Friday, October 22, 2010

Top trad at the Linenhall

"Two of Ireland’s finest Traditional musicians, Uilleann piper Diarmaid and guitarist Donncha Moynihan perform at the Linenhall Arts Centre in Castlebar on Thursday November 11 at 8pm.

Diarmaid and Donncha Moynihan first teamed up in 1996 as Calico, a Traditional band that released two award-winning albums, Celanova Square and Songdogs. The band was one of the most influential ensembles to come out of Ireland, touring widely in Europe and the USA. Their latest album, The Lights of Ranzanico, is a collection of beautiful original tunes fused with Irish and European melodies, and once again demonstrates both creative vision and extraordinary lyrical approach to music, and was RT� Lyric FM’s Album of the Month for May. Performing tonight with top drawer guest musicians Christy Leahy (accordion) and Donal Siggins (bouzouki)."

Golden City goes green

"The evening was touted as bringing a taste of Ireland to Prague, and both the spirit and spirits of the Emerald Isle were in ample supply.

Alongside cultural and culinary treasures, another of the country's best-known exports - a potent Gaelic wit - was in full bloom.

Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney 'colluded' with musician Liam O'Flynn in a performance at the 'venerable' Strahov Monastery. 'The Poet and The Piper' act began as impromptu social sessions in Heaney's farmhouse, and has since gone on to include recorded albums and regular international performances. It oscillates between songs from O'Flynn's alternately haunting and jaunting Uilleann pipes and verse read by the famed Nobel laureate."

Piping concert at The Crane

"SOME OF Ireland’s leading uilleann pipers are coming to The Crane Bar, Sea Road, to play a fundraising concert this Saturday at 6.30pm.

The concert will raise funds for Na PiobairiUilleann (NPU - The Society of Uilleann Pipers) to train new pipe makers to ensure the craft is not lost in Ireland.

Performing on the night is Sean McKiernan, the 2010 TG4 Traditional Musician of the Year. Sean was born and reared into an Irish speaking family in Boston but has lived in Ireland since 1965. The legendary Clare piper Willie Clancy was a friend and mentor and Sean plays the Taylor set of pipes once owned by the 19th century musician Patsy Touhey."

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Urgent plea for more uilleann pipe makers - The Irish Times - Thu, Oct 14, 2010

IRELAND IS in danger of losing the craft of making uilleann pipes if it does not invest in training more manufacturers of the instrument, an Oireachtas committee has heard.

Despite its Irish roots, three in every four uilleann pipe sets manufactured are made overseas, leaving fewer than 20 makers working in Ireland today, traditional musician Seán Potts told the Joint Committee on Tourism, Culture, Sport, Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs.

Many of the world’s leading manufacturers are in countries such as the US, Britain, France, Canada and Germany, meaning Irish players have to wait up to seven years to get their hands on a full set of their own, he said.

Potts, a founding member of The Chieftains and a famous tin-whistle player, said while there was a growing number of students, there wasn’t an adequate supply of the instrument.

“It’s great to see the students coming at 13 and 14 years old but they have to wait then for the pipes . . . I will guarantee you that a lot of them will go off the boil.”

Potts is honorary president of Na Píobairí Uilleann (NPU), a voluntary organisation for preserving the music of the uilleann pipes founded in 1970.

The history of bagpipes in Ireland dates back to at least the 11th century, while the uilleann pipes emerged here in the 18th century. Unlike other pipes the uilleann pipes are filled by a bellows instead of a blowpipe and have a melody pipe capable of two octaves.

According to NPU, demand for the pipes is so great there is a backlog valued at €7 million. This could be taken advantage of by new makers, should the Government invest in training them.

Urgent plea for more uilleann pipe makers - The Irish Times - Thu, Oct 14, 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

Adrian Edmondson and The Bad Shepherds

"A SOHO drinking session and Pocklington Arts Centre played equal parts in Adrian Edmondson forming The Bad Shepherds in a union of south and north.

The former television star of The Young Ones, Bottom and The Comic Strip awoke from the aforesaid session to discover he had purchased a mandolin, setting him on the path to reinterpret his favourite punk songs in a folk style with Troy Donockley, the Uilleann pipes player from Warter, near Pocklington.

On Wednesday, Adrian, Troy and fiddler Andy Dinan bring the latest Bad Shepherds tour to North Yorkshire, where the band first rehearsed at the arts centre in 2008."

Friday, October 8, 2010

Key trad concert comes up trumps

"THE annual Ace and Deuce of Piping concert takes place in Liberty Hall in Dublin tomorrow night.

Seven leading traditional artists, including Sean Keane of the Chieftains (pictured), the Boys of the Lough's lead man Cathal McConnell and Altan's Dermot Byrne, will perform at Na Piobairi Uilleann's flagship performance event.

Well-known duo Tommy Keane (pipes) and Jacqueline McCarthy (concertina), Cork piper Maire Ni Ghrada, and virtuoso Donegal fiddler Brid Harper complete the line-up for what promises to be the traditional concert of the year.

While several of the performers have achieved fame on the world stage with their respective legendary ensembles, the event will give traditional music fans the chance to savour the delights of wonderful solo and duet playing in a concert setting.

Tickets are available from the Liberty Hall box office, price €20/25."

Miles Smith Farm in Loudon hosts Fall Festival

"Miles Smith Farm, a 36-acre farm located at 56 Whitehouse Road in Loudon, has been around for over 150 years and has been providing Granite State citizens with locally-produced, grass-fed beef for the last five years. The farm wanted to share the benefits of buying fresh and buying local as well as the local tradition and simpler way of life on a working farm. Thus, Farm Day was born.

Marvel at the spectacular fall foliage while listening to Celtic music as you take a hay ride around the farm. “The Pressure is On” band will play, with music also being provided by Paddy Keenan, an uilleann piper, Joel Barton – a bagpipe performer and Andy Johnson, a fiddler. The Human Scarecrow (Linda Ray from Clover Clown Company) will add to the fun"