Week#290 ~ Captain O'Kain / Captain O'Kane

  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    This week's winner is Captain O'Kain (O'Kane), a tune by O'Carolan.

    Here's a link to The Complete Works of Turlough O'Carolan, with links to abc, sheet music and midi, for many of his tunes.

    According to thesession.org, this tune is Also known as Banks Of The Danube, Cailin Tighe Moir, Captain Henry O’Kain, Captain O’Kain, Captain O’Kane, Captain O’Kane’s, Captain Oakhain, The Chevalier’s Lament, The Dying Hussar’s Lament, The Dying Hussar, The Dying Huzzar, Fwyn Seren Fain Syw, Giolla An Bimhoir, Lament For A Dying Hussar, Lament For A Wounded Hussar, The Wounded Hussar’s Lament, The Wounded Huzzar, The Wounded.

    I'm not familiar with this tune, but I love O'Carolan tunes!



  2. James Rankine
    James Rankine
    Always good to get in first.

  3. David Hansen
    David Hansen
    Very nicely done James. Here's mine from the O'Carolan thread. The arrangement I play is in Gm so maybe mine is really The Wounded Hussar and not Captain O'Kain after all.

  4. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    I had done this for said O'Carolan thread a year ago but took this opportunity to re-record it now with a better mic & cam.

  5. woodenfingers
    woodenfingers
    James, good going getting in first and I really liked your drones and double stops. David, wonderful orchestration as usual. I really enjoy your arrangements and instrumentation. Bertram, well done. I love the sound you get from that octave. I don't dare use the G strings on my octave because they buzz horribly. You get a nice rich tone from yours.

    I went with the setting 5 score from The Sessions. There's a harmony section included in it. I didn't like the B part of the harmony so I changed it around some. I also didn't stick with the chords they used as they didn't all sound right to me and I have trouble with Bm chords.

  6. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Bob, I must pass your kind words on to Mr Roger Bucknall of Fylde Guitars, Penrith, Cumbria
    Buzzing G strings is a setup topic on its own, I guess. Low action is overrated...

    Interestingly, Captain O'Kane seems not to have been a sea captain, but a soldier:
    O’Neill (1922) says: “We learn from Alexander Campbell’s song ‘The Wounded Hussar’ (printed with the music in Smith’s Irish Minstrel (Edinburgh, 1825) that O’Kain was Captain Henry O’Kain who died of his wounds ‘on the banks of the dark rolling Danube.’” O’Sullivan’s attribution is based on a comment by Hardimann (who said O’Carolan wrote it) and because of stylistic similarities with other O’Carolan works. O’Neill (1913) quotes Patrick O’Leary, an Australian correspondent, who wrote that the Captain of the title was “the hero of a hundred fights, from Landon to Oudenarde, who, when old and war-worn, tottered back from the Low Countries to his birthplace to die, and found himself not only a stranger, but an outlawed, disinherited, homeless wanderer in the ancient territory that his fathers ruled as Lords of Limavady.”

    I don't know the exact truth, of course, but the melancholic mood of the piece seems to fit the story. And indeed everybody here captured it well, each in their variety of styles
  7. James Rankine
    James Rankine
    I've enjoyed everyone's take on this. All this talk of octaves made me want to have a go in the lower registers, so here it is on my Tom Buchanan Bouzouki in GDAD.

  8. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    This is a great tune, which I've been playing in a variant in A minor for a few years. I've enjoyed everybody's take on it, and especially James on the Buchanan zouk -- great tone and great playing.

    The version I've recorded is from an arrangement which I got only a few days ago from our Cafe member Evelyn (harper) -- she has arranged the E minor version with an added counter melody (which I've played on second mandolin) and a lovely bass line (mandocello), so it makes a good mandolin quartet:

    1915 Luigi Embergher mandolin
    Mid-Missouri M-0W mandolin
    Suzuki MC-815 mandocello
    Ozark tenor guitar

    Tempo on Carolan tunes is as always rather variable -- I've taken it a bit faster than most in this thread:



    Martin
  9. dustyamps
    dustyamps
    Enjoyed everyone's creative versions.
  10. woodenfingers
    woodenfingers
    Bertram, I actually ran across the soldier info you posted before I made my video so I will just have to plead poetic license. I am more enamoured with the sea than in soldiers fighting each other on land. What I didn't come across was where and for what he was fighting. If he supposedly died on the Danube, why was he there fighting? But of course he didn't die on the Danube or he wouldn't have been able to come home to become an outcast. Central European history wasn't a major topic in my schooling.

    I thought that was a Fylde you had. Beautiful rich tone. I covet it, along with David's Sobell and John's home-made octaves. I think the buzzing on my Trinity is due to the G-strings being too close together so they hit each other. It's not too bad if I don't pluck too hard but when playing with a fiddler and guitarist I generally need to dig in a bit to be heard. Correspondence with John suggests that I cut a new slot in the bridge and move them apart but I have been a bit tentative at doing so...

    James, well done on the zouk. Another great sounding instrument. The scale length looks like is about 3 feet but you certainly get around on it.

    Martin, I hadn't realized Evelyn had done this one. Your take on it was quite fine and you also preserved history with your nice slide show.

    Dusty, another of your clear well done renditions. I also enjoy your slide shows. I need to take more pictures of my environment and use them instead of plundering the internet.
  11. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    poetic license

    A perfectly legal concept, and I have used it myself repeatedly
    I like the sea better, too.

    As for history, I think O'Carolan's compositions are open to debate as much as Shakespeare's plays. It's not even bulletproof certain he composed this one, let alone the actual existence of the soldier in question; his name might as well be John Doe.
  12. James Rankine
    James Rankine
    Martin, lovely sound - lots going on. It sounds very complex all together. Great tone from Dusty as usual.
    Bob the official scale length of my zouk is "too long", certainly for melody anyway. I only ever use it for accompaniment and it excels at that. Much better for melody, whilst still retaining a ringing tone, is its smaller brother the Mandola. I was messing about on it with this tune and it morphed into a East European dance tune. Apologies in advance - I'm sure this wasn't what O'Carolan hand in mind.

  13. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    morphed into a East European dance tune

    Indeed, and I don't know what O'Carolan would say to that, but I am quite sure that Andy Irvine would like it.
  14. David Hansen
    David Hansen
    Wow James, I'm really impressed by your playing and the tone of both your bouzouki and your mandola. I have been disappointed in the mandolin family instruments I've played with pin bridges but apparently I need to play a Buchanan. Both of your instruments have tone in overdrive. I think you also capture the title for the most posts in a single thread.
  15. Frithjof
    Frithjof
    Certainly the wounded soldier on his way through Europe ranged some woods.



    That’s the type of music that really cries to be played in different ways and instrumentations.
    I enjoyed all your takes and can’t say which I like most.
  16. Gelsenbury
    Gelsenbury
    I love O'Carolan tunes too! So I had to have a go at this one. This is just once through, but it's on time.

    I've treated myself to a Blue Snowball microphone, and I like the sound.

    So is this a jig or a waltz?

  17. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Ah Dennis, I'll say it is a waltz, but if you play it any faster than that it might suddenly become a jig to step-dance to
  18. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    I TOLD you I loved O'Carolan tunes! It's been forever since I've done a video!

  19. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Gently and comforting, Barb, like it was only yesterday. Oh how I miss your pool table!
  20. Niavlys
    Niavlys
    These O'Carolan tunes are really nice, I didn't know any of them before joining the group, thanks!

  21. Gelsenbury
    Gelsenbury
    Precision work there, Niavlys. This tune works for me at any of the speeds posted so far.

    By the way, do you guys have an opinion on whether to play this kind of tune as part of a set or on its own?
  22. Niavlys
    Niavlys
    Thank you Gelsenbury (though I'm not too sure about the precision at 0:45... but let's forget it!).
  23. Tavy
    Tavy
    Interestingly, Captain O'Kane seems not to have been a sea captain, but a soldier:
    O’Neill (1922) says: “We learn from Alexander Campbell’s song ‘The Wounded Hussar’ (printed with the music in Smith’s Irish Minstrel (Edinburgh, 1825) that O’Kain was Captain Henry O’Kain who died of his wounds ‘on the banks of the dark rolling Danube.’” O’Sullivan’s attribution is based on a comment by Hardimann (who said O’Carolan wrote it) and because of stylistic similarities with other O’Carolan works. O’Neill (1913) quotes Patrick O’Leary, an Australian correspondent, who wrote that the Captain of the title was “the hero of a hundred fights, from Landon to Oudenarde, who, when old and war-worn, tottered back from the Low Countries to his birthplace to die, and found himself not only a stranger, but an outlawed, disinherited, homeless wanderer in the ancient territory that his fathers ruled as Lords of Limavady.”

    Bertram, you missed out the most interesting part - the guys nickname was apparently "slasher" O'Kane!

    My first thought when the Danube was mentioned was that this must be artistic licence, but no, during the wars of the Spanish Succession, British forces marched 250 miles across Europe from the Low Counties to the Danube in Austria to win a pivital victory at the battle of Blenheim. Oudenarde (1708) was another battle in the same wars. There's no mention of our captain in this history of the O'Kane's, but I note that many individuals in the family served for France around this time - not only England's traditional "old enemy" - but ultimately the losing side in this war. One can imagine that a soldier returning from defeat serving the French, might not be welcome. Particularly so in Ulster (historical home of the O'Kane's) where political necessity if nothing else would likely require a pro-British stance.

    And indeed some Kane's served in the British army at this time:

    "Richard Kane (1667-1736) from County Down had a versatile military career. He reached the rank of brigadier-general in the British army. He fought in France and took part in the defeat of Louis XIV's army at the battle of Blenheim. He transferred to the French army and was a lieutenant-colonel at the victory of the French at the battle of Malplaquet in 1709. Two years later he was in Canada with the Regiment of Irish Foot. He was the military governor of Gibraltar in 1720, during the dispute with Spain. With this background of international service, he wrote widely on miltary strategy."


    Without doubt a time when histories were complex, loyalties flexible, and truth hidden by time...
  24. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    opinion on whether to play this kind of tune as part of a set or on its own

    I think they are better played one at a time, unless you play them so fast they get too short (this is no joke, I have seen step-dancing to Sidh Beag agus Sidh Mor paired with Planxty Irwin, but that is clearly not what O'Carolan had in mind).

    Without doubt a time when histories were complex, loyalties flexible, and truth hidden by time...

    In other words - just like today
  25. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin
    A lot of enjoyable performances and interesting history this week. Gelsenbury- I have a USB condenser mike but sometimes I just haven't the time to set it up so here it is straight into the computer.
  26. Frithjof
    Frithjof
    Hi maudlin, waited for your version. And not in vain. I tried to play it with chords too because I most time play by myself and of course unaccompanied. Though I got some additional ideas. Of course I also carefully watched the takes of James and Bertram to improve my solitary solo playing.
    To bad you couldn't play it in a condenser mike. But better you shared your ideas with us than not … Wait for your next submission.
  27. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Just a quick link to Evelyn's posting of her free Winter tunebook in the Folk/Celtic forum today, which contains her arrangement of Captain O'Kane. This is the arrangement I have recorded (see my earlier posting).

    Link

    Martin
  28. Frithjof
    Frithjof
    Thanks for the link, martin. That's an amazing ressource. And thanks, Evelin for sharing!
  29. woodenfingers
    woodenfingers
    Great playing everyone!! Even got Barbara back into the fray!

    Also thanks to Tavy for the history lesson. I still find it hard to imagine that way back then someone would trek from Ireland to the Danube to go fight in some seemingly, to me, obscure war but I guess as is true of all history you have to understand the context and I clearly don't.

    Martin, thanks for the tip-off that Evelyn had posted another book. There's some great new tunes in there for our trio.

    Bob
  30. Tavy
    Tavy
    OK for me, only a week late is pretty quick!

    You'll have to forgive the vacant-eyed look, but I inexplicably failed to learn this one so had to read it off the screen Still, sounds OK I think: with all the very excellent CBOM versions already posted, I deliberately tried to go in the opposite direction, slowed it right down, added some tremolo and made it very "mandolin", see what you think:

  31. GKWilson
    GKWilson
    Very nice John.
    What a beautiful sounding mandolin.
    Who made it?
    Gary
  32. Niavlys
    Niavlys
    Beautiful tone and clear playing, Tavy! Really, the only criticism I'd make is that the rhythm isn't very precise in some places (after the first G for example, the B comes too quickly), but I guess that comes with the fact that you're reading the music while playing.
  33. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Tavy, I was reminded of that triple-headed giant dog in Harry Potter that falls asleep when music is played - apparently it was in your room just outside the camera angle
    But this is a very sweet-sounding instrument that can handle the mandolinistic approach beautifully while looking the other way.
  34. Tavy
    Tavy
    "What a beautiful sounding mandolin.
    Who made it?"

    That would be me

    "Beautiful tone and clear playing, Tavy! Really, the only criticism I'd make is that the rhythm isn't very precise in some places (after the first G for example, the B comes too quickly), but I guess that comes with the fact that you're reading the music while playing."

    Guilty as changed on that one, playing along with the midi would have helped, but then there's a tendancy to get a bit too mechanical...

    "Tavy, I was reminded of that triple-headed giant dog in Harry Potter that falls asleep when music is played - apparently it was in your room just outside the camera angle"

    LOL, well I keep my other heads out of sight while making these videos
Results 1 to 34 of 34