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Springboard - A West Cork Music Retreat with Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh

March 15th-18th, 2018

West Cork Music are delighted to announce that Springboard is taking place again from March 15th - 18th. The inaugural retreat was such a success last year that we felt that we had to run it again in 2018.  To book, go to

Once again, Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh will be tutor-in-residence at the retreat which will be held at Linden House, Glengarriff - a rural and inspirational setting which guests will have time to explore.

Springboard aims to challenge ideas of what is beautiful in sound. This retreat is aimed at competently skilled fiddlers who want to examine more fundamental questions around playing the fiddle - How can I put more feeling into my music? How can I make it mean more? How can I find more freedom while playing? What is beauty in sound to me?

Areas of Exploration:
* Expanding your sonic palette: sidestepping fear and embracing failure
* Taking notes for granted: re-evaluating the commonplace
* Examining the principle of ‘play’
* Your fiddle as a tool for communication with other human beings
* Finding your aesthetic, developing and refining your personal concept of what is beautiful
* Parallel learning: funnelling freedoms found in other activities

Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh, tutor in residence for this very special weekend, has been described as ‘the most singular traditional Irish musician of [his] generation’ by State Magazine, Ireland.

He describes himself:
If you’re wondering how to pronounce my name, try ‘Kwee-veen Oh Rye Allah’ on for size. It’s not quite right, but as a first attempt it’s not too shabby.

I make music on a 10-string fiddle called the hardanger d’amore, and I travel the world as a solo musician, in duos with Dan Trueman, Mick O’Brienand Brendan Begley, and as a member of The Gloaming and This is How we Fly.

I’ve had the extraordinary pleasure of performing on some of the most beautiful stages in the world, including the Sydney Opera House, the Royal Albert Hall and the Lincoln Center, although some of my favourite performances have been much more intimate and ephemeral events, special one-off things invented by friends. I live in Dublin, and love it for the place and the people.

There are twelve recordings to my name so far, ranging from quite traditional to fairly out there. I enjoy both equally, playing the old music that I love, and exploring the region where traditional music begins to disintegrate.

And his instruments:
I play a stunning 10-string instrument made by Norwegian luthier Salve Håkedal. The top five bowed gut strings plus the five sympathetic strings below give the fiddle a wonderful resonant sound. It is somewhere between a hardanger fiddle and aviola d’amore, so I’ve taken to calling it the Hardanger d’Amore.

I use baroque and transitional bows made by a wonderful French bowmaker named Michel Jamonneau. His bows are things of great beauty, and for me they are like paintbrushes for sound. They are the perfect match for the Hardanger d’Amore, and together they teach me something every time I pick them up, expanding what is thinkable and possible.

The Workshop includes:
Accommodation - 4 night’s accommodation in high quality, shared twin-rooms is included at Linden House.

A feast of local Irish food is also included in the fee. Jenny will be on site to prepare wholesome, nutritious and very tasty food throughout the weekend. Breakfasts, lunches and dinners will be prepared for you, so all you need to do is enjoy your weekend and submerse yourself into the beautiful surrounds of nature and music. Dine in the dark experience included.

Feedback from last year’s participants:

“The workshop helped me access realms of musical ability I didn’t know existed. It helped me to think in new ways and approach playing differently”.

“This whole experience definitely exceeded any expectations I had. The fact that the focus wasn’t on getting things “right” but rather seeing the beautiful, wonderful and magical aspects of music and sound again and not being afraid to explore”.

“Playing fiddle most of my life, I have now rediscovered a love for the sounds of the instrument and an excitement for the possibilities for musical adventures in the future.”.

“The food, people and location were beyond what I could have imagined”.

To book, go to

Permalink - Posted: February 13, 2018 at 3:54 pm