Finbar Furey tells Iarla Ó Lionaird about learning to play the pipes and making reeds.

As a piper, Finbar Furey takes a special interest in the care and making of reeds for the instrument. He is concerned about the decline in reed making among young uilleann pipe players. He himself learned the technique from piper Dan Dowd and recalls his favourite chanter reed. 

Ted Furey, Finbar’s father, was a fiddler and travelling musician, and taught him the pipes when the family settled in Ballyfermot. His other teachers were Johnny Keenan and Tommy Moore.

Felix Doran from Rathnew in County Wicklow was another piper who called to their house regularly, and master piper Seamus Ennis often came to stay for the weekend.

It was one of these houses, the music didn’t stop.

Finbar plays two tunes, the first a slow air called ‘A Spailpín A Rún’ and the second, a reel titled ‘The Silver Tip’ where he is joined by sean-nós dancer Seamus Ó Dubháin from Cill Chiaráin in the Connemara Gaeltacht. 

This episode of ‘The Pure Drop’ broadcast on 10 October 1989.  The presenter is Iarla Ó Lionáird.

'The Pure Drop' is described by the RTÉ Guide in 1988 as "A nine part traditional music series featuring the best solo instrumentalists playing in Ireland today and occasionally featuring small groups."

The programme was first broadcast on 14 January 1988 and ran until February 1996. Presenters were James Kelly, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Paddy Glackin and Martin McGinley.