One of the most eagerly awaited publications of the year is the new book by master fiddler, Martin Hayes, which is due for launch next month (October). Shared Notes is part biographical and part philosophical – charting Hayes’ personal formation and the development of his unique approach to the theory and practice of music.
In a lifelong career in music, which included an early stint with the Tulla Céili Band (of which his father, P.J. Hayes was a founding member) Martin has toured and recorded with guitarist Dennis Cahill for over twenty years, as well as playing a leading role with The Gloaming, The Martin Hayes Quartet and The Common Ground Ensemble.
In recent years he has also curated the Marble City Sessions at the annual Kilkenny Arts Festival along with the annual Masters of Tradition festival in Bantry. His performances have been acclaimed for their superb musicality and entrancing rhythm. Attaching Martin Hayes’ name to any musical endeavour has long been a cachet of quality, taste and integrity.
For many years, Hayes’ live performances have been peppered with his observations on music and culture generally. Audiences have been fascinated by his thoughtful insights on the transmission of the tradition and on the relationship between different musical genres. So it is hardly surprising that Penguin’s Irish imprint, Sandycove, should see the value in offering Hayes the chance to develop these nuggets of ideas into a 300-page book.
From his childhood on an East Clare farm, steeped in musical tradition, to his adventures in America which contributed to the international reputation he now enjoys, Shared Notes traces this remarkable journey including the realisation from watching some of the old master fiddlers of East Clare in his youth that technical proficiency would not be enough to garner the acclaim of their peers if they did not also possess a deep feeling for the music they were playing.
Priced €23/£20, the book is due for release on October 14