Welcome and thank you for visiting www.IrishSetDances.net, the internet home of musician and adjudicator Michael Fitzpatrick. Here you will find all of Michael's musical recordings, tailored to the needs of today's Irish dancer. This website is dedicated to Irish dance music and to Irish dancers of all skill levels, as well as their teachers and fellow adjudicators. If you love Irish dancing, the music you will find on this website is recorded just for you!
2014 promises to be an exciting year as Michael will again be heading back into the studio this summer to start work on his latest music endeavor, "Dancing the Square." This project will once again featue all original compositions, an array of freshly written new tunes for all aspects of Irish Dance. As with Trebling Tracks, this will also feature tunes for your listening pleasure.
After the release of Irish Set Dances: Anthology in February 2012, Michael continued on in the recording studio and completed his most recent musical project, Trebling Tracks. Trebling Tracks was released in late October 2013, and was much anticipated in the Irish Dancing World after the fanfare and notoriety following the acceptance of Michael’s original composition, “The CharLady” by An Coimisiún Le Rinci Gaelacha to The Official List of Set Dances to be used in competition worldwide. This new recording features all original tunes composed by Michael, with arrangements suited for all occasions, from easy listening, to dance class rehearsals, dance recitals, and even big event dance outs. Some tracks feature broadly scored orchestrations, yet others highlight the beauty of just a simple accordion with piano accompaniment. The project numbers 21 tracks in total, including Jigs, Reels, Slip Jigs, and Hornpipes for all dance levels at approved metronomic speeds, as well as a customary ceili track, an air, an air/jig instrumental medley, two presidential tributes, new set dances, and most captivating…a free-rhythm theatrical arrangement of The CharLady. Even the original Set Dance recording of The CharLady has been re-mixed and re-mastered as an album track version at speed 69 for this release, bringing the tune a whole new exciting dimension. In addition, The “Latin-esque Lady”, a jig tune written by Michael for Worlds 2010 and featured in the movie “Jig” has also been formally recorded and fully orchestrated. There is something for every Irish dancing and music enthusiast on this recording, and even something for those dancers living in many countries new to this art form of music and dance. As you listen to the tracks, you will hear the musical nuances and even the instruments and styles of the many different countries that are now a growing, enthusiastic, and most welcome part of our ever-growing Irish dancing world. To that end, a Mainland European Version of Trebling Tracks was released in February 2014. This European Version features all the tunes from the original Trebling Tracks release, but the speeds have been altered to coincide with the An Coimisiún Le Rinci Gaelacha guidelines and approved speeds for RTME Mainland Europe for all categories: Beginner/Primary, and Intermediate/Open.
While Trebling Tracks will be available like the rest of Michael’s music for download via this website, iTunes, CD Baby, and other digital vendors, Trebling Tracks will also be available in hardcopy on an audio CD as a limited release. While downloads are incredibly popular, there are still many who like having an actual CD to enjoy reading the sleeve and credits, as well as the photographs, and there have been numerous requests over the past year since the release of Anthology for an actual physical CD. Trebling Tracks, The CD, is now available at your local feis vendors as well as this website. Please note, due to the number of tracks required to cover all the Mainland European Speeds, there will be no hardcopy CD release for the Mainland European Version. Those tracks will only be available via download.
2011 was a very exciting year for Michael and his original compositions. This past year saw the release of the film “Jig” which is a critically acclaimed documentary that focuses on several dancers and their quest to become All-World Dancing Champions. Segments of the motion picture were filmed at the 2010 All-World Dancing Championships held in The Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow, Scotland. Michael played at that event, and he appears in “Jig” playing one of his original tunes “The Latin-esque Lady”. Following that success, Michael submitted two of his original Set Dances for consideration in The Marie Duffy Foundation Excellence in Original Irish Music Awards. Both tunes, “The CharLady” and “The Cattle Jobber” went on to become Top Ten Finalists and were recognized at The University of Limerick Gala held this past November at the Limerick University Concert Hall. Subsequently, as a direct result of that event, “The CharLady” has been selected by An Coimisiún Le Rincí Gaelacha for inclusion on to the list of officially approved Set Dances. A milestone achievement, Michael is most honored and humbled by this recognition and is looking forward to the official inclusion date set for June 1, 2012. After that date, all championship dancers will be allowed to dance “The CharLady” in competition at feiseanna worldwide.
In 2011/2012 saw the release of Irish Set Dances: Anthology, the complete collection of Contemporary and Traditional Set Dances as approved by An Coimisiún as well as other Irish Dancing organizations that have some additional set dances on their approved lists. All of these Set Dances have all been freshly recorded with new arrangements and full orchestrations, and are ideal for Dance outs, Dance Class, or for just your own Dance rehearsals. In the digital age of music, one CD or even a CD Set could not accommodate all the possible speeds that are presently being performed in Championship/Oireachtas competition. However, through the advent of downloads, it is now possible to record every possible speed and make each speed available for download. Anthology accomplishes this for every Set Dance!
More directly from Michael about that project: The Jig Set Dances on Anthology are available in speeds ranging from 66-76 inclusively. The Hornpipe Set Dances on Anthology feature two separate recordings (different arrangements and different orchestrations) of each Set……..one version is slow and available in speeds ranging from 76-80. The other version is a moderate and available at speeds ranging from 104-114. Even the Traditional Set Dances are now available at multiple speeds. In the recent past, the traditional Set dances have been the focus of change regarding metronomic speeds in an attempt to find the speed that will allow the dancer to execute each movement of the Set. All the traditional sets now feature a range for you to pick from, with the present accepted speed by An Coimisiún highlighted in bold numbers. Should those accepted speeds change again, the bold numbers of the new speed will become highlighted to reflect that change. Now that Anthology, over a year in the making, is a reality, some have asked what will happen to my previous recordings, The Official Lists 1, 2, and 3? Those recordings will still be available, as they are popular with those studying for their exams and as a hard medium CD set dance collection. As Anthology is available only through downloads (at present there are no plans to press Anthology into CDs as it would take 20 CDs to list every Set Dance at every speed), The Official List 1, 2, and 3 still gives those who want to buy a CD with their Set Dance on it the choice of purchasing a physical CD that they can use in their CD player. The only drawback is that those recordings only have one metronomic speed for each Set Dance, for the exception of Planxty Hugh O’Donnell on Official List 3 (which has been included in Anthology). As well, those recordings are basic by design in both arrangement and orchestration (accordion and piano) to emulate feis competition. In contrast, I think you will enjoy these versions of our approved Set Dances recorded for Anthology. As an added attraction, Anthology includes a couple of Bonus Tracks……newly written Set Dances that have yet to be released on any other recording ever. You might find them interesting to both listen to or to even create your own steps to for a dance out or special performance. My hope is that all these recordings will provide an excellent medium for you to dance to for years and years to come, and that they will become a valuable resource to all dancers who have reached the championship level.
In 2010, Michael released The Official List III which features the newest Set Dance to be added to the list, namely Planxty Hugh O’Donnell. Also included on this new CD are fresh/updated recordings of all the Traditional Sets at both their present and new speeds.
In 2009, Michael successfully launched the critically acclaimed and groundbreaking double CD, The Whispering Door, while he was performing at The All-World Dancing Championships held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA. This double CD features a wide range of musical selections for all categories of Irish dance. The tunes were selected from a variety of musical eras, with some dating from centuries past, others from present day feiseanna, and some were written by Michael specifically for this recording. The track categories reflect all of the metronomic requirements for today's feiseanna, from solo to ceili, from beginner to opens, all the way up to dance drama. There is also a waltz, a slow air, and even a tango for those a little bit more adventurous. Michael's hope was to make a recording that would be ideal for dancing... simple, yet pleasant to listen to, with orchestrations that would make each track unique, yet appealing to every teacher, adjudicator and dancer of all levels. Michael hopes he has achieved that goal.
The first and second CDs, The Official List (2001) and The Official List II (2002) are also available here. These recordings feature the original 30 Set Dances and the newer 8 Set Dances respectively, as approved for competitive dance competition by An Coimisiún Le Rincí Gaelacha, the worldwide governing body of Irish Dance. The Set Dances on these CDs are not for group dancers, but for individuals competing on the Open Championship level. There is also an insert included to help TCRG and ADCRG exam candidates remember their tunes as well as the time signatures and # of bars of each set dance. The metronome speeds presented are in accordance with the minimum speed guidelines set forth by An Coimisiún. And while not every dancer's favorite speed could ever be represented in any one recording, with the advent of digital technology, the speeds can be customized. After purchasing the CD with your dance, you may log on to www.ronimusic.com and try the software called ASD (Amazing Slow Downer). This program will allow you to slow down or speed up any tune your choice. All it takes is a simple calculation and in minutes, you can burn your own custom CD of your favorite dance at your exact speed.
Enjoy exploring the website... you are most welcome! We hope you will return often and that these offerings will bring you years of usefulness and pleasure.
Wishing you every dancing success,
Michael Fitzpatrick / ADCRG