“Siansa” is a London based band playing Traditional Irish music and Song. They play a variety of instruments including Uilleann Pipes, Harp, Bouzouki, Guitar, Banjo, Fiddle and Bodhrãn.
The members of Siansa have been involved in traditional music for many years, playing in clubs, festivals, radio and television. They have also competed in various musical competitions, winning several firsts at national level.
"Siansa", pronounced "she-an-sa" is Gaelic for "melody" or "musical strain"
“Siansa” - is a tight knit band who believe in playing Traditional Irish Music, with feeling and excitement, but without loosing anything in the playing. They believe the music should be enjoyed not only by those playing it, but most importantly by those listening to it.
"Siansa" can provide Traditional Music suited to all occasions, from the intimate atmosphere of a club or concert stage, to larger venues such as national folk festivals. The band also specialise in concert performances, corporate functions and other special occasions; adapting their repertoire to suit the different requirements of each venue. They especially enjoy providing dance music for ceilidhs / dances, and have earned themselves a deserved reputation for playing exciting music in a dance environment. The band can also provide experienced "callers" for those not so well acquainted with traditional dancing. Be warned: you will have fun!
The members of Siansa are also experienced in running workshops, and giving talks on their various instruments. They are also happy to give practical demonstrations on the techniques and ornamentation employed to play Traditional Irish Music.
Siansa provide a uniquely “Irish” evening in every sense of the word. The blend of instruments lend themselves to a very traditional “feel” and their exciting playing style draws heavily on the combined musical backgrounds of the individual group members. While the band consider their music to be primarily "Irish Traditional", they can also play a wide variety of European music - which can be described, under the generic term, "Celtic". Tunes and Dance rhythms from places as diverse as Spain, Brittany and Scotland form an integral part of the band's musical repertoire. This heady mix provides a repertoire of traditional music, rich in melody, underpinned with a strong rhythm section, and held together by a tight chord structure. In short, their music is fresh, exciting, nostalgic and yet still remains true to its origin.
Their hope, is that they will enjoy their musical journey, promoting the music, and that audiences and promoters alike, will want to accompany them.
Uilleann Pipes, Low Whistles and Vocals: Tim comes from Co. Kerry and is part of a family that has played traditional music for many generations. He learned his piping from the Galway based Waterford Piper - Tommy Keane, and his style of playing is strongly influenced by the playing of Seamus Ennis and Willie Clancy. Tim has played on RTE Television, and was fortunate to be asked to play in the Queens Private Chapel with the Queen’s master of Music. Prior to his involvement with Irish Traditional Music and piping in particular, he sang for many years with a 4 part Harmony Group, guesting at major festivals, including appearances on television and radio. Tim also recorded an L.P. which reached No 1 in the Melody Maker Folk Charts. He now divides his time between playing music and teaching the pipes at the Hammersmith Irish Centre.
Harp: Harriet was classically trained, reaching Grade 8 on concert harp, but she now specialises in the Celtic harp. She is a full time harpist, playing extensively throughout Britain and Ireland. She was the 'Harper of All Britain' in 2000 and has several recordings to her credit. Her new solo CD is due for release in November 2001. Together with her love of Irish music, Harriet has been studying Irish and Scottish Gaelic and has a degree in Celtic Studies from Trinity College, Cambridge. As well as her work with the band, she has given many harp recitals, including solo performances at the Irish Spirits festival in Germany in 1999 and 2000. With Peter and Tim, Harriet was part of the group that won the 'All Ireland Pléaracha' at Ennis in Co.Clare in May 1997. Harriet is fast gaining a reputation both here and in Europe as an extremely talented and expressive harper. Steeped in tradition the harp provides a delicate counterpoint to all the band's arrangements and reminds us of its enduring link with Ireland's musical heritage..
Peter O' Brien
Bodhrán and Vocals: comes from Northern Ireland, and is one of the most accomplished Bodhrán players in the country. He won the “Senior All Ireland Championship” for the Bodhrán in the competition year 98/99 in Ballina. Peter has played throughout Europe and also in Canada with some of the very best traditional musicians around.
His playing style has variously been described as “dynamic”, “sensitive” and at times “innovative”, whilst all the time not detracting from the integrity or feeling of the music. Peter gives the group its “edge”, and defines its rhythmic pattern.
Guitar, Bouzouki, Octave Mandola, Banjo, Vocals: Originally from Lancashire with Scottish ancestry David has played and toured throughout Britain, Ireland and Europe with Traditional Folk dance Troupes. David successfully competed as part of the Group that won the "All Ireland Plearacha" at Ennis in Co. Clare in May 1999. He has been part of the Celtic music scene since the early 70's and has played with several English and Irish based Bands during that time. His strong yet sensitive vocals blend well with Tim, Geoff and Peter's voices. Together with Peter, David underpins the beat and drive that makes the music of Siansa so appealing.
Fiddle, Guitar, Mandola and Mandolin: Geoff is an extremely accomplished multi instrumentalist. He can play in a variety of styles, effortlessly moving between Irish, Scottish, Cape Breton, Cajun and American Swing. Geoff has played throughout The British Isles, Europe, and America, and has been involved in many aspects of cultural music for many years. His innovative playing style, together with his imaginative arrangements have already greatly influenced the direction of the band’s music - allowing them to pursue musical routes not normally associated with other traditional Irish groups.
Flute, Uilleann Pipes, Whistle: Colman started learning music at an early age and was influenced my many great musicians. He was taught on the whistle by Brendan Mullkeer and about a year or so later Marian Gill introduced him to the flute and gave him his first taste of Fleadhs, Festivals and Plearacha's, traveling all over Ireland and Britain. In one of the Fleadhs he was amongst others in their own categories nominated outstanding musician and in 1989 he won the All Britain on the flute. Paul Roche, Matt Malloy and Garry Shannon mostly influence his style. While he was with Marian he was encouraged by Mick Gill to learn the Uilleann Pipes and started learning at the Pipers Club in the Camden Irish Centre where Billy Brown and Paul Carton taught him. He was further inspired by Tommy Reck who gave him some piping tips at the Fleadh Nua Ennis workshop, Liam O Flynn, Paddy Keenan and John McSherry are amongst others who also inspired him, He now teaches the pipes at Hammersmith Irish Centre along with Tim.
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