ABOUT THE BOOK
The book features 113 tunes of mine (4 of which are my 'takes' on older already established tunes and 4 others co-written) that have been composed over the last 46 years. The tunes are accompanied by stories and when applicable and available, images too.
One of the few 'silver linings' of the Pandemic was the ability to steal time from Liz Carroll's schedule so that she could listen and then notate these tunes from sound clips I sent her. Her patience, talent, skills and experience were all "put to the test" and her legendary good humor —thankfully— helped to keep our friendship intact! "A Friend Indeed"
For the project, I limited the number of printed/signed copies to 250 (as I promised my wife Patti that we would not have a closet full of these in 5 years…). When these are all gone, the book will be available as a downloadable PDF for those who prefer that format.
I hope that you find a few tunes/stories that you enjoy inside. And stay tuned for some sound and video clips of friends who have graciously agreed to record some of the tunes as well….
Now available as a digital download!
Traditional Irish Tunes composed by Marty Fahey in a digital download PDF - Composed over 46 years and compiled over the last 18 months with 113 tunes, 113 stories and 130 images spread out over 110 pages.
Here you are with Marty Fahey‘s most excellent book of compositions. But it may have turned out differently… working closely over the last year, with Marty sending along recordings of his tunes and me scribing, this may have been a posthumous collection, with me in jail. But NO- happily, the friendship has survived, Marty is alive, and I am free!
With great admiration for one of my oldest and dearest friends, recording partner (A Friend Indeed, 1979), oft-time accompanist, and fellow tunesmith, I can say it’s a sure thing that all musicians will love his tunes, which are full of beautiful turns and graceful phrasing.
For my part, hearing and learning Marty’s tunes, many for the first time, has been an astounding experience. While Marty honors his friends, family, and fellow musicians in the tune titles, he’s created an absolutely amazing body of work - classy and classic tunes.
Writing about music is near impossible for me. Playing and sharing music is not.
Writing about those who write music is just as difficult as doing so demands intimate knowledge of the workings of the musical part of the brain and the soul of those who do — and as someone who writes a few tunes, I don’t truly understand how I do it myself, so am taking a huge leap of octaves doing so now…
Since a kid, Marty Fahey has always had an eye for art and design — where I would look at a fancy car as a yoke on four wheels (I think they do have four) which gets me from home to the next session, concert, or gig, Marty would view my plebeian conveyance as shapes, curves, lines, sweeps, how the headlights gave a face to the car, that the sheen of the color and the metal emblems adorn the car’s body akin to a custom made suit, and how the rear tail lights signified “I was here, see me go, yet I want you to follow me”…
That is how I believe Marty creates his gorgeous tunes (and how they affect me) with his similar eye for art and design which have transformed his focus to his ears and fingers and how those shapes, lines, sweeps of individual notes and chords combine into an aural beauty that conveys one far further than any heap of rubber and steel can accomplish. I’m in awe of both Marty and Liz Carroll (the queen tune-maker part of our then teenage musical trio who led the way), and how they both create soaring and joyous sounds from a few buttons, keys, fiddle strings, and eight odd notes. And in particular how Marty does so equally brilliantly on the linear notes of the piano plus on the criss-cross finger-madness of the button box.
I happily await Marty’s tune book and look forward to all the wonderful places his notes will take me!
December 2, 2021
By Daniel Neely
Ooh, it’s a good one this week!
Up first, we have “The Dreamer,” the new tune book from Chicago-based pianist and accordion player Marty Fahey.
Fahey is a musicians’ musician who grew up playing in the company of Liz Carroll and Jimmy Keane (more on Keane below!) and over the years he’s been involved with some great projects, notably the album “Music At The House” (with Brendan Bulger & Kathleen Gavin, 2003) and the “Ireland: Crossroads of Art and Design” exhibit, catalog, and CD, through the Art Institute of Chicago (2015).
He’s the type of player who has a great ear for tunes and he’s able to find ways to make his own head turners. For example, there are a couple to hear on the “Music At The House” album (“Musical Manicure,” “Failing Memories” ), one on Rose Conway and Laura Byrne’s album “Forget me Not” (“The Friendly Advisor”), and over the last few days a few have floated around on social media. Keep an eye open for Diarmuid Ó Meachair and Colm McGonigle playing his reel “Down the Bowers” (which is a great one), the Knocknashee Céilí Band playing his march “The Gauntlet,” and Out the Gap playing “The Mystic” – the versions are as great as the tunes themselves. And if you’re not on social media, you can get a taste of his style by visiting martinfahey.com, where you can listen to Damien and Colman Connolly playing “The Long Week.” And hey, while you’re there you can buy the book, too. Makes a great holiday gift!