O'Carolan's Farewell to Music from Ljova's album Enter the Fadolín

Enter The Fadolín – Behind the Tracks – O’Carolan’s Farewell to Music

Dear friends,

Happy New Year!

Next up on the series of “Behind the Tracks” posts about my new album “Enter The Fadolín” (available now exclusively via Bandcamp as a download or handmade autographed CD-R, and also as a PDF collection of sheet music you can play through on your own) is a composition by the Celtic harper Turlough O’Carolan called “O’Carolan’s Farewell to Music”.

Listen to it below:

In contrast to other posts in the “Behind The Tracks” series, my story with this piece is brief — I heard it in several performances by Irish fiddler Martin Hayes & guitarist Dennis Cahill, and it had always startled me. There’s something about the piece that’s so haunting and penetrating in ways that few other pieces match — doubtless so much of that is due to the performance and arrangement choices of these incredible performers. I had always wanted to learn it, to internalize it and share with an audience in a small room, to play it in the bass register of the fadolín. It’s interesting to note that Turlough O’Carolan (1670-1738) was a contemporary of J.S. Bach (1685-1750), whose works also appear on this album. Perhaps, in a more connected century, O’Carolan and Bach would have met, perhaps in person or over Zoom, or at least have been aware of each other’s music. It’s nice to think of this possibility.

Martin Hayes and I met several times — we taught together at Mark O’Connor’s String Camp in New York, and later I contributed an arrangement for his project with the quartet Brooklyn Rider.

(“The Drunken Sailor” / arr. Ljova — by Martin Hayes and Brooklyn Rider)

I had sent a recording of my “Farewell to Music” arrangement to Martin some months ago and he wrote back (in a green font) that it sounds great on the six string where you manage to bring out more of the baroque feeling of the tune.

Enjoy the album — thank you for supporting it!

I’m pasting a timeless performance of “O’Carolan’s Farewell to Music” by Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill below. I am grateful to them for the inspiration, and hope that you can hear more of their recordings — and better yet, catch them live in person. In these pandemic times, Martin has been offering free fiddle lessons on youtube, supported by Martin’s Patreon community.


||> See a playlist videos of Ljova’s new music released during the COVID-19 pandemic.
||> Support Ljova’s ongoing work of creating new music for the fadolín — join his Patreon community for exclusives and updates! Thank you for your support.

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