The Arts Council has expressed its sadness at the passing of musician and founder of The Chieftains Paddy Moloney.
Arts Council Chair Prof. Kevin Rafter said:
“Paddy Moloney’s unique style of uilleann piping is one of the most instantly recognisable sounds of Ireland. From his early days with Ceoltóiri Chualann, his founding of Claddagh Records with Garech de Brún, to the ground breaking & award winning music with The Chieftains, Paddy has been a constant in our lives for decades and has been instrumental in bringing our rich traditional music to audiences across the globe.“
Paddy Moloney was the founder and leader of The Chieftains. He grew up in Donnycarney, north Co. Dublin. His first instrument was a plastic tin whistle and by the age of eight, he was learning to play the uilleann pipes from the great pipe master, Leo Rowsome. It was when he heard Leon Rowsome, son of Leo, play his pipes in the Scoil Mhuire school band in Marino, that he began to beg his parents to have Leo make him his very first set.
Paddy always had a vision from his early days playing. A sound he wanted to create, a sound that had never been heard before. He knew it would take much experimentation with different combinations of instruments and so he formed several groups with other musicians in duets and trios. In particular he played with Seán Potts, Michael Tubridy and Sean Keane in various combinations who would all later become Chieftains.
But it was not until he had formed the original line up for The Chieftains in 1962 that he finally achieved the sound that had eluded him, a sound created by Paddy’s inspired choice of instruments, styles and players. It was only at this point did Paddy feel ready to give his group the title The Chieftains (a name which was inspired by the Irish poet John Montague) and confident enough to take his band into studio to record the very first of many, award winning albums.
The sound that Paddy created some 40 years ago has become the instantly recognisable sound of The Chieftains, which lives on fresh today and has always set them apart from any other traditional line up throughout out the world. It is simply the sound of The Chieftains.
Paddy produced, co-produced or supervised 45 albums for the Claddagh label in folk, traditional, classical, poetry and spoken word recordings.
He is survived by his his wife Rita, sons Aonghus and Pádraig and daughter Aedín.
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