If you think traditional Irish music is repetitive and not favourable to improvisation, you’re about to be disabused of the notion: check out Eileen Ivers’ playing here >>>
Peadar writes: “This was the first piece of music I intentionally composed. My father had died and I had taken over the choir but I was very young and stupid. I had to learn to play the organ etc and as a good percentage of the choir members were only slightly older then me, they were not about to take orders from such a young pup as I. So the younger kids and the older men stayed and came to rehearsals. I had a Saturday morning session every week for the boys. I had just taken over the beekeeping as well and was learning that trade at the same time. So I found this poem By Douglas de hIde – Irelands first President since Independence. The poem was about bees and it called to me – the music just seemed to come out of its own accord as I needed it.
the melodic tension builds slowly over a thick, dark bed of treated guitar and drums
Not LNF’s usual fare but ever since his surprise appearance at Four on the Fringe of Folk, Dan Trueman (much admired by Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh) has come into our sights for his amazing fiddle playing and his musical roots in American & Norwegian folk; and anyway I am personally deeply into contemporary composed music. So …
“Crash Ensemble continues its commitment to showcasing the work of Ireland’s brightest composers in Free State VI, paying homage to new talent in this annual concert.
For one night only, the Irish Museum of Modern Art will play host to a full spectrum of Irish contemporary talent, ranging from Judith Ring’s ‘Up to My F-holes’ for solo cello and tape to Andrew Hamilton’s ‘Music for People Who Like Art’ for full ensemble and soprano. This concert will also feature the world premiere of a new piece by Dan Trueman, specially commissioned for Free State VI by Crash Ensemble.
Co-curated by Dan Trueman, Fullbright scholar visiting from Princeton, the programme includes a selection of the most vibrant new music Ireland has to offer. It will introduce you to a whole new realm of talent and present a new music experience like no other.
Audiences can expect to witness a creative fusion of classical instruments and electronic music, true to Crash Ensemble style. Discover ‘Piano Tremors’ for four-hands by Anna Murray, Amanda Feery’s ‘Rattle’ for bass clarinet and ‘Star’ for baroque violin and double bass by Benedict Schlepper-Connolly. Senses will be sent soaring by ‘Eff’ for string quartet and percussion by Francis Heery and ‘Basso Continuo’ for full ensemble by Birmingham-based Seán Clancy. This show, our first in 2011, promises to be a revelatory evening.
Free State VI is a celebration of new Irish composers and their outstanding output and accomplishments. It is also the first concert of an action packed 2011 for Crash Ensemble, with an opera, a U.S. tour, and an album launch in the works. Crash Ensemble is a contemporary music group based in Dublin, which has been attracting enthusiastic audiences for its particular blend of music, video and electronics since 1997.
FREE STATE VI: Friday, April 1st, 2011 | Irish Museum of Modern Art, Kilmainham, Dublin 8 | 8pm | Tickets €20/€15(conc.) available online at www.tickets.ie or by calling Crash Ensemble (01) 858 6645
Sean Clancy | Basso Continuo
Judith Ring | Up to my F-Holes
Amanda Feery | Rattle
Andrew Hamilton | Music for People who like Art
Anna Murray | Piano Tremors
Francis Heery | Eff
Benedict Schlepper-Connolly | Star
Dan Trueman| New commission (World premiere of new work specially commissioned by Crash Ensemble for Free State VI, entitled W..)
- “One of the most dramatic voices in contemporary music.” The Guardian
- “Genius’ is the operative word here” Time Out
Music Network is pleased to invite you to the launch of love:live music 2011 at 12 noon on Tuesday 8th March at The Culture Box, 12 Essex St., Templebar, Dublin 2.
love:live music, Ireland’s National Music Day, is a celebration of all forms of music in Ireland though nationwide music events. Following a successful first year, Music Network is encouraging EVERYONE to get involved on Friday 8th April 2011 for the day-long festivities celebrating live music in Ireland.
We will be kicking off love:live music 2011 in style, one month ahead of the big day, with performances by two of Royal Irish Academy of Music’s rising stars: Evin Kelly (accordion) and Leonie Bluett (clarinet). Some very special guests will also be on hand to lend their support and given that it’s pancake tuesday, you can expect some delicious refreshments!
PLEASE RSVP TO firstname.lastname@example.org
Billed as Barco, Cormac de Barra on harp & Éamonn de Barra (Slide) on flute and Fionán de Barra on guitar, were joined by two other of their three other brothers to play a ‘Gig for kids’ during the Tradfest in the Ark. I took my son, and apart from the distraction of the extroverted kids dancing around in front of the brothers, it was really great. Eamonn was really fantastic with the children, and all the music was lovely. Lots of Carolan (which was when the dancing kids were the problem, despite Eamonn’s finger-to-mouth strategy), but also plenty of super tunes.
[From Irish Times >>> ] REPEATED EXPOSURE to amplified sound by Irish musicians will have an adverse effect on hearing, a postgraduate research project at NUI Galway (NUIG) has found. The study by physics MSc student Helena O’Sullivan shows that even traditional musicians run the risk of noise-induced hearing loss, if using amplification.
Some of the results recorded by Ms O’Sullivan exceed the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 on control of noise. The findings support a case for increased awareness training of the issue among musicians, the author has found.
Data collected by Ms O’Sullivan shows that personal noise exposures experienced by all of the rock/pop musicians sampled exceeded the 87dB(A) exposure limit value in the 2007 safety regulations. Half of the traditional Irish musicians sampled also exceeded the exposure limit value, she found.
She measured noise levels at static monitoring points on the stage during the performance. These ranged from 85 to 90dB(A) during traditional music performances, and 101-107dB(A) during rock/pop music performances. She also measured the personal noise exposure level of one member of the groups surveyed – the singer or the drummer. The levels were 100-102dB(A) for rock/pop band members and 88-95dB(A) for members of traditional music groups.
A questionnaire survey of musicians on noise exposure conducted as part of the research project indicated that 52 per cent of respondents regularly experience a ringing sensation in their ears after a performance.
Two new compositions that are being premiered in Dublin this week (including Aontacht by David Flynn, commissioned by RTÉ for Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra) show that contemporary classical music can be gloriously accessible: Arminta Wallace in the Irish Times >>>
“What we’re doing here is different. It’s bringing two worlds together; taking ideas from the Irish tradition and merging them with a contemporary orchestration. Contemporary without being completely off the wall.” Is this music very different from what, and how, he usually plays? “There was a lot that was familiar,” he says. “But there was also a thing where it pushed me in ways, technically. A lot of third- and fourth-position playing, which doesn’t come up in traditional music very often. And the slow air is a complex piece of music with a lot of parts to it. You don’t learn it in one day, I can tell you that much.” “I wrote it in one day,” Flynn puts in. “Did you? It sounds like it,” Hayes retorts.
A set of “Scottish-Irish jigs” played by Mike Scott, Steve Wickham and Sharon Shannon in Waterford, Ireland, 2004
Geantraí Clár 5 Geantraí, Mícheál Ó Raghallaigh Sun 24th Oct 10pm /Fri 29th Oct 8pm.
Concertina player Mícheál Ó Raghallaigh presents this week’s Geantraí from An Bradán Feasa in Rath Cairn, Co. Meath. Included in the programme are the Ó Raghallaigh Family, flute player Catherine McEvoy and singer Mairéad Ní Fhlatharta among others.
“The extraordinary fiddle player Martin Hayes is regarded as one of the most remarkable talents in the world of Irish traditional music, and one of the most important musicians to come out of Ireland in the last 50 years. His unique sound, astonishing talent and spellbinding performances – not to mention his wit – have made his concerts stand-out musical highlights of recent years. Having collaborated with musicians from other genres such as jazz guitarist Bill Frisell and eclectic violinist Darol Anger, tonight for the first time he joins the RTÉ Concert Orchestra for an unmissable evening.
Audiences will witness a very special first with the world première of a concerto by David Flynn, commissioned by RTÉ specially for Martin and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. David’s ability to draw on the influence and sounds of traditional music without, as he says, ever stealing a tune has won him both acclaim from critics – ‘incorporated traditional Irish music without Hollywood pastiche’ (The Times) – and traditional musicians. Martin himself believes that David ‘occupies a unique position in the world of music: his work reflects an intimate and respectful knowledge of the Irish folk tradition along with deep insight and skill in the world of modern classical composition’.
Martin and the full orchestra will also let loose on a rich selection of traditional tunes. An evening of luminous music to warm the heart, uplift the soul and send you out fully insulated against an Irish winter.”
Tickets: €11, €22, €27, €33, €38 (concessions €10, €20, €24, €30, €34)
Booking: 01 417 0000 or online www.nch.ie
Last night’s fun was to catch Comhaltas‘s Macalla na hÉireann tour in Kilteel, sponsored by Bus Eireann & Foras na Gaeilge. This tour features a selection of extremely talented musicians identified through the Fleadh circuit showcasing traditional music, song & dance around the country, intertwined with a bit of craic and an Ghaeilge. The music was top drawer from start to finish, and the musicians, singers and dancers were great performers (particularly, for me, on the night, Róisín Ryan’s singing, Audrey Murphy on flute & tin whistle and Fionn Morrison’s uilleann piping).
There wasn’t a lot of emphasis on fiddle playing, for some reason; the presentation was a bit backward-focussed, assuming young people are a key target market; but my main issue was with the garb: the lads all in black was one thing (why not allow SOME individuality into the clothes considering there is so much individuality in the music?), but the poor, poor girls have to put up with a tour of the country wearing Bunratty Castle-type velvet dresses, complete with flared mesh sleeve extensions. Whatever about that being about right for the tourists (although it’s about as authentic as ringlet curls), and whatever about dancers, for musicians on a tour of their own country it seem “wrong” for the target audience of locals out just to hear some great music. I couldn’t help wondering who persuaded the women to wear the gear, how much resistance they put up against the idea, whether or not one or two of them could have threatened to walk out if they didn’t get to wear their own clothes, and how patronising and almost sexist the whole thing looks. Am I alone in that reaction?
Anyway, costume aside, for the music alone it’s a tour worth catching:
|Tuesday, October 12th||Oriel Centre, Old Gaol Dundalk||Kay Webster 042 932 8887 email@example.com|
|Wednesday, October 13th||Cavan Town Hall, Town Hall St. Cavan||Martin Donohoe 086 234 2270|
|Thursday, October 14th||Glenfarne, Co. Leitrim||Gerry Finneran 071 985 3084/087 894 1797|
|Friday, October 15th||“The Factory” The Wild Duck Inn, Portglenone, Antrim||Eamon Graham 028 258 21025/ Geraldine Donnelly 028 258 21734|
|Saturday, October 16th||Dún Uladh, Omagh, Co. Tyrone||Brendan McAleer 028 822 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Sunday, October 17th||Ceoláras Coleman, Gurteen, Co. Sligo||Box Office 071 918 email@example.com|
|Monday, October 18th||Station House Theatre, Clifden, Co. Galway||Marie Walsh 086 401 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Tuesday, October 19th||Cois na hAbhna, Ennis, Co. Clare||Doreen Norris 065 682 email@example.com|
|Wednesday, October 20th||Brú na Sí, Youghal, Co. Cork||Micheál de Buitléar 087 164 2373|
|Thursday, October 21st||Ceolann Cultural Centre, Lixnaw, Co. Kerry||Bridie Stack 086 164 2373|
|Friday, October 22nd||Brú Ború, Cashel, Co. Tipperary||Box Office 062 firstname.lastname@example.org Donnchadh Ó Cinnéide 087 254 7412|
|Saturday, October 23rd||Clasac, Clontarf, Dublin 3||01 836 3060 email@example.com|
The 2010 Tour will include the following talented traditional performers:
|Róisín Ryan||Ciarraí||Bean a’Tí/Amhránaí|
|Ros Casserly||Cill Mhantáin||Rinceoir|
|Michael Curran||Tír Eoghain||Bosca Ceoil|
|Séamus Fay||An Cabhán||Amhránaí/Portaireacht|
|Fionn Morrison||Baile Átha Cliath||Píb Uilleann|
|Bernadette Nic Aoidh||Muineachán||Cruit|
|Audrey Murphy||An Iarmhí||Rinceoir|
|Avril Murphy||An Iarmhí||Rinceoir|
|Breda Shannon||Ros Comáin||Consairtín|
|Killian Shannon||An Clár||Bainseó|
|Marie Walsh||Gaillimh||Bosca Ceoil|
Buille will be doing a live recording of the BBC TV programme Blas Ceoil in Ballymacnab, Co. Armagh, on the 21st October in “one of our all-time favourite pubs – The Bulls Track (aka O’Toole’s Bar) – where manys a great night was had over the years!” Joining them will be Donal Lunny and Karan Casey.
In this unique evening Joseph O’Connor talks to Philip King and explores the influence of Irish-American ballads in his recent fiction. Look forward to lots of chat, readings, reflections, rhymings, some songs and an insight or two along the way. Oh – and a special surprise guest to join in every evening.
Musician, filmmaker and broadcaster Philip King has been at the heart of some of the most exciting music and film projects in recent years. His much-loved programme The South Wind Blows broadcasts daily on RTE Radio 1.
Supported by the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaion
On the Peacock stage; 15 – 20 November; 8pm; Tickets €18 – €22
03 October · 22:00 – 22:30 on TG4
The second programme in the new series of Geantraí recorded in ‘An Spalpín Fánac’ in Cork is hosted by singer/songwriter John Spillane. Featured are The Ceilí All Stars, Deirdre, Donnacha and Diarmaid Moynihan, fiddle trio Meadhbh Boyd, Grainne Cotter and Catherine Casey, piper Sean McKiernan along with Karl Nesbitt, Nigel Grufferty, Brian Kissane and John Neville.
Trócaire has teamed up with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Eireann to run Trad for Trócaire, a new national fundraising initiative that will launch for the first time in September 2010.
Musicians and venues around the country will be encouraged to hold a traditional Irish or folk music session during the week of 23rd to 29th September in aid of Trócaire.
I know it’s not music, but this Sebastian Barry play has a lot of brilliant references to fiddle playing, and the brilliant Pat Shortt loves traditional music & plays, so that’s my excuse for making note of it here.
The production in the Gaiety has a lot going for it: great cast; superb set, stage design & lighting; beautiful prose; and last night’s preview (despite the death of their friend & colleague Mick Lally; & Tom Hickey feeling ill) saw the actors pull off a wonderful performance. But it’s a really difficult play to glance off, as you are invited to do in such a first encounter at a theatre.
Without being familiar with the script and having the chance to read it thoroughly, much of Boss Grady’s Boys ends up flying too fast over your head, in my opinion. Dense, rich language; surreal imagery; rhythmic syntax, all amount to a highly poetic representation of the “story” of two lonely brothers living in harsh conditions on a banjaxed farm in Kerry. As a dream, and as a painting in language & acting, it works very well. But as a story, something to sink your teeth into at the end of a hard day’s work in 21st century Dublin, it escapes: one companion “just didn’t care”. Others “didn’t get it”; it went over their heads, they gestured. One walked out and went to the pub for a chat.
I look forward to reading the play when I get my hands on it, and hopefully sharing some of the musical references.