Troy Donockley – Messages

Troy Donockley is a legend of Celtic music; particularly in regards to his work with the uilleann pipes. Before I had even heard the name, I was already familiar with his brilliant musicianship; he is the player behind the Celtic instruments in Finnish symphonic metal band NIGHTWISH. While perhaps best known for his tenure with the Irish prog-folkers IONA, Donockley has also had a warm solo career. Sadly, ‘Messages’ is the first thing I’ve heard of this artist, although I’ll make sure that it’s not the last. Although this best-of compilation only serves as a gateway into Troy’s music, it succeeds enough at attracting me to the man’s music that I will soon be hearing more of what he has done.

Although I may not give ‘Messages’ a high rating, it is only because the compilation feels too long for its own good, and that its status as a ‘best-of’ keeps it from having any significant start- to-finish coherence. The music itself is fresh to me, yet probably best rated on the albums from whence they came. A far cry from my initial experience with Donockley’s performance in Nightwish, his work here is mellow, calmed, and arboreal. The Celtic ambiance of Enya came to mind once or twice while hearing the music, which generally rests upon Donockley’s flute or pipe playing to row it along.

Troy Donockley’s music here is not necessarily prog, or even rock, for that matter. Instead, what we have is a warm collection of lush Celtic soundscapes, ancient melody, and the artistic talents of a man who easily deserves the recognition he has received. As a compilation though, ‘Messages’ fails to achieve the goal of a best-of; to get his music across quickly and concisely. Instead, this is a fairly drawn out ordeal, and due to the fairly uniform sound of the music, the music’s magic can be lost once someone becomes too accustomed to the Celtic energies. Ultimately however, this is perfect for anyone who has never heard Troy Donockley play before, and enjoy Celtic folk music.


01. Sights
02. For Him Who Will Never Return
03. Now, Voyager
04. Fragment
05. Orkahaugr
06. Finlandia
07. Dunmail Rising
08. Pursuit of Illusion
09. Tunnels
10. The Procession


* Troy Donockley – all instruments


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