MP3 Mark Arrington - Kick It Up A Notch! Irish Set Dances
Irish set dances arranged on fiddles, mandolins, guitars, whistle, and bodhran in feis (dance competition) format.
42 MP3 Songs
WORLD: Celtic, FOLK: Irish Traditional
Mark Arrington has recorded the Set Dances for competitive Irish step dancers in official feis format. A 30+ year veteran of providing music for Irish dancers and a respected feis musician throughout the US and Canada, Mark wanted to make available truly Irish-sounding music for both regulation dancing and also for musicians interested in learning these interesting, and sometimes very old tunes. Most of the tunes can be found in the ubiquitous tune book “O’Neill’s Music of Ireland” and Mark’s arrangements are traditional but varied, providing a good variety of music throughout the 42 tracks. He plays all the instruments: fiddles (sometimes two or three), mandolins (sometimes two), guitars (sometimes two), whistle, and bodhran with no electronic or computer generated instruments or sounds, making this one of the only traditional-Irish-sounding recordings available for competitive dancers. Some tunes, such as Killkenny Races, are simply arranged, with only fiddle and guitar. Some, like Rodney’s Glory and Rambling Rake, are reminiscent of groups like The Chieftains, Bothy Band, or Danu. For tunes with very slow tempos such as Youghal Harbor and The Hunt, Mark uses American-style harmonies reminiscent of Jay Unger’s “Ashokan Farewell” to create a beautiful, unique sound suitable not just for practicing but also for using as dance music at shows and demonstrations. For tunes that repeat themselves four times like Blackthorn Stick, Drunken Gauger, and Planxty Davis, Mark uses a building block arrangement to keep the tune moving and interesting. On duplicate tunes like The Hunt and Job of Journeywork, the arrangements are changed to better suit the tempos, giving each one a different sound.
Hornpipe Magazine calls “Kick It Up A Notch!” a “…wonderful collection of the An Comisiun set dances, both traditional and nontraditional…Arrington obviously has considered his instrumentation carefully; when two different speeds for the same tune are included, the instrumentation may differ considerably between them. For ceili dancing fans, there’s “The Three Tunes” as well. If you dance nontraditional sets, this is a great album for you!”
Dancers requiring different speeds for the tunes can order them individually or as a custom CD from Mark’s website https://www.tradebit.com
Check out Mark’s other CD on CDBaby: “Cunla”, by Celtic Crossroad.