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Mid-West to welcome top Scottish and Irish musicians

On Saturday 5th October, RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta will be bringing top folk and trad musicians from Ireland and Scotland together on stage in Glór in Ennis, Co. Clare for a gala concert to celebrate 25 years of the music programme Sruth na Maoile.

Audiences at the concert will be treated to the rare pleasure of a live performance from Karen Matheson, the outstanding Scottish songstress and lead singer with Scottish supergroup Capercaillie, accompanied by Manus Lunny.  Her Irish counterpart, Moya Brennan, the voice of Clannad, will be performing with harp virtuoso Cormac de Barra.  From Kerry, the legendary singer and box player Séamus Begley will be performing with his daughter Méabh and renowned guitarist Donogh Hennessy, who has played with Lúnasa, Sharon Shannon and John Spillane, among others.  (more…)

Permalink - Posted: September 20, 2019 at 3:20 pm

International Harpists Gather at the Linen Hall for Exclusive Event on 12 September

On Thursday 12 September at 3.30pm – 7.30pm a pre-eminent group of harpists and scholars will gather for one afternoon only in the Linen Hall Library to celebrate Bengal and Belfast coming together to champion the Irish harp on the bicentennial of the Irish Harp Society of Belfast (1819 – 39).

The Linen Hall Library played a significant role in the preservation of traditional Irish harp music. Early members of the Library organised a festival of harp music in July 1792 ‘with the intention of having the music taken down and recorded for the first time’. The Library was also instrumental in supporting the subsequent publishing of this music.

The September colloquium will focus on the Linen Hall’s Beath Collection, which was donated in 1974 by Mrs. Norah Beath – the granddaughter of architect and noted music collector Robert Young. The collection contains a wealth of material from the 18th and 19th centuries tied to music, with many of the manuscripts connected with influential music collectors and musicians – including Edward Bunting, Patrick Lynch, Robert MacAdam, Mary Ann McCracken, and William Ware. Of special interest are papers regarding the Irish Harp Society of Belfast, which marks its bicentenary this year. The Society was funded almost entirely by a group of men and women in India. This group—the “Bengal Subscription”—were Irish, Indian, and of various backgrounds and religions, who came together to support a future for the Irish harp.

The line up on the day features internationally renowned harpist Lily Neill who has performed for presidents, ambassadors, and audiences all over the world. Also performing will be Simon Chadwick who will play on a reconstruction of an 18th century Irish harp. Speakers include Frank Bunting, whose distant relative Edward Bunting was the first person to research and write down traditional Irish harp music; Nicholas Carolan, Director Emeritus of the Irish Traditional Music Archive; Dr. Mary Louise O’Donnell, author and Fulbright Scholar who will discuss the role the Irish Harp Society of Belfast played in the education of Irish harpers; and Philip McDonagh, a former ambassador to India who will examine cultural links between Ireland and India.

Linen Hall Library Director Julie Andrews says: “The celebration of the Beath Collection and the bicentennial of the Irish Harp Society of Belfast on 12 September has been a monumental collaboration of musicians and Irish harp experts from various locations. To bring them all together for one afternoon is a phenomenal achievement and an event not to be missed. Not many people know that the Linen Hall Library played a vital role in the preservation of traditional Irish harp music. The story behind the archive is fascinating.”

Tickets can be obtained from the Linen Hall Library website and cost
£20pp. Proceeds from the event will be used for the long-term preservation and eventual digitisation of the Beath Collection.


Permalink - Posted: September 11, 2019 at 12:07 pm

Frank Harte Singing Festival a Celebration of Irish Song

  • Frank Harte festival to celebrate generations of traditional Irish song
  • Annual gathering to welcome guest singers from Ireland, Scotland & USA
  • 2019 also the 40th anniversary of Góilín Singers - Dublin’s leading singing club

One of the most celebrated gatherings of traditional Irish song takes place this month with the Frank Harte festival taking place over three days: Friday 20 to Sunday 22 September.

A gala concert, a workshop, plenty of singing sessions and a tour of Dublin through its songs makes the weekend a must for anyone interested in the lore and tradition of unaccompanied singing. Dublin’s Góilín Singers Club, which organises the festival, this year celebrates its 40th anniversary, and in that time has seen many great singers attend its weekly sessions, from Christy Moore to Daoirí Farrell to members of groups such as Landless and Lankum, to give their own rendition of traditional or new songs.


Permalink - Posted: September 11, 2019 at 10:16 am

The National Concert Hall’s Tradition Now Series

The National Concert Hall’s Tradition Now Series presented in partnership with The Arts Council to Feature Performances by Lisa O’Neill, Ye Vagabonds, Sam Amidon, Catherine Ennis, Steve Cooney, Paddy Glackin and more in Six-Day Festival

Tradition Now, the National Concert Hall’s traditional music series takes a unique look at the evolution of traditional music and provides a platform for forward-thinking musicians. This year’s series sees performances by Irish and International artists such as singer/songwriter Lisa O’Neill, musicians Catherine EnnisSteve Cooney, Paddy Glackin, Sam Amidon and many more from 1st to 6th October.

The 2019 programme features two main stage events on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th October:

Rough Trade supremo Geoff Travis has always been a man ahead of the curve, with the establishment of River Lea records which embraces traditional and contemporary folk he has reflected the rapid growth in interest in all forms of the genre. As part of Tradition Now he and his label colleagues Jeanette Lee and Tim Chipping curate a special evening of River Lea artists on October 5th; BBC Radio Folk Award nominee Lisa O’Neill, brothers Brían and Diarmuid Mac Gloinn aka Ye Vagabonds whose harmony rich folk singing draws on traditional Irish and Appalachian sources and BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award winner, Skye piper Brìghde Chaimbeul. (more…)

Permalink - Posted: September 2, 2019 at 10:26 am