The Mayo pianist and composer Conor Walsh passed away this time last year.
The musician passed too soon at a young age, and a year on, it’s still hard to believe such a talent is gone.
Still, Conor left music unheard that he was working on when he passed, which will soon see the light of day, thanks to his family and Ensemble Music. This recorded music was stored on his laptop which was locked with a password. Thankfully, the device was unlocked and his close friend Enda Bates has been working through the material he left behind. An album will come out later this year on Ensemble.
To mark the passing of Conor, his family and the label are sharing ‘Fanthesia’ with us, a beautiful piano composition typical of Conor’s vision. sustained The song is on Bandcamp now and do buy it, as all proceeds go towards the costs of releasing his album.
His family have the following to say about the piece:
“Fanthesia was one of Conor’s favourite pieces. He especially enjoyed the thrill of performing this tune and it was a staple inclusion in his live sets. Conor performed Fantasia live on RTE Radio 1’s The South Wind Blows in 2014. Interviewed before playing, he was asked by presenter Philip King what inspired his next piece. His reply:
“I don’t really seek out divine inspiration, i just tend to stumble across it. I usually find it in my surroundings. For a track like Fanthesia, I definitely took from the surroundings of my home in County Mayo. Im fortunate to live in the beautiful Mayo countryside along the river Moy. I don’t see bleakness or boredom in the sparse country landscape. Instead I find beauty and wonder. Simple things energise me to write and play like the drone-y hums of the farmyards in the distance, the ringings and rumbling of the trains as they pass in the night, often creating their own little melody as they disappear into the abyss, or the tweeting of the birds and of course the magical tranquil sound of the ripple of the river. I love the peace of the place and mystery and awe that can come just from exploring the natural habitat i was born and raised in.”
Take the journey with Conor; explore, release, rise and, enjoy. “
Niall Byrne is the founder of the most-influential Irish music site Nialler9, where he has been writing about music since 2005 . He is the cohost of the Nialler9 Podcast and has written for the Irish Times, Irish Independent, Cara Magazine, Sunday Times, Totally Dublin, Red Bull and more. Niall is a DJ, founder of Lumo Club, event curator and producer of gigs, parties & events.