• Simon Mayor Mandolin Retreat to Focus on the Music of Turlough O'Carolan

    Simon MayorSHEFFIELD, ENGLAND — The music of the Irish harper and composer Turlough O'Carolan (1670-1738) will be the subject of a three day mandolin retreat led by English mandolin great Simon Mayor on March 10-12, 2023 at Kenwood Hall, a luxury conference venue, hotel and spa just one mile from Sheffield city center.

    About the retreat, Mayor told us: "I've been playing Carolan's music since I can remember and occasionally use his tunes in my workshops, but this retreat will be the first fully dedicated one. It's a great chance for mandolinists, or players of other mandolin family instruments, to get more intimately acquainted with his music over the course of a weekend. It was triggered in part by my forthcoming album of Carolan's music which will be released in early 2023.

    "Carolan's tunes for the most part follow the format of a typical traditional jig, reel or march: two sections, each usually repeated. Stylistically, they differ a little from a typical trad tune because he was also influenced by the classical music of his day, in particular the Italian composers Corelli and Geminiani.

    "Music will be sent out in advance in both standard notation and tablature. There'll be duets, trios and quartets along with the odd solo for the brave to have a go at. For the most part, the harmony lines will be simpler than the melody, so less experienced players should still be able to make a welcome contribution to the sound."


    A sample arrangement used in the retreat, Carolan's "Sí Bheag Sí Mhór" (duet).

    Additional Information

    Comments 5 Comments
    1. Simon DS's Avatar
      Simon DS -
      Wow, check out the tempo of Princess Royal. Nice!


      Great example of Sí Bheag Sí Mhór too.
    1. Simon DS's Avatar
      Simon DS -
    1. Dagger Gordon's Avatar
      Dagger Gordon -
      Sounds like a great event altogether. What's not to like?
      I've often felt that we should focus more on the harp as a source of material. Suits the mandolin, I think, and the music of O'Carolan is a very good place to start.
    1. Bren's Avatar
      Bren -
      Simon's got an all-Carolan CD coming out - https://www.acousticsrecords.co.uk/s...r/carolan.html
    1. Mandolin Cafe's Avatar
      Mandolin Cafe -
      Here's an important announcement: this workshop turned out so popular and with such a considerable wait list of attendees that Simon has opened up a second version of it. Read about it here.

      Simon says (you knew that was coming, right?), "Same hotel, repertoire and price but the new dates are 14-16 April 2023."