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peter laban
photography
The talented photographer and piper now living in Milltown Malbay, Co. Clare. Peter Laban has taken some of the best photographs associated with Irish traditional music and has passed some of these on to me. Some in a round-about way, via other web sites for example, but all with an interest in exposing his excellent portraits to the public.

The eagerly anticipated Peter Laban and Kitty Hayes pipes and concertina duet CD "They'll Be Good Yet" is now available via their website www.theyllbegoodyet.com »


All these photographs are ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay. If you are interested in purchasing one you can e-mail Peter directly for prices and options.

These images are not of the high standard Peter is offering in print. If you buy a photo or set of photos from him they will be perfect portrait quality.

I would like to thank Peter for granting me permission to post these photos to my site. Hopefully it will generate a little business for him.

(The comments below are, in most cases, paraphrased from Peters description sent with the photos. For photos without descriptions I have gleaned whatever info I could find from the usual piping resources - Ed.)


Oct 5, 2011: Peter just sent me some great old postcard images that he has collected over the past few years. It's so nice to see all these gems in one place! Peter also sent a scan of a very rare Seamus Ennis EP cover and one of Sean and Padraig Talty playing with Caoimhin O Raghallaigh at The Willie Clancy Summer School 2011. Also an old ornament of a piper and his wife. Great stuff!
Nicolas Brown , Ontario , Canada while on a visit during the Willie week.

Michael Falsey outside his house in Seafield, Quilty. He's seen here playing his new Mark Donohue chanter. The rest of the set is Crowley, obtained from Leo some fifty years or so ago.
Denis Brooks on his Kennedy set.... pipe in gob.
"What's making that noise?"
Seán MacNamara and Mick Coyne in Kilrush, outside Crotty's.
Bill Haneman playing at the crossroads, on his Andreas Rogge snakewood B set.
Kittly Hayes on concertina and Peter Laban on pipes. You can almost see the music! - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay.
Peter sent me another shot from the photo session below of Mick O'Brien and Caoiminh Ó Raghallaigh. - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay.
Mick O'Brien and Caoiminh Ó Raghallaigh who is doing an apprenticeship with Geoff Wooff - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay.
::: scoil samhraidh willie clancy 2002 :::
Donncha Ó Maidin at Willie Week 2002 - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay.
Not sure who the piper is but the t-shirt caught Peter's attention at Willie Week 2002. (If you can identify this piper please let me know, thanks) - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay.
Sorcha Ní Mhuiri playing at an afternoon recital during Willie Week 2002 - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay.
Michael Dooley and David Quinn philosophizing, analysing and generally acting the maggot at Willie Week 2002 - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay.
Brian McNamara playing an afternoon recital at Willie Week 2002 - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay.
Martin Preshaw working in the maintenance workshop at Willie Week 2002 - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay.
Geoff... Geoff Wooff doing some fine tuning to a set of his own manufacture - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay.
Máire Ní Gráda picking up her C set from Geoff Wooff - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay.
Debbie Quigley Debbie Quigley plays a Wooff C set. This is a shot of her on a visit to Willie Week. Debbie teaches pipes and whistle in Toronto, Canada and teaches each year at the Chris Langan Tionól there - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay.
Fiona Doherty Fiona Doherty, on this occasion donning her C set by Geoff Wooff in preference to her trusty fiddle. Peter says he enjoys a tune with her and Debbie occassionally - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay.
"Here's another one from the personal archive but it's a great one. Eight or nine years on from the early shot outside Marrinan's (which you have up there on the site) and we were still at it. We were still a lot younger than we are now and Geoff obviously still had a great pair of legs on him. Or at least that is what the girls seem to think. Sanne snatched my camera to take this one. Again, 1990-91-ish" - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay.
Joe Doyle & Al Purcell... "Very hard shot to take, (f1.4. at 1/8 sec handheld on 1600 film for the photobuffs out there, heavily backlit to boot and still a tight exposure) so from that point of view not that great quality wise. The scene is worth it though. A left handed and a right handed player together is always nice. Here Joe Doyle and Al Purcell in their regular spot in the Ocean view restaurant. The guitarplayer is a nice guy and a nice player, I played with him the day after, his name escapes me though." - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay.
Update: The guitar player is David Bowen.
Liam O'Flynn playing Ennis' set Liam O'Flynn playing Séamus Ennis' set just after it being re-reeded by Alain Froment. Peter goes on to say "It was at a Tionol in the Falls Hotel in Ennistymon, 1990-91 ish. He let me play the Ennis set that night and didn't I think I would be marvellous. Because of the extremely unusual hole spacings I made a bollocks of it in front of dozens of pipers, it was only made worse by the fact that both Terry Moylan and Ronnie Wathen had a go at it too and they didn't fare too bad. Nevertheless it was a fun weekend even though driving over for it from Rotterdam on my week-old drivers license was maybe a bit foolish" - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay.
Séamus Ennis playing his Coyne C# set... Séamus Ennis around 1981 at an outdoor recital during the Willie Week while being filmed by Tony McMahon for RTE. Taken with a camera Peter got for his "8th birthday (which made it about 15 years old by the time this pic was taken)", Peter goes on to say, "the neg is damaged and was lost for years (it's actually a colour shot) but was I happy to find it." - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay.
Tommy Reck playing his Kenna B set... Tommy Reck playing his Kenna B set. Taken at Willie Week in Milltown Malbay 1989. - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay.
Tommy Reck. Tommy Reck. - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay.
The Cook In The Kitchen
Bonny Kate/Miss McLeod's/The Fermoy Lasses
The Ashgrove/Sonny Brogan's Mazurka
Ag Críost An Síol
Tommy Reck playing Geoff Wooff's Harrington... Tommy Reck playing Geoff Wooff's Harrington C set with Peter and Robert van Dyke. Pipers' session Octobre 1989. - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay.
Geoff Wooff tuning... Geoff Wooff tuning Mark Farrelly's B set while working in England during Spring/Summer 1989. - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay.
Geoff Wooff Geoff Wooff playing his fabled Harrington set. The set is one of the more sophisticated/developed of the known Harringtons, one of his later works . Denis Harrington may have left Ireland as late as the 1850s so if the set was made here it was made before that. 1840s-1850s probably. - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay.
Mick O'Brien playing a 1780's Kenna set in July 1999. - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay.
Patrick D'Arcy (me)... Patrick D'Arcy (me). I dropped into Peter on my way back from Geoff Wooff's after picking up my B set. He took this photo for the Na Píobairí Uilleann Millennium project to document pipers' around the world. - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay.
Me again... Me again. Cracking up while trying to keep serious for the photo. I couldn't contain myself with my new pipes in hand :) - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay.
Peter and the Wooff... Peter and the Wooff. One of the earliest outdoor sessions, WCSS 1985 (possibly '84). - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay
Mick and Aoife O'Brien... Mick and Aoife O'Brien at WCSS 1990. The pipes are Robert van Dykes 'white' set. - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay
Early, Liam O'Flynn's... Early, Liam O'Flynn's outdoor recital at WCSS 1980. Jimmy O'Brien-Moran watching on closely. - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay
Willie Clancy's old Coyne 'B' set... Willie Clancy's old Coyne 'B' set - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay.
Tommy McCarthy... Tommy McCarthy playing outside at the Willie Clancy Summer School.

Tommy is a concertina player and piper originally from Kilmihil Co Clare. He spent most of his life in London, playing with everyone that ever picked up an instrument. He is the father of a musical family, Tommy jnr, Bernadette, Jacqueline and Marion all play. He is also the father in law of Tommy Keane and Henry Benagh. Now settled in Miltown Malbay - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay.
Kevin Rowsome... Kevin Rowsome playing a few tunes for Martin Rochford R.I.P. The Clare Champion wrote a very nice appreciation to Martin more» - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay.
Tommy Kearney... Tommy Kearney playing his Leo Rowsome D set. I found this quote from Tommy Kearney on the now defunct Traveller.net website. It was posted by Thomas Johnson and is of Tommy telling a story about the famed piper Johnny Doran:

"Tommy Kearney, master uilleann piper from Waterford, told me this. He said Johnny had two horses pulling, and a bicycle hanging from the back. He'd park the wagon, then use the bicycle to ride to the horse races at Spanish Point etc. to play his pipes for the crowds. There's a story that one evening a man, sent to fetch a midwife to help his wife, happened to pass by Johnny's wagon, and upon hearing Johnny playing his pipes, couldn't resist sitting down for to listen. They say that the baby was born, and was three years old before the man finally tore himself away and went home." - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay.
Máire Ní Gráda playing in a concert at Willie Week - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay.
Declan Masterson... Declan Masterson playing at Willie Week with Drew Hillman listening - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay.
Dave Hegarty... Dave Hegarty listening to a young piper trying out one of his reeds - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay.
Leo Ricard... Leo Rickard playing Pat Mitchell's pipes, 1999 - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay.
Seán McKiernan...Close up... Seán McKiernan playing the Taylor set owned before him by Mike Carney (who put the zigzag edges onto the keys) and Patrick J Touhey before him. Taken at a NPU tionol in Westport Co. Mayo, 1994 - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay.
Robert van Dyke... Robert van Dyke playing his Ned White set - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay.
Pat Mitchell... Pat Mitchell giving a talk about Gold Rings or something :) - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay.
Geoff Wooff... Geoff Wooff thinking during a lecture we did together at a tionol in the Falls Hotel in Ennistymon, Co Clare 1991 or 1992 - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay.
Ronnie Wathen... The late Ronnie Wathen, piper and poet, man of the mountains, playing his Wooff B, 1990 or thereabouts - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay.
Pádraic MacMathúna... Pádraic MacMathúna, playing his Rowsome D set WCSS afternoon recital 1996 - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay.
Mícheál O'Briain... Mícheál O'Briain playing his Willie Rowsome D set made in 1923 if I remember correctly. At an afternoon recital at the WCSS - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay.
Robbie Hannan... Robbie Hannan playing his B set made by Timothy Kenna between 1770 and 1835. - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay.
Ronan Browne... Ronan Browne playing his Harrington B set with Peter Hunter chanter - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay.
Máire Ní Gráda having a tune on her new set - ©Peter Laban, Milltown Malbay.
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