More formal tuition began for Neil when Tom sent him to Leo Rowsome who taught twice weekly in the School of Music in Chatham Row and the pipers Club in Thomas Street, Dublin. By the time of Leo's death in 1970 Neil had won the under-14 All-Ireland in 1968 and under 18 All-Ireland in 1970. Tom then guided his son for many years, on the long piping road that was before him in the direction of the Ennis and Reck styles of piping. Both of these great pipers were regular visitors to the Mulligan house in Phibsborough and piping techniques, styles, repertoire and maintenance were topics of many a visit.
He has developed and cultivated his own style of piping, which is grounded in the styles of the old piping masters. He is a great admirer of Irish sean-nÃ³s singing and this can be clearly heard in his emotive interpretation of these great songs.
Neil's solo performances have taken him to many different parts of the world to play the uilleann pipes. He has represented his country on many occasions at international bagpipe festivals around Europe and more recently has collaborated in a stage and film production. He is a founding member of Na PÃobairÃ Uilleann and was elected as it's second Chairman, suceeding BreandÃ¡n Breathnach after his death, in 1986.
Neil released his first solo CD, Barr na CÃºille, featuring three of his own compositions and two differently pitched pipes, in 1991. His second solo CD released in 1997, The Leitrim Thrush, featured a track of Tom Mulligan's unique Leitrim fiddle-playing and was awarded Best Traditional and also Best Solo Album of 1997 by the readers of Irish Music Magazine.
He was selected to perform in the musical stage production The Well during the Dublin Theatre Festival in October 2000. More recently, he collaborated with the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra for the music of the film "When Harry Became a Tree"
Declared to be 'one of Ireland's finest living players' and 'a classic piper',
NÃ©illidh Mulligan is a performer worth seeing and hearing.
Check out the artist's website:
1. Alexander's Hornpipe, Fisher's Hornpipe
2. The Bonny Bunch of Roses
3. Clancy's Dream, The Connaughtman's Rambles
4. Barr na CÃºille
5. FÃ¡th mo Bhuartha
6. The Whinney Hills of Leitrim, Drops of Brandy
7. Ãširchill a' CreagÃ¡in
8. The Salamance, Bonnie Kate, The Copperplate
9. Port na h-ealaigh ar an traigh
10. John Egan's Hornpipe
11. Lucy Campbell, Miss Monaghan
12. Dark is the Colour of my True Love's Hair
13. The Leitrim Slashers, The Langstern Pony
14. The Standing Abbey, Tom Mulligan's Hornpipe
15. Wings of my Soul
16. The Yellow Tinker, The Bucks of Oranmore