STRABANE piper Chris McMullan celebrates 20 years in music this month with the release of his first album ‘Uilleann Tales’ at the Alley Theatre.
On the music scene since the age of nine under the tutelage of Strabane multi-instrumentalist Noel Devine, Chris says the album has literally been years in the making.
“Wherever I’ve been touring be it Europe or America, I’m always getting asked when an album’s coming out,” he remarked. “So that’s how ‘Uilleann Tales’ came about.”
The veteran piper and protégé of piping royalty Tiarnan Ó Duinnchin, Chris worked with the Armagh Pipers Club at the tender age of 12. From there he has toured the globe as a soloist, exposing the Irish folk tradition to a wider audience.
It was his original teacher, Noel Devine, who most shaped his destiny though, Chris said.
“My first association with Noel began at St Theresa’s Primary School on the whistle when I was nine and that quickly progressed to the Uilleann Pipes. Over the next 12 years he mentored me and brought me to where I am today. Rain, hail or snow, Noel would still be there. I can’t thank the man enough and to me, he is an absolute hero.”
Although ‘Uilleann Tales’ is Chris’s first solo album he has two more in the pipeline. 2017 is already proving a busy year for the musician, who also has a collaboration album with Danish band Almost Irish due for release in the coming months. Not to mention plans for a second album with American guitarist Joseph Carmichael.
“I’m moving to Vancouver in April, just for a few years for a change of scenery,” Chris continued. “I’ve worked with Joseph in the past, so we’ll begin recording the second album when I meet him in Texas.”
Chris assures his move to Canada will not distract him from music and not content with having the work of three albums to contend with, he remains dedicated to his 21 students. With a global fanbase, Chris has gained an international Skype class of students eager for his expertise.
“The majority are Americans but I’ve students from Australia, Scandinavia and even one in Israel,” he revealed. “So I will be continuing with my lessons even in Canada.”
The launch of Uilleann Tales, with support from the Rolling Wave Traditional Group, will take place on February 24 at the Alley Theatre. Doors open at 7.30pm.
For more information on Chris’s music or Skype lessons visit Chris McMullan Music @chrismcmullanpiper.
Posted: 2:00 pm February 18, 2017