The Dance Music of Ireland
16 Two- Hand Dances
Traditional Irish Music at its Best
1.The Military Two Step 2. The Gay Gordon’s 3. The Stack of Barley 4. The Verse of Vienna (Shoe the Donkey) 5. The Schottische (Heal and Toe) 6.Barhndance 7.Two Hand Reel 8.Two Hand Jig 9.Two Hand Hornpipe/The Corn Reeks 10. The Sweetheart Waltz 11.The Pride of Erin Waltz 12.The St.Bernard Waltz 13. The Valita Waltz 14.The Peeler and the Goat 15.Mazurkas
Matt Cunningham; Accordions, Joseph Cunningham; Banjo, Eric Cunningham; Flutes and Snare Drum, Ita Cunningham; Fiddle, Eugene Kelly; Keyboards and Bass.
Arrangements; Matt Cunningham, Produced by; Eugene Kelly, Illustration by Fleming Christoffersen, Cover Design by MGA Design Consultants.Special thanks to Donncha O Muineachain and Edie Bradley for their assistance and interest in this project. Another step in the right direction from MATT Cunningham !
Matt Cunningham’s interests and achievements in the world of Irish set dancing are well documented at this stage but his forthcoming musical release demonstrates that he is equally committed to preserving the Irish Ceili dances and two hand dances that have overtime often been overshadowed and forgotten.
For those who are not aware, there is a distinct difference between Set Dancing and Ceili and two hand Dancing and there is at present a growing number of dancers who are taking more of an interest in the Ceili and 2 hand dances than ever before. These enthusiasts will be delighted then to hear that Matt has just released two New CDS. One containing music for 15 ceili dances and the other for 15 two-hand dances. Similarly to the music contained in Matt’s 14-volume collection, which is primarily for set dancing, all the music on these two cds is played to the correct length and tempo.
Matt stated that he had in the past recorded music for a selection of these dances but that was at a time when some of the members of his family and band were not part of his musical group. Therefore, to enhance the sound of this collection Matt has re recorded the majority of the existing material and recorded new music for many of the other dances for the first time.
In Matt’s own words “I have for sometime now been encouraged that the ceili & two hand dances were not left behind while the set dancing flourished. It is important that all three styles are kept alive and developed together. This collection makes it easier for the dancer and tutor who are interested in ceil and two hands to have access to the required music on two separate CDs.
Matt also stated “when I decided to have all of the music available in one collection I also decided that I would make the necessary changes to tempos that were required and also wanted to ensure that the accordian, fiddle, banjo and flute sound that people were accustomed to on my other recordings was reflected on the two cds.”
For those who simply enjoy listening to the sound of Matt’s music the collections also features the best of Irish traditional music and is also a hit with those who are more inclined to set dancing:
“Its funny but one well known set dance teacher told me recently that he has being using the High Cauled Cap selection on this new collection for teaching set dancing also as he told me that he believed it to the best selection of music contained on any of my recordings-whatever its used for, once enjoyment is drawn from it and the tradition is kept alive I’m happy”