Notes from the arranger
The Valentia Suite is a loving and nostalgic tribute to the beautiful hidden gem Valentia Island, in County Kerry. I have been there almost every summer since I was born with family and extended family, so every place on the island is soaked in memory. This is a very personal piece, with each movement focusing on a specific place or event, and the music tries to express the recalled moods and characters these evoke.
A sleepy fishing-village, Knightstown is the first and last thing you see when you approach or depart the island by the little car ferry. I have so many fond and sometimes poignant memories of solitary night-strolls down to the foot past Boston’s and the Coffee Shop, Reidy’s candy-store and Dermot the boatbuilder’s workshop with his dog Cheeko nosing around in the sawdust. I met a girl there once who was only there for a summer and never came back. I know she’s gone now but I always keep a look-out for her anyway.