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MP3 Skip McKinley - Fairytales

For fans of a new sound from the Irish flute, this release weaves together unusual geography of sets and airs, O''Carolan baroque,and original compositions with backup by the drums, mando-cello, and concertina.

12 MP3 Songs in this album (47:16) !
Related styles: FOLK: Irish Traditional, CLASSICAL: Baroque

People who are interested in Kevin Crawford Harry Bradshaw Mat Molloy should consider this download.

Fairytales: The Background

Skip McKinley’s first solo release, “Executive Session” was completed in a matter of months. This second release took years. “It was a huge discovery process,” reflects flutist Skip McKinley who after a year and a half in the studio realized, “I wanted to create music as well as play sets of traditional Irish tunes.” The recording stopped and the critical listening and thought began. The notion of each track becoming a musical fairytale came gradually to the surface.

When recording resumed the creative process was in motion. “Fairytales” developed an architecture by “contrasting sets of tunes, stand alone pieces and original compositions” says Skip. His own compositions were arranged into sets and they include Barbequed Leprechaun, The Song that No One Knew and When Kathryn was Anna. His guest musicians are long time friends from around New England.

Among other things, this recording is a character study of the 19th century wood flute. Skip’s 10- keyed granadilla wood flute was made by the exceptional London based James Pask circa 1850 and was primarily used for baroque and classical music. “There’s something in this flute that always rewards you for hard work.” The voice of the baroque flute is clearly present in Mrs. Judge. This piece was composed by 17th century Irish harpist Turlough O’Carolan. He was greatly influenced by baroque composers such as Vivaldi.

Skip’s alter ego architect, Michael McKinley brings his design sensibilities to his music, saying “Music is architectural and architecture is musical.” In individual pieces such as Morrison’s Jig and Bill Hart’s Skip explains, “The shape of the tune becomes all important.”

Percussion plays a big role on the recording. Dave Mattacks, former drummer for Fairport Convention, was intrigued by adapting a drum set to traditional tunes. “I have long been amazed by the simple and primitive sound of bodhran (goatskin drum) and wood flute” says Skip. He and percussionist Mance Grady explored this on the hop jigs Boys of Ballysadare and Rocky Road to Dublin.
“Like good architecture, music should be balanced and represent the creation of a whole composition,” Skip adds, “It may have taken nearly a decade but in ‘Fairytales’ I think I’ve finally achieved that.”

Skip McKinley: Biography

Michael aka Skip McKinley was born in Missouri in 1951 and, after moving to Indiana at age eight, began playing the sax. Needless to say there was not any Irish influence at this time. With ample encouragement from the parents he went on to win a lot of metals that were shaped like the state of Indiana and his high school jazz band cut a record with Doc Severinsen.

In 1976, Skip graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with degrees in Architecture and Fine Arts.

Skip crept into the Boston music scene in 1977 after a fiddle player friend Henry Benagh from Nashville gave him an inspiring but unplayable flute. The older Irish flute players could be heard including Jimmy Hogan, Frank Neylon, and Gene Preston. Skip more or less taught himself to play. He became a part of Comhaltas and the infamous Village Coach House sessions which were hosted by Larry Reynolds and Seamus Connolly. A great number of fine musicians could regularly be found there including Johnny Cunningham, The Lewis Family, Pat Sky, and Brendan Tonra. Skip played festivals and concerts with Seamus Connolly and the Miltown family of Tom McCarthy.

Four years later, in 1981, Skip won both the solo and trio All-Ireland competitions
in New York and competed in the 1981 Fleadh Cheoil in Listowel.

While single in Boston, Skip utilized his degree in architecture to finance extended sojourns to Ireland. There he developed friendships with several music families. He performed with the Lewis Family and Martin Hayes at the Festival Interceltic in L’Orient, France and spent a good deal with the family of Ciaran MacMathuna in Dublin. He has been very much influenced by the local music traditions found in Clare and Galway. Skip played festivals and concerts with the Miltown family of Tom McCarthy.
By day Skip masquerades as an architect. It is only fitting that he was the architect of record for Tommy McCarthy’s Boston music pub “The Burren”.

Skip’s first solo album “The Executive Session” included well known traditional tunes,
O’Carolan compositions and a Telemann fantasia. He was joined on the album by Seamus Connolly (fiddle) and Martin O’Malley (guitar) and Mance Grady (percussion).

Skip has recently released a second solo CD titled “Fairytales” This features some of his own compositions. He is joined by Dave Mattacks on drums (Fairport Convention), John McGann (guitar and bouzouki), Claudine Languille (guitar, mando) and Dave Payton
(concertina) and Mance Grady (bodhran).

Skip plays a 10 keyed granadilla wood flute made in London circa 1850 by James Pask
and later improved by Ribas. He hosts a monthly concert series at the JBG Theatre in Mystic, CT and plays with a wide variety of East Coast musicians.

Skip and Kathy, his lovely wife, have two daughters and currently live in Stonington, Ct.

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