Si Bheag, Si Mhor sounds fantastic on fiddle and uilleann pipes together.
This beautiful tune is probably Turlough O’ Carolan’s most well known composition.
The title, ‘Si Bheag, Si Mhor’ translates as ‘the little fairy mound, and the big fairy mound’.
Recently I had a chance to do some recording with good friend and mighty uilleann pipes player, Dominic Henderson. So we took the opportunity to record Si Bheag, Si Mhor on fiddle and uilleann pipes.
I’ll be posting videos of some of the other tune sets we recorded soon.
Si Bheag, Si Mhor was not written for fiddle and uillann pipes. In fact, it was written for the harp.
Turlough O’ Carolan (also, Turloch Carolan and similar) was a harp player and composer who lived at the end of the 17th Century and beginning of the 18th Century. He was blinded by smallpox at the age of eighteen. At this point, he learned to play the harp, as was common at the time.
He was an itinerant harpist, travelling, and ‘treated with respect and hospitality in many of the big houses’ around Ireland. He was, according to Fintan Vallely’s Companion to Irish Traditional Music ‘an adequate, but not remarkable, harper, having come to the instrument at too late an age, but he quickly established a reputation as a composer. This gave him a status superior to his fellow harpers’.