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Brenda Castles on a stool playing a concertina

Brenda Castles: The Light Side of the Tune

Concertina player Brenda Castles' interest in collecting unusual versions of well known tunes in the tradition has taken her on a journey of archival discovery to find out more about how tunes evolve over time and distance. To accompany the release of her latest album 'The Light Side of the Tune' Brenda shares her research on five particular tunes from the album: Jenny's Welcome to Charlie, The Cook in the Kitchen, The Limerick Lasses, Merrily Kiss the Quaker and The Connaughtman's Rambles.

“It’s fascinating to go back and hear how a tune can change over time and distance, with varying melody, time and key signatures and depending on the musician playing it.”

Brenda Castles, 2021

“I was lucky enough to complete a residency at CCI Paris in August of 2021 and in the beautiful chapel there I recorded some of these tunes that are related to one another to highlight the similarities between the different time signatures.”

Brenda Castles, 2021
The Chapel at Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris

Cailleach an airgid, reel ; Jenny picking cockles, reel ; The long note, slide ; Jenny’s welcome to Charlie, reel ; My brother Tom, jig / Brenda Castles, concertina

Tom Ginley's fancy, jig / Tom Ginley, flute

Tom Ginley's fancy, jig / Brenda Castles, concertina

Limerick lasses, reel / Ó Raghallaigh Brothers Trio, Clonmel All Ireland Fleadh, 1992

Limerick lasses, reel / Kathleen Collins, fiddle

Limerick lasses, reel / Brenda Castles, concertina

Merrily kiss the Quaker, slide / Brenda Castles, concertina

The Connaughtman’s rambles, jig / Brenda Castles, concertina