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Thread: A sensational find...

  1. #1

    Default A sensational find...

    Yesterday I was browsing through YouTube - as one does - and I stumbled across an incredibly beautiful song "Suantraí na hOíche" by Macdara Ó Faoláin. Everything about the recording had me breathless. Macdara's lovely playing of his unison-strung bouzouki, the melody of the song which he had composed, his mellow singing... As I said above, incredibly beautiful. Check it our for yourself

    I got in touch with Macdara to compliment him on the song, his playing and the tone of the bouzouki he was playing. In the course of an online conversation, Macdara told me that he made the bouzouki himself and that as well as a highly accomplished musician it turns out that he's a luthier, making the most exquisite instruments. Check out the quality of his workmanship at

    And how do his mandolins sound? Well - as lovely as they look. Check out

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  3. #2
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Mar 2003
    Westchester, NY

    Default Re: A sensational find...

    Thanks, Aidan. I love the sound of both the bouzouki and mandolin. The workmanship looks stupendous, too.

    For your (and my) convenience:


    My Stream on Soundcloud
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    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

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  5. #3
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    Nov 2002
    Llanidloes, Wales

    Default Re: A sensational find...

    Thanks, Aidan, for the heads up – sweet music indeed. YouTube's auto-play followed it up with a video of Macdara providing beautiful accompaniment to his brother Pax's equally beautiful fiddle playing (a full 43 minutes, if you have the time).

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  7. #4
    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
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    Oct 2009
    Ardnadam, Argyll, Scotland

    Default Re: A sensational find...

    Thanks for the heads-up, Aidan. Lovely instruments and fine playing.
    I'm playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order. - Eric Morecambe

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  9. #5
    Registered User
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    Sep 2002

    Default Re: A sensational find...

    I first came across Macdara in a MC thread on buying a bouzouki from an Irish maker in Sept 2019.

    I found it a very interesting thread, and it introduced me to a number of people I hadn't heard of before, like Macdara and Ultan Walsh and others.
    David A. Gordon

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  11. #6
    Registered User Ben Vierra's Avatar
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    Nov 2009
    Vancouver, Washington

    Default Re: A sensational find...

    Sensational find, indeed!

    Looking at his website, I am truly impressed by the ancient bog yew instruments. What a privilege to be able to work with such a unique tonewood.

    I also enjoyed his comments on cedar: "I love cedar for bouzoukis and mandolins, it has an excelling warmth that makes such a homely sound. It’s very difficult to describe sounds, but cedar is like a warm blanket. It’s definitely my favourite."

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