Creativity locked down: Alen Tully and SLOT provide a tunes tonic for the times (video)
Pipe-Major Alen Tully of Dublin’s Grade 1 St. Laurence O’Toole has always been one of the most creative forces in the pipe band world. After more than eight months of the coronavirus pandemic turning the world upside down, his and his band’s creative output has actually increased.
The situation has provided more time to commit to various projects, and Tully’s new book of music, Socrú – The Collection, is now shipping worldwide to pipers looking to get hold of many of the famous compositions and arrangements they’ve heard over the years from St. Laurence O’Toole.
Socrú means “arrangements” in Irish Gaelic, and there are 53 original Tully compositions and arrangements, along with audio files for all 53 tunes to assist pipers in learning the pieces. It’s the first collection for the younger Tully, who follows in the footsteps of his famous father, Terry Tully, who produced five collections and who was pipe-major of the band for nearly 30 years, including guiding the group to a World Championship victory in 2010.
Even the artwork on the front cover of Socrú – The Collection is extra-creative, depicting a SLOT machine, coming up with a jackpot of three SLOT logos in a row.
Alen Tully is someone who wants to share his wealth of musical ingenuity. Back in April, he decided to make his talents available to other bands looking to keep their creative juices flowing through the lockdown. His “Write My Medley” music consulting service is going great guns, he says, and he’s now working with up-and-coming composers to share their ideas that he might incorporate into new medleys for bands of all abilities.
Top all that off with St. Laurence O’Toole creating some of the pipe band world’s most creative videos, and Tully and his band have been something of a beacon of creative light through the dark days of the pandemic.
We caught up with Alen Tully for a 15-minute video interview to find out more about Socrú – The Collection, as well as his advice for pipers and drummers and pipe bands as we get through the situation together.