over again by the empathy and teamwork of the two musicians.
By the way the music is always at the service of the musicians: the way they make the reels shiver and glint, the way they make the airs ache with beauty, the obvious delight which these two take in putting over some fabulous and varied material.
All of this is topped by the real feeling of two superlative musicians stretching themselves and by the edge that only a great live performance can bring. And they recorded it all in one evening at one gig. Pah. For this I can easily forgive them the meagre information supplied - not even the names of all the tunes.
As far as I am concerned, this is one of the great records of fiddle music. I
suspect it will still be in my CD player for a good while yet.
The Folk Diary September.06
Here's an interesting combination; One of Ireland's most highly regarded fiddle players, known both as a soloist and as a member of top bands such as La Lugh and Skylark teams up with one of the most accomplished and sensitive guitar accompanists from Brittany.
Gerry, Gilles has been a member of a number of top bands, most notably the incomparable
Skolvan. They show a
great empathy in playing together with the subtle, underplayed rhythms and adventurous chording on the guitar giving the fiddle the confidence to soar, particularly on the playing of reels such as the "Bonny Anne" set.
This was recorded - very well, it must be said - in front of an audience in Douarnenez, and it is flawless in a way that is rarely found with live albums.
decision to push for this as a full release rather than just a sell-on-gigs album
should be justified as this an album of the highest quality. (email@example.com)
www.netrhythms.com 29th August.06
I've only just recovered from prolonged (but most pleasurable!) exposure to Gerry's previous CD, Journeyman, which set his sparkling fiddle playing in context on an enviably wide range of tunes and arrangements; and now along comes close on a whole hour's worth of a live recording showcasing Gerry's talents when teamed on stage with Breton guitarist Gilles Le Bigot.
I'll confess I'd not before heard of Gilles, but I'm now very glad to have made his acquaintance! Amazingly, I learn, Gilles is entirely self-taught, and his adoption of the open-tuning method in the late 1970s had been a key factor in his development of a guitar-playing style adapted to Breton music, a style which has since gained widespread acceptance among guitarists.
Actually, this isn't an easy album to review, in that there's not an awful lot that I can say about it beyond a slew of superlatives and "wow" words. I could try to wax lyrical about individual items within the concert, or else the cumulative effect of over a dozen jaw-droppingly excellent sets of varying tempos and moods.
could search the thesaurus in vain to try to convey the sheer joyousness of the
playing on the Dónal Dubh set (track 2), with its devil-may-care showstopping
transition from the highland to the closing reel, or the lyrical thrust of the
slower material like the airs Mál Bhán or A Bruxa, or the unusual
handling of the rhythmic elements at times like the ambitious march/highland/reel
set (track 5), or the jazzy swing of the hornpipes set (track 7) or the headlong
momentum that drives both players in interlocked embrace on the various sets of
But even so, I still really can't accurately convey the flavour of
the experience, other than to say that it's a brilliant and lasting record of
two musicians at the absolute peak of their powers, conjuring up a scintillating
brew of tunes with all the fluid technical virtuosity they can muster yet displaying
a truly mighty empathy for each other's skilled flights of fancy and improvisation
within the designated framework. An inordinately fine live album. David
Brunswick Music Festival
GERRY OCONNOR & GILLES LE BIGOT; TROUBLE IN THE KITCHEN
Brunswick Town Hall
Friday 7 April 2006
Review by: JESSICA NICHOLAS
When Irish fiddler Gerry OConnor last toured Australia in the 1980s, he met and played with Melbourne-based Celtic musician Louis McManus. So it was fitting that OConnor should headline the Louis McManus Memorial Concert a tribute to the late multi-instrumentalist at this years Brunswick Music Festival.
The concert opened with a lively set by Trouble in the Kitchen, a local outfit that has recently expanded its trad-folk lineup (fiddle, bouzouki, guitar and flute) to incorporate the accordion of Caroline Frawley. On Friday night, Frawleys fluent playing added fresh colours to the groups finely-honed arrangements especially the new material, which made excellent use of varying instrumental combinations to build energy and momentum. Ben Stephenson played a key role in sustaining this energy, his entire body dancing in time with his marvellously expressive flute and whistle.
Gerry OConnor, by contrast, barely moved his body at all (apart from his right foot, which tapped animatedly throughout his set). Even his fiddle remained virtually motionless, held perfectly still as the bow moved fluidly over its strings. But the music that emerged from his instrument couldnt have been more vibrant. Its plangent, full-bodied tone was utterly intoxicating, enhanced by OConnors flawless and dynamic articulation. Not a single note was thrown away; every tiny ornament, sliding grace note and subtle variation felt like an extension of the melody and the impassioned spirit behind it.
OConnors superb onstage companion Breton guitarist Gilles le Bigot has worked with the fiddler for over a decade, and the two have developed a musical shorthand that allows them to alter the direction of a tune or medley with the barest of gestures. On Friday, a slight nod of the head or lift of the eyebrow was enough to precipitate a seamless transition between jigs, or a gentle rubato to bring a joyously whirling reel back to earth.
Le Bigots open tuning lent his guitar an appealing richness and warmth, whether he was doubling OConnors melody line, creating a nimble counter-melody or driving the tune forward with powerfully rhythmic chordal accompaniment.
Best of all, the rapport between these two performers was as natural and flexible
as the music itself: sometimes quiet and understated, sometimes intense, sometimes
playful. As in the finest traditional music, it felt very much like a conversation
one that flowed between the participants with ease, and effortlessly expanded
to include the whole audience.