Grey Larsen
Foremost player and exponent of the Irish flute.



For several years this was Grey Larsen's website. This is a musician of many talents and accomplishments. He is a performer, recording artist, composer, teacher, author, producer, and a mastering and recording engineer.
Grey is most well-know as one of the world's foremost players and exponents of the Irish flute. For many musicians and music lovers, his recordings are classics.
The new owners of this domain wanted to keep the information found here visible on the web and to point visitors who had inadvertently ended up here while searching for Grey Larsen to his current website found at: https://greylarsen.com/.

Content is from the site's 2001 -2003 archived pages
as well as found other outside sources.



Very Kind And Gracious · Grey Larsen and Paddy League

 

Grey Larsen has devoted years to learning Irish music by ear, directly from elder masters in America and Ireland. He is also a highly trained and literate musician, holding a degree in composition from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where he also studied and coached early music.
Grey offers concert performances, master classes, lecture-demonstrations, seminars, residencies and private lessons.
Grey also demonstrates the hosting of traditional Irish music "sessions", the social institution that more than any other keeps the Irish musical tradition alive.

The depth, power and intricacy of traditional Irish music has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions of people throughout the world. Grey Larsen and Paddy League, two of America's most accomplished and respected performers of this music, bring a unique blend of experience, virtuosity, and emotion to their interpretation of traditional Irish music.


Drawing on a wealth of inspiration from Joe Burke to Johannes Bach, and distilling their combined thirty-plus years of performing Irish music, Larsen and League have fashioned a powerful and unique interpretation of Irish music that is remarkable for its depth, brilliance, and emotion. Between them, they play flute, whistles, concertina, bodhran, guitar, bouzouki, harmonium, field organ, and piano, producing a rich and varied tableaux of sound that enchants and inspires. 
 
"Their playing is both authentic and beautiful, the product of artistic humility and insight. Grey and Paddy have found the perfect balance between maintaining tradition and finding their own unique voice" - Martin Hayes.
Since forming their musical partnership in the Spring of 2000, Larsen and League have delighted and moved audiences across North America with their spirited and soulful blend of traditional and original Irish music. From featuring at the Cityfolk Festival in Dayton, OH, to representing folk music traditions at the Bloomington Early Music Festival, to holding their own at numerous Irish and Celtic music festivals (including the North Texas and Mississippi River/St. Louis festivals), clubs, and concerts, Larsen and League have become an active and renowned new force on the traditional music circuit. Their debut album, The Green House, has quickly become a favorite among folk and Celtic DJs and fans alike since its release in March of 2001, and has garnered enthusiastic praise from reviewers and musicians from Australia to Austin.

Enthusiastic and dedicated teachers, both Grey and Paddy see it as their responsibility as bearers of the Irish tradition to actively contribute to folk music education, and have many years of experience presenting workshops and masterclasses in traditional Irish music. They have been on staff at the Swannanoa Gathering, the Augusta Heritage Center, the Rocky Mountain Fiddle Camp, the Catskills Irish Arts Week, and many other folk music camps, and have presented instrumental workshops at many Irish and world music festivals across North America.
 

Grey Larsen Grey Larsen began his musical career at age three when he reached above his head to play the piano and picked out the melody of his favorite song, Home on the Range. Steeped in his father's love of classical and folk music, he studied piano and cello, worked his way with fascination through much of the keyboard music of J. S. Bach, began composing at age 12, and as a teenager began delving into Irish and Appalachian music on guitar, flute, concertina, fiddle and other instruments.

He graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music with a degree in composition in 1976. At Oberlin, Grey met fellow Cincinnatian Malcolm Dalglish, who would become a longtime musical partner. While they did not focus exclusively on Irish music, Grey's and Malcolm's early recordings, such as Banish Misfortune and Thunderhead, which became classics in the U.S. folk scene, were deeply influenced by the elder Irish players they knew such as Michael Kennedy, Tom Byrne and Tom McCaffrey. After seven years as a duo Grey and Malcolm joined forces with Vermont songwriter and old-time fiddler Pete Sutherland to form the trio Metamora, which for seven more years reached deeply into American, French Canadian, Irish and other European traditions, both vocal and instrumental, and explored progressive composing inspired by those traditions. 

Currently, Grey records, produces and masters recordings, scores films, and edits music for various books and for Sing Out! Magazine. Though he has explored many musical avenues, he has chosen to focus foremost upon deepening his understanding of Irish traditional music, especially as represented in flute and tin whistle playing. His solo recording, The Gathering, and his recording with Québecois guitarist/vocalist/foot percussionist André Marchand, The Orange Tree, trace his increasing mastery of the subtleties of flute and whistle playing. In recent years, Grey has become a much sought-after teacher of Irish flute and whistle. Mel Bay Publications will soon issue a comprehensive book series of Grey's writings on Irish flute and whistle traditions in which Grey explores both techniques and philosophies of playing and presents his own new notation system for flute and whistle ornamentation. 

In meeting Paddy, Grey found an ideal partner both in a passion for Irish traditional music and in musical virtuosity. The Green House represents for Grey both the culmination of years of deep exploration of Irish music and the birth of a promising new collaboration.

 


"My older brother Lenny was a huge fan of Grey Larsen and as a marketing professional he took me backstage once to meet him. Lenny was working for an online retailer and trying to convince Grey to wear some apparel he was representing. That first meeting was a riot, because Lenny had not told Grey what he was asking of him, but we both showed up wearing Batman t shirts. Lenny introduced himself as a huge fan and then proceeded to talk about MoonAtMidnight.com's Batman line of shirts and hoodies. When Grey asked what was available on the website, Lenny told him that the "absolute best Batman t shirts are here and just waiting for a talent like you to wear one at your next gig!" I only remember the laughter and the polite excuses, so needless to say the most we got out of it was a meeting with the great Grey Larsen!" Penn Worbler

 :

 
Paddy League  Paddy League's first formative musical experience came at the age of three in the form of an encounter with the bass drum of a New Orleans brass band. While he didn't formally take up the drumsticks until a teenager, the myriad dents in his family's kitchenware attest to the influence of that early childhood event.

Paddy was born in 1979 into a family with a rich and varied musical history. His mother Asimoula and grandfather Henry Kelly were both accomplished musicians in the fields of orchestral and swing music, and his paternal great-grandfather Tom McAviney was a flute player who, along with his younger brother Mike, was active in the Philadelphia Irish music community of the early 20th century. The soundtrack of Paddy's childhood was further composed of the Greek dance music and language of his maternal grandmother's culture, and the funk, rock, and rhythm and blues of his father's eclectic record collection. These seemingly disparate influences took a firm hold early on and have remained constant sources of inspiration and growth throughout his musical journey.

Growing up in the Washington, DC area, Paddy was exposed to even more music, and took up a serious study of jazz and Latin percussion while in high school. He was soon performing regularly in jazz and fusion groups in the DC area, mentored and encouraged by musicians such as saxophonist Tim Eyermann and percussionist Keith Killgo. He also spent several years studying Indian tabla and Nepalese folk percussion with the late Professor Indra Lal Shrestha of Kathmandu, and began incorporating all of these influences into his bodhrán playing. 

Irish music - both the instrumental dance music and the Irish-American song tradition - has always been an integral part of Paddy's consciousness. His active involvement in the tradition, however, initially came about through an interest, acquired from his grandfather, in the Irish language. In seeking out avenues of learning, he became involved in the DC area's flourishing traditional music community, and has quickly become one of the most respected percussionists and bodhrán teachers on the North American acoustic and traditional music circuit. Paddy is best known for his innovative and exciting bodhrán playing, which blends his knowledge of the Irish tradition with the influences of his experience with other folk and traditional percussion. He is also an extremely versatile multi-instrumentalist whose talents embrace the guitar, mandolin, bouzouki, and concertina. He has appeared on over two dozen recordings to date, including releases by Susan McKeown, John Whelan, Mick Moloney, Bonnie Rideout, and Connie Dover, and has been a featured performer and instructor at the Swannanoa Gathering, the Catskills Irish Arts Week, the Rocky Mountain Fiddle Camp, and Zoukfest. 

 

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NEWS

New Album on the Way...

"Dark of the Moon", Grey and Paddy's new CD, will be available here and at http://www.greylarsen.com in February 2003. To be notified of its release, please join Grey's email list "Dark of the Moon" explores more deeply the ground broken by Grey's and Paddy's debut CD, "The Green House" - soulful and energetic arrangements of traditional Irish music for flute, whistle, concertina, guitar, bodhrán, and harmonium, as well as two of Grey's new original tunes, the title cut "Dark of the Moon" and "The Slopes of Mount Storm".

Dark of the Moon
Grey's new CD, "Dark of the Moon", is now available!

 



The Slopes of Mt. Storm/Hurry the Jug/Dark of the Moon · Grey Larsen & Paddy League

 

 

And Also, New Books...

For seven or eight years, Grey has been writing "The Essential Guide to Irish Flute and Tin Whistle", a 500+ page book containing everything you probably ever wanted to know about the subject, and then some.

Matt Molloy, the great Irish flutist currently with the Chieftains, has written this about "The Essential Guide to Irish Flute and Tin Whistle":

"Grey has, through his research, patience, and diligence, completed a work on Irish flute and tin whistle that I feel is essential reading for anybody interested in getting it right."

Mel Bay Publications will be issuing the book, along with its two companion CDs, in July 2003 or perhaps sooner. 2003 also will see the Mel Bay publication of three more books from Grey, an instructional book for beginning and intermediate tin whistle players, and two tunebooks with stylistic guidance, one for Irish flute and one for tin whistle. 

Grey Larsen

His upcoming book, The Essential Guide to Irish Flute and Tin Whistle, will be published by Mel Bay Publications in July 2003. A labor of love and many years, it is a 500-page work (with two accompanying CDs) on playing and appreciating Irish flute and tin whistle. Stay tuned for more news on this at July approaches.

UPDATE: Published in 2003, The Essential Guide to Irish Flute and Tin Whistle is still available in paperback on Amazon.
For the beginner to the highly advanced player of Irish flute, tin whistle, or Boehm-system flute. Features a simple and penetrating new approach to understanding and notating ornamentation that goes beyond any previous method, exploring ornamentation techniques never described in print before. Also includes adaptations for Boehm-system flute players, guidance on breathing and phrasing, 49 ornamentation exercises, history and theory of traditional Irish flute and whistle music, and 27 meticulous transcriptions of recordings by these important Irish flute and tin whistle players: John McKenna ,Tom Morrison, William Cummins, Séamus Ennis, Willie Clancy, Paddy Taylor, Paddy Carty, Grey Larsen, Josie McDermott, Matt Molloy, Cathal McConnell, Mary Bergin, Donncha Ó Briain (Denis O'Brien), Desi Wilkinson, Breda Smyth, Seán Ryan, Conal Ó Gráda, Micho Russel, Joanie Madden, Kevin Crawford, Catherine McEvoy, and Seamus Egan. For those who don't read music, almost all the exercises, examples and tunes appear on the two companion CDs. "Grey has, through his research, patience, and diligence, completed a work on Irish flute and tin whistle that I feel is essential reading for anybody interested in getting it right." - Matt Molloy, Irish Flute player with the Chieftains.

Recent Amazon Reviews

Jonathan Dowell
4.0 out of 5 stars
Almost perfect
June 7, 2019
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This is touted as the essential guide, and it is indeed very thorough, and helpful for both beginners and trained musicians who want to enter the world of traditional Irish fluting. The only thing that I found missing is a section on exercises that would help a player get used to the fingering in different modes. Indeed, fingering - a very important part of playing any type of flute - was given rather short shrift. But the rest is superb!

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F. Clef
5.0 out of 5 stars
The Bedrock of Instruction in the Irish-Style Flute
August 28, 2006
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This is one of the finest books of musical instruction for any instrument that I have ever read. Grey starts the book with the assumption that the reader knows next to nothing about the Irish style flute and its traditions. Layer by layer he inculcates you into the playing style and the musical heritage of Irish pipers and flutists. He has developed a logical, comprehensive notation system showing the learner how to accurately reproduce the rapid fluttering ornamentations used by Irish pipers/flutists/pennywhistlers. Virtually every aspect of making music with a wooden flute (or pennywhistle) is covered, including ergonomic hand and body positioning, musical breathing, fingering exercises, but mostly how to get THE SOUND of that gorgeous instrument, the Irish-style flute. Grey is a keen observer and analyst who apparently compiled notes for years in order to write this book. This is a labor of love from a great teacher and performer. It will be the foundation of instruction for Irish style flutists for many, many years to come.

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Awakened Heart
5.0 out of 5 stars
Seriously Necessary for Trad Music Lovers!
May 5, 2019
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
The bottom line is if you are interested in playing either the Irish flute or tin whistle this book is an essential tome for your library. I refer to it regularly and have had my skills improve.

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Thomas W
5.0 out of 5 stars
Outstanding book for advanced players
January 29, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
"The Essential Guide to Irish Flute and Tin Whistle" (Paperback) is an excellent book for Irish flute and tin Whistle players, but I would not recommend it to a beginner. It has great examples of advanced techniques and is well written. Many hours went into its creation. It is the most complete book I have seen on these topics.

"The Clarke Tin Whistle: Deluxe Edition" (Book & CD) (Paperback) by Bill Ochs, is the book I suggest you start with if you are a beginner with the Tin Whistle. Then you can graduate to "The Essential Guide to Irish Flute and Tin Whistle".

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Ben S.
5.0 out of 5 stars
Perfect!
April 23, 2017
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
i love this book. I'm only up to chapter 3 so far -- but have already learned alot. This will take months to get through as I am working on the techniques described as I go along.
Helpful

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DE
5.0 out of 5 stars
Very thorough and excellent book
January 27, 2009
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
The Essential Guide to Irish Flute is a very thorough, detailed book. I'm going through it a little at a time, but I am very glad that I purchased it. I do believe that the Essential Guide is indeed an essential book that is helping me to become more proficient, and the tips and techniques presented are well worth the cost of the book.

I would highly recommend this book. It's the second one that I've used, after first using the Clarke Tin Whistle Book which I found to be an excellent book as a beginner. This book is adding much more to the first.

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2003 Concert and Workshop Schedule

 

PERFORMANCE
Mississippi Celtic Music Festival (Tionol) 
St. Louis, MO
March 28-30, 2003
Grey will be giving advanced tin whistle workshops on Saturday, March 29 and performing that night in the main concert.

 

TOUR
On tour in Australia.
April 2-30, 2003

PERFORMANCE
Candelo
April 11, 2003, 7:30 PM
Candelo Bowling Club. Tickets $13/11.
Enquiries to Heath Cullen (2) 6493 2116

PERFORMANCE
Canberra
April 12, 2003
Concert at Merry Muse Folk Club, 8:00 PM
Shared bill with Asturian fiddler Simon Bradley & Luke Plum
Tix $15/$12. Enquiries to Jo Cresswell (2) 6281 3737.

PERFORMANCE
Canberra
April 15 - 17, 2003
National Folk Festival Easter School
Enquiries Ph (2) 6249 7755

PERFORMANCE
Canberra 
April 17 - 21, 2003
National Folk Festival
Enquiries Ph (2) 6249 7755

PERFORMANCE
St. Albans 
April 25 - 27, 2003
St Albans Folk Festival
Enquiries (2) 9862 9515
During my stay I will be acting as consultant in a flute research project with Canberra Irish flute maker, Terry McGee.

PERFORMANCE
Cincinnati, OH 
Early May, 2003
Concert: Grey Larsen and Kevin Crehan
Details to be announced

PERFORMANCE
Bloomington, IN
May 18, 2003
Concert: Grey Larsen and Kevin Crehan
8:00 PM, Buskirk-Chumley Theater
Bloomington Early Music Festival
Grey and Kevin Crehan and launching a new musical duo. This will be our first major concert, part of the wonderful Bloomington Early Music Festival

PERFORMANCE
Paoli, IN 
June 14, 2003
Lotus Dickey Hometown Reunion
Performance of Lotus Dickey's original songs with Janne Henshaw, Mark Feddersen, Nan McEntire, and Steven Dickey.

WORKSHOP
Taos, NM
June 29 - July 6, 2003
Zoukfest
I will be teaching Irish flute and tin whistle at this weeklong camp in the stunning mountain setting of Taos, NM.

PERFORMANCE
Bloomington, IN 
September 26, 2003
Lotus World Music & Arts Festival
Tribute to Lotus Dickey. Grey will take part in this annual tribute to the festival's namesake, Lotus Dickey, in which a group of musicians who knew and played with Lotus perform his songs and fiddle music.
 

For more information please contact Grey.
Grey Larsen   c/o Sleepy Creek Recording Studio
PO Box 2652,   Bloomington, Indiana   47402-2652   USA

 

Welcome to Grey Larsen Mastering. We hope the information on these pages will answer all your questions. If it turns out that you need more information please contact Grey and he'll get back to you quickly.

Grey masters all projects himself. His meticulous attention to detail and excellent ear for music are evident on each project. He loves his work, and it shows! Grey's clients almost always find that their projects have been greatly enhanced, often in ways they did not anticipate.

Hopefully all recording and mixing will be completed by the time you send your CD in for mastering. But just in case it's not, Grey offers full recording and mixing services at $50/hour. Grey uses Neumann U87s, KM 184s, and AKG 414 mics. All inputs are run through Class A Oram preamps. Other mics, preamps and gear are available locally to rent, or you can bring your own.

Guarantee 

If you have Grey Larsen master your CD and then judge your original to be better sounding than the mastered version, Grey will refund the cost of the mastering. You pay only for the blank media that was used, shipping costs, and any rush fees incurred, based on the prices in effect when the project was completed. You must notify Grey within ten days of delivery and return all mastered copies to take advantage of this offer.

 

LarsenAndLeague.com