This is where you can read about new and current things in the works: Grey's
ideas for new projects, tours, recordings, books, and collaborations.
Please share your comments, questions, ideas and feedback with Grey by clicking
Grey's Six Books with Mel Bay Publications
Grey's first two books came out in December 2003 and April 2004. The third book comes outin March 2013.
details and excerpts, click here. To order
one of the books below, click on the title to enter the online store.
Essential Guide to Irish Flute and Tin Whistle
Published December 20, 2003.
480 pages, with two companion CDs. List price $45.99.
"Grey has, through his research, patience, and diligence, completed
a work on Irish flute and tin whistle that I feel is essential reading
for anybody interested in getting it right."
- Matt Molloy, flute player with The Bothy Band and The
"An essential set of tools for the beginning and intermediate
tin whistle player. I highly recommend it!"
- Joanie Madden, whistle and flute player with Cherish the Ladies
3. 150 Gems of Irish Music for Tin Whistle (formerly this had the working title "Celtic Encyclopedia for Tin Whistle")
Coming out in March, 2013. 140 pages and two CDs. List price $29.99.
Much more than just a tune book, this book/CD collection contains 150
traditional Irish tunes, with suggested ornamentation and breathing
places. All the tunes are on the two companion CDs. Also included are
three chapters on Grey's ornamentation notation system, modes, breathing
and phrasing. While composed mainly of "whistle-friendly" tunes, there
are also tunes of non-wind origin and tunes for playing on non-D
whistles. Grey addresses the issue of notes that go too low for the
whistle and options for making needed adaptations.
Many of the transcriptions pay homage to recordings by famous Irish musicians and groups such as Matt Molloy (of the Chieftains), Mary Bergin, Kevin Burke, Martin Hayes, Sharon
Shannon, and Altan as well as early 20th century recordings from revered
Irish masters Michael Coleman, Willie Clancy, Bobby Casey, Paddy
Killoran, Dennis Murphy, Paddy Canny and others.
4. 150 Gems of Irish Music for Flute (formerly this had the working title "Celtic Encyclopedia for Irish Flute")
Coming out in 2013. Approximately 140 pages and two CDs. List price $29.99.
This book/2CD collection contains 150 Irish tunes, with suggested
and breathing places. All the tunes will be on the companion CDs.
are explanatory chapters on Grey's ornamentation notation system,
modes, breathing and phrasing. While
composed mainly of "flute-friendly" tunes, there are also tunes of
non-wind origin and tunes requiring the use of keys. Grey addresses
the issue of notes that go too low for the flute and options for
Many of the transcriptions pay homage to recordings by famous
Irish musicians and groups such as Matt Molloy (of the Chieftains), Mary
Bergin, Kevin Burke, Paddy Keenan, Jackie Daly, the Mulcahy Family and
Altan as well as early 20th century recordings from revered
Irish masters Michael Coleman, Bobby Casey, Paddy
Killoran, Dennis Murphy, Paddy Canny, Paddy Cronin, Lucy Farr and
5. 300 Gems of Irish Music for All Instruments
Coming out in 2013. Approximately 140 pages. A set of CDs containing all the tunes will be available as an additional purchase.
For those who wish to have the tunes from the two "150 Gems"
collections without ornamentation and breathing suggestions, this book
combines into one volume such “blank slate” versions.
These tune settings leave low notes (below the flute and whistle’s low D) in their original register,
making them more useful to players whose instruments have such low
notes. This also makes it easier for wind players to make their own
decisions about how to accommodate notes that fall below their
6. Down the Back Lane: Variation in Irish Dance Music
Coming out in 2013. Includes one companion CD.
The suggestions shown in the "150 Gems" books represent only one out of
many ways a player might spontaneously ornament and phrase a tune. Down the Back Lane provides transcriptions and recordings of several of the tunes found in
the "150 Gems" collections, but played three times through (instead of
once). Each repetition of a tune is notated independently, showing
complete details of how one repetition differs from the others with
respect to ornamentation, breathing, slurring and tonguing, vibrato and
This collection reinforces the fact that traditional Irish tunes are
always changing and that there is no such thing as a definitive setting
of a tune.
Terry McGee's Grey
Larsen's Preferred model Irish flute
In April 2003, Grey travelled to Canberra, Australia to collaborate
with the great Australian flutemaker, Terry McGee. Terry was intrigued
by his unusual Irish flute preference. They carefully studied Grey's
flute and compared it with a variety of other (mostly English) instruments
of the period. Terry was so convinced of this instrument's fine qualities
that he now offers his own Grey Larsen Preferred model, based
upon his meticulous measurements and examination of Grey's Firth, Pond
& Co. flute.
Terry writes of the Firth, Pond & Co. flute:
"It's a delightfully easy flute to play, reminiscent of the
pipes or whistle in agility and economy of air. It would suit anyone
who, like Grey, values crisp ornamentation highly. Despite the small
holes, the flute produces a very impressive volume of sound."
Grey loves Terry's Grey Larsen Preferred flute and recommends
it without reservation. It plays just as beautifully as his original
Firth Pond & Co. - plus it has superior intonation. He says that
if he were to lose his flute, he would go to Terry for a replacement.
The photo above shows a six-key Grey Larsen
Preferred flute by Terry McGee, in African blackwood and silver.
(The B-flat key, operated by the left thumb, is difficult to see
in this photo.)
The photo above shows a keyless Grey Larsen
Preferred flute by Terry McGee, in African blackwood and silver.
to hear Grey playing the Irish reel The Torn Jacket on a Terry
McGee's Grey Larsen Preferred flute.
Normally, there is a substantial waiting period when you order a flute
from Terry. However, we will keep a limited supply of Terry's Grey
Larsen Preferred flutes on hand to sell here, with no waiting period
Terry will keep Grey supplied, as he can, with a small number of Grey
Larsen Preferred flutes in these two configurations:
Keyless, in blackwood
6-keyed, in blackwood
- These flute models are also available in Delrin from time to time
Click here for more information
on these flutes and on buying them from Grey.
A CD of Michael J. Kennedy?
We hope to find a way to reissue on CD Michael J. Kennedy's 1977 LP "65
Years of Irish Music", which has been long out of print and unavailable.
We also have additional recordings of Kennedy which could be added to these
tracks to make a more complete collection.
To keep abreast of developments with this project, join
my email list.
For some information on Michael J. Kennedy, see the additional
liner notes to The Green House, and read the notes to track
three. Also, The
Green House contains three bonus track recordings of Michael
himself, playing melodeon and reminiscing about his youthful years in
Root Crops & Ground
Fans of the band Metamora (Grey, Malcolm Dalglish and Pete Sutherland) may
recall that they sold a cassette at their concerts called Root Crops &
Ground Cover, which was tucked into what looked like a seed package.
They made several editions of this recording over the years, using both studio
and live cuts. It included Pete Sutherland's folk-operetta "Monster",
about the Lake Champlain monster, among other concert favorites.
It is out of print and has never been issued on CD, but if enough people
express interest in that, we may be able to rectify the situation.
However, several Metamora recordings are available here, including
Metamora's 1987 Windham Hill release, Morning Walk, is unfortunately
out of print. But a few of the last LPs are available at the store.
Metamora was included on three of Windham Hill's sampler albums,
Winter Solstice II (available on CD and LP at the store)
and Windham Hill Sampler '89 (available on LP only at the store).
The latter contains Grey's original "Through the Woods".
Sanctuary is Windham Hill's 20 year best-of retrospective. It includes
Grey's original piece, "Siri's Arrival".
Grey Larsen Mastering
Grey is a very experience mastering engineer. He specializes in acoustic
music, and has mastered over 100 CDs.
If you are a recording musician, you may want to consider Grey as your mastering
To learn more about his mastering, and mastering in general, go to the Mastering
There are many reasons to master your mixed material.
- Mastering is the final creative opportunity in the recording process.
- Mastering enhances each mix globally, improving clarity, depth,
and definition. Often it's as if a veil has been lifted, one that
you didn't realize was there, making the music more clear and three-dimensional.
- The careful use of multi-band EQ, compression and limiting improves
the frequency spectrum balance and increases the overall volume of
the music so that it stands up well next to anything else on the radio.
All major label releases are mastered. Why not yours?
- Though mastering is not remixing, it is often possible to bring
out certain elements of a mix (vocals, bass, etc.).
- Mastering brings a set of experienced and discerning ears to your
project for a fresh perspective on how you are presenting your music
to your audience.
- Digital editing can be done in the mastering process. The basics
can include fade ins, fade outs, crossfades, and cleaning up noises.
Many other possibilities exist as well, such as splicing together
parts of different mixes, adding or removing whole sections of music,
stretching or compressing time, raising or lowering pitch, adjusting
the volume of certain parts of the mix relative to other parts.
- PQ codes, such as index numbers for the CD and ISRC codes (International
Standard Recording Code) are added in the mastering process. ISRC
codes place a "digital fingerprint" on each song that can't
be removed, identifying you as the song's owner and making digital
piracy more difficult.
Songs from Walden Pond,
a collaboration with Dillon Bustin
In 1991, Dillon Bustin received a commission from the Museum of Our National
Heritage in Lexington, Massachusetts to do a staged adaptation of Walden.
He composed a song cycle with monologues, closely following Thoreau's text,
and asked me to arrange the music for an ensemble of wooden flute, piano,
cello, French horn, and percussion.
I dove into this project with a great passion. Dillon's song melodies and
lyric adaptations are so natural and gorgeous, and the lyrics represent to
me a masterpiece of wisdom and insight. I found the challenge of bringing
this inspired material into full bloom irresistible. In scoring the songs,
I called upon my love of classical counterpoint and my decades of folk music
experience to produce a score that integrates both. I dearly love this music.
The piece was first presented in Concord over a weekend in October 1993, complete
with set, props, theatrical lighting, and dancers. I directed the musical
ensemble and played the flute parts (as I will be doing on June 4th) on my
19th century wooden flute, the type of flute that Thoreau himself played.
Also in 1993 we performed the piece, and did a studio recording of it, in
Bloomington, Indiana, where I live. That recording has not yet been issued.
Since that time, Dillon has performed the cycle as a recital piece from time
to time, usually with piano accompaniment, but it has not received the full
treatment since 1993.
I feel that this collaboration with Dillon represents some of the very best
musical work I have ever done. For years I have been hoping that Dillon and
I could bring Songs from Walden Pond to a wider audience. On June 4th, 2005
we once again performed a selection of songs from the piece in Concord, MA
with the full ensemble.I hope that performance will be the first step in reviving
Songs from Walden Pond.
Grey would like to mix and master the 1993 studio recording and make it available
to the world. The scores to the song arrangements are all written out and
could be compiled into a full score, and individual parts, which others could
use to perform the piece.
Are you interested in funding these endeavors? To discuss this, please contact