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Troy Donockley - Messages (CD)

Genre: Rock
Release Date: 5th March 2012

Label: Lantern
Catalogue Number: LNTNCD4
Price: £9.99
Available: In stock

Troy Donockley - Messages

Troy Donockley is a multi-instrumentalist who has become known (among other things) for his virtuoso playing on the Uilleann Pipes and Low Whistle. He is now a world leader in his field and one of the best known and most sought-after musicians around.

His solo album Messages is a mixture of different styles, with influences ranging from Pink Floyd to Gustav Mahler, Johnny Cash to Vangelis, from Planxty to Yes, through to Vaughn and Neil Young. The styles explored encompass romantic classical music, Irish folk and even ambient symphonic rock - everything flowing in an elegiac epic fusion with a deep melancholy feel pervading throughout. Mostly instrumental, there are some vocal tracks on Messages, poetry even, which are very impressive and emotionally intense.

Messages is created for lovers of elegiac aestheticism; 63:33 minutes and ten songs whose lyrical gentleness always remains strong. However, the album should not be seen as esoteric kitsch, but rather an impressive and timeless collection of stylistic pieces.
Volkmar Mantei



The name of Troy Donockley will be familiar to fans of progressive rock and Celtic music. Troy has been a fixture on both scenes for many years not least in his capacity as a session musician where he has worked within many artists such as Mostly Autumn and Barbara Dickson, but also as a member of the long-standing Celtic progressive rock band Iona.

Whilst Iona took a break Troy worked on solo albums and also albums with fellow Iona bandmate Dave Bainbridge. More recently Troy has been performing with The Bad Shepherds alongside Ade Edmondson and is about to work again with Finnish Rock band Nightwish. 

Troy has recorded three solo albums: The Unseen Stream, The Pursuit of Illusion and the more recent Madness of Crowds. All three were critically well received on their release. With a more recent higher profile, Troy has compiled an album entitled Messages featuring tracks from his three solo albums and two new and previously unreleased tracks (For Him Who Will Never Return and Dunmail Rising). The album features performances from some of the best musicians Troy has worked with over the years, many of which will be familiar to a great many people, including Nick Beggs, Rosie Biss, Terl Bryant, Nollaig Casey, Julie Darling, Barbara Dickson, Neil Drinkwater, Andy Duncan, The Emperor String Quartet, Heather Findlay, Tim Harries, Joanne Hogg, Nick Holland, Peter Knight, Brad Lang, Chris Redgate, Duncan Rayson, Olivia Sparnenn, Frank Van Essen, York Cantores Choir.

1. Sights
2. For Him Who Will Never Return
3. Now, Voyager
4. Fragment
5. Orkahaugr
6. Finlandia
7. Dunmail Rising
8. Pursuit of Illusion
9. Tunnels
10. The Procession




Troy Donockley - Messages

Flutist and Uillean Pipes-performer Troy Donockley is the prog audience best known for its previous employer Iona, but the best man has also played in Mostly Autumn, Magenta, Clannad, The Enid, Midge Ure and recently even in Nightwish. In addition, he uses his spare time for the delivery of truly great solo albums. Of these, three from now - all masterpieces - and "Messages" is one of a collector with two new tracks.

For those familiar with Donockley's solo career, "Messages" a bit redundant.
Not for nothing but the subtitle reads "a collection of music 1998 - 2011" and as "crash course"  should "Messages" is certainly his goal. In addition, the record two new tracks, which mainly Dunmail Rising an impressive number. Although we Progwereld averse to commerce is a good time to point out that "Messages" dirt cheap on Donockley's site is offered for a price at which it sends.
Anyway, the choice Donockley for this introduction is made, is exemplary. Especially "The Madness Of Crowds" comes with two long tracks as well. Thus, the succession by Barbara Dickson and Joanna Hogg sung Now, Voyager is a temporary peak. Very beautiful is the poem of Walt Whitman that line by line, twenty people will be nominated. Donockley not only the right choices, the sequence is exemplary. For people who are unfamiliar with Donockley's work (and there are enough), will be "Messages" should feel like a new CD, as well arranges the material successively.
Donockley Troy is best known for playing the Uillean Pipes, Irish bagpipes. Very official may call you that no bagpipes, because that name is destined for the Scottish bagpipes, you played with the mouth. Donockley will therefore not easily get short of breath because the Uillean Pipes play with your hands, where air is being pumped up with your elbows. Now this is a very nice Irish bagpipe, but often predominant instrument. Therefore it is more interesting to observe that Donockley in his career, the instrument gives a prominent place, but it also knows well dosed.
In the piece Sibelius Finlandia , but also in the new From Him Who Will Never Return , he gives his main instrument, the Uillean Pipes, all space. On the other side of the spectrum there are songs like the eleven minute Orkahaugr , where the instrument but sporadically. It is this variety and this dose causes Donockley not only important as a specialist in music, but also as a composer.
The collector is more than 70 minutes at the end many beautiful things. So sings Donockley with Joanna Hogg's stunning Pursuit Of Illusion , of the eponymous album from 2003. You must be of stone if you have no lump in your throat. For nearly ten minutes after Tunnels before you choose to get the debut of "The Unseen Stream" from 1998, of which especially the end piece is impressive.
"Messages" as an introduction makes especially clear how much the music of Troy Donockley is undervalued and ignored. This is your chance to catch up. For the rest we naturally yearn for a real new studio CD. Let's hope that "Messages" as the prelude for it.
Markwin Meeuws

 Review: Troy Donockley review

April 25, 2012 by Conor Fynes

Troy Donockley is a legend of Celtic music; particularly in regards to his work with the uilleann pipes. Before I had even heard the name, I was already familiar with his brilliant musicianship; he is the player behind the Celtic instruments in Finnish symphonic metal band NIGHTWISH. While perhaps best known for his tenure with the Irish prog-folkers IONA, Donockley has also had a warm solo career. Sadly, ‘Messages’ is the first thing I’ve heard of this artist, although I’ll make sure that it’s not the last. Although this best-of compilation only serves as a gateway into Troy’s music, it succeeds enough at attracting me to the man’s music that I will soon be hearing more of what he has done.
Although I may not give ‘Messages’ a high rating, it is only because the compilation feels too long for its own good, and that its status as a ‘best-of’ keeps it from having any significant start- to-finish coherence. The music itself is fresh to me, yet probably best rated on the albums from whence they came. A far cry from my initial experience with Donockley’s performance in Nightwish, his work here is mellow, calmed, and arboreal. The Celtic ambiance of Enya came to mind once or twice while hearing the music, which generally rests upon Donockley’s flute or pipe playing to row it along.
Troy Donockley’s music here is not necessarily prog, or even rock, for that matter. Instead, what we have is a warm collection of lush Celtic soundscapes, ancient melody, and the artistic talents of a man who easily deserves the recognition he has received. As a compilation though, ‘Messages’ fails to achieve the goal of a best-of; to get his music across quickly and concisely. Instead, this is a fairly drawn out ordeal, and due to the fairly uniform sound of the music, the music’s magic can be lost once someone becomes too accustomed to the Celtic energies. Ultimately however, this is perfect for anyone who has never heard Troy Donockley play before, and enjoy Celtic folk music.
01. Sights
02. For Him Who Will Never Return
03. Now, Voyager
04. Fragment
05. Orkahaugr
06. Finlandia
07. Dunmail Rising
08. Pursuit of Illusion
09. Tunnels
10. The Procession
* Troy Donockley – all instruments

 Review: Interesting Troy Donockley Review

Being from West Virginia I was born into liking folk music, it’s in my genes. I’ve heard a wide range of folk music and there’s not many times that I don’t like it. Folk music has a way of getting to the heart of the listener, being able to find the nerve center of having fun, as well as making you slap your knee and give an occasional yee haw yell out. However, the music of Troy Donockley might not make me want to have sudden out bursts of yelling, his Celtic folk still gets to the core of emotional music.

 The songs on Messages are warm, mellow, and dramatic as well as being well composed and played.I’ve listened to the album Messages by Troy Donockley 3 times now and each time the music becomes grander and grander. These songs are epic, they have this sound that made the moment I was in feel as if it was going to be the most important moment of my life. When I wasn’t feeling I was going to make a choice of my lifetime, I felt like I was falling in love with my soul mate. This grandiose feeling is in every song that’s played on this album. It’s because of this feeling the songs give off that I liked listening to them.

When there are vocals used, they are as mellow as the instrumentals are as well as having the same impact. Both vocals and instrumentals are very strong giving the songs their power. This is not the Celtic folk that will make you want to jump up to dance, grab some large mug of ale, or start singing some sort of limerick, instead it will make you stop what you are doing so you are only in the moment of your life right then. Here is one of the few times that I actually enjoyed that the songs blended together creating one long song. More amazing is that even with this blending the songs are able to stand out on their own where I was still able to notice that the track has changed to the next song. Of course what stands out the most are the pipes. They are not overbearing where they try to be heard over the rest of the instruments, but they do stand out in the songs.

Being the first time I have heard Troy Donockley, I wasn’t familiar with the style of his music and when I saw that it was Celtic folk I had a more faster, upbeat tempo in mind. What I was listening to turned out to be songs that I will enjoy listening to when I want to feel right in my place in the world at the moment.

 Review: Great Troy Donockley review

Gonzo 2011

His discography credits abound, Troy Donockley's most merited stripes are for making Uilleann pipes a rock instrument. In Donockley's hands, its melodious drones run from English folk avatar Maddy Prior through Roy Harper and STATUS QUO to Finnish metallers NIGHTWISH, but in between the many sessions the master cut three highly rated solo albums the best moments of which are gathered here. Their span is fantastic in both scope and delivery. If a new, previously unreleased cut "For Him Who Will Never Return" sees his weapons, two sets of pipes actually, sing a heartbreaking traditional dirge largely on their own, "Finlandia", a string quartet-elevated Sibelius piece from 1998 debut "The Unseen Stream", shows Troy's deft skills as arranger. Yet the genuine depth is revealed in Joanne Hogg-led choral of "Fragment", as well as in another freshly sculpted swell, "Dunmail Rising", where the solemn vocalise paves the road for the electronically shimmering dance of pipes and fiddle.
All of the strains combine in immaculate way for "Orkahaugr" off 2009's "The Madness of Crowds" in which Troy weaves a lace with his acoustic guitars and strikes it with whistles before the epic unfurls all its cinematic vistas and welcomes heavy guitar riffs into its ever-expanding fold. And while the trance-like folksy moment jitters in the light of "Tunnels", it's in the title track of 2003's "The Pursuit of Illusion" that Donockley's soft voice joins Hogg's crystalline flight to soar on a transparent orchestral cloud to celestial heights and bring the paradise closer to the crowds.

 Review: Troy Donockley CD Review

Troy Donockley: Messages: A collection of music 1998-2001

Review by G. W. Hill

Well, with a compilation like this, one might not anticipate a lot of consistency and cohesiveness. Somehow, this collection manages to feel pretty organic in flow. Donockley is generally considered a Celtic prog artist, so a lot of this falls in that general direction. Still, it also has some definite symphonic textures. It’s quite an entertaining set.

Track by Track Review
SightsThis tune is very pretty and it has a lot of energy. It flows very well. There is a definite world elements and some symphonic texture.

For Him Who Will Never ReturnStarting with Uillean Pipes, this is quite world oriented and pretty. As it grows out from there, the changes are gradual and that same basic element remains constant. This is a beautiful and quite organic piece of music.

Now VoyagerA female voice opens this and continues sans instrumentation for over thirty second. Then the instruments join in atmospheric, symphonic textures. Around the minute and a half mark those vocals drop away and the song gets a symphonic, progressive rock styled treatment as various spoken voices come over the top. It drops to more purely symphonic after a time, and then comes in with a more rock oriented motif. Still, that rock style isn’t like a rock and roll or crunchy sound, but rather like symphonic prog merged with Pink Floyd and Celtic music. It grows out into some powerful symphonic music.

FragmentThis is quite a mellow piece. It’s really not rock at all, but rather a chorale piece. The vocals are the real key element here.

OrkkahaugrComing in acoustic based, this has a lot of energy and builds out with some classic Celtic elements. It carries in that basic format for a while, but then drops way down for a symphonic sort of movement, more like chamber music. There are bits of crunch that come over the top, lending progressive rock to the arrangement. It works out to melodic Celtic based prog as it continues.

FinlandiaJean Sibelius is definitely my favorite classical composer, and I don’t think it’s possible to be a fan of Sibelius and not love “Finlandia.” This is Donockley’s arrangement of the middle section of the composition. As one might guess, this piece is quite classical in nature. It’s also powerful and pretty and has some Celtic texture to it.

Dunmail RisingThis bursts in and then modulates out to a symphonic sort of section. The track continues by alternating those two elements in an intriguing arrangement. Later it works out to a delicate and complex symphonic arrangement that’s very pretty. As it builds out from there more rock oriented elements are heard in the rhythm section as the classical sounds weave over the top. This gets very powerful.

Pursuit of IllusionThere are both male and female vocals on this cut. It’s definitely quite classical in nature. It’s also very compelling and pretty.

TunnelsThis is quite an intriguing cut. It works through a number of changes and alterations. At times it’s more like pure (albeit organic) progressive rock. At other points it’s more symphonic in nature. This is an epic with a lot of majesty and mystery, but just as much delicate beauty. There is plenty of Celtic sound here, but a lot of other elements in place, too. I really like this one a lot. In fact, it’s probably the best track here. It’s surely the one with the widest scope. It’s very magical.

The ProcessionAs the title suggests, this little instrumental is a pretty and quite symphonic number to lead things out in style.

 Review: Troy Donockley review

Although UK-based multi-instrumentalist and Uilleann pipes virtuoso Troy Donockley has toured with Nightwish, Mostly Autumn and Status Quo, fans of those bands may not necessarily warm to the man's solo material. But open-minded listeners are encouraged to start with Messages, a compilation of material from Donockley's three solo albums: The Unseen Stream, The Pursuit of Illusion and The Madness of Crowds.

Half of the 10 songs here are instrumentals with plenty of New Age references. (Is "New Age" still even a relevant term?) The rest run the gamut from choral arrangements in "Fragment" to the lovely and cinematic female-sung "Now, Voyager," featuring an odd spoken-word middle section. The best track, "Orkahaugr," also is the longest one, and it comes from 2009's The Madness of Crowds. Featuring a more traditional song structure with a world-music flavor and extended electric guitar and Uilleann pipes solos, the song boasts a running time of 11 minutes, allowing it to go off in unexpected directions.

Messages could have used some liner notes, and it probably has a limited audience. But it's also the perfect introduction to the solo works of a man whom many listeners have no doubt heard before — whether they knew it or not.

Track Listing:
1) Sights
2) For Him Who Will Never Return
3) Now, Voyager
4) Fragment
5) Orkahaugr
6) Finlandia
7) Dunmail Rising
8) Pursuit of Illusion
9) Tunnels
10) The Procession

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