Radio documentary by Seán Corcoran on Richard Henebry (1863-1916) of Portlaw, Co. Waterford, Ireland, pioneering folk song collector and musicologist. First broadcast by Waterford Local Radio (www.wlrfm.com) 7pm Sun 29 Dec 2013.Funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland with the Television Licence Fee. Sound design by Ronan Browne.
Tagged with “trad” (26)
Michael Coleman’s recordings from the early 1920’s set the standard for all the traditional Irish music that would follow. Coleman emigrated from County Sligo, Ireland, to New York City in 1914 at the age of 23. In New York, recording companies were eager to sell records to immigrants nostalgic for the music of home. Coleman became one of the first Irish musicians to be immortalized on the shellac of a 78 rpm record.
Coleman played a style of fiddle music particular to county Sligo. “The Sligo style is upbeat, it’s very rhythmic, uses a lot of ornamentation,” says Brian Conway, a musician from New York who plays Sligo-style fiddle.
It was a tradition passed down from mentor to student, not on paper. “The music is not played as it’s written on sheet music,” says Fiona Ritchie, producer of the public radio show The Thistle and Shamrock. “When you had no way of recording it, the only way to memorialize it was to put it on sheet music, and then it loses that sense of rhythm that can only be captured by hearing it.”
So when Coleman recorded the song “The Boys of the Lough,” he was crystallizing a tradition. “This was really a turning point for Irish music, because music could travel out from the communities where it had just been a natural, unremarkable part of life,” Ritchie says.
Ritchie credits recordings by Coleman and other Irish emigrants with saving traditional Celtic music. “Once you partnered up these early recordings with radio, you had the music coming back to its home again and reinvigorating the music,” she says. “So many of these communities had been depleted, with young folks going away and taking their music with them.”
Coleman was prodigiously talented, and thanks to those early recordings, his influence hasn’t waned. “Michael Coleman’s influence on traditional Irish music could be compared to Miles Davis in jazz, the Beatles in rock ‘n roll,” Conway says. “His influence is still felt today by those who may never have actually listened to Coleman play, but just through what they’ve learned from other people.”
Traditional or folk artists do their art whatever it is—quilting, singing, or dancing from pure love.
Often working full-time jobs and raising families, they still find the time to pursue their craft.
This is the case for Irish step dancer Kevin Doyle, the one-time grocery store manager and bus driver is also one of the best traditional step dancers in the Northeast.
This year, he’s been named a 2014 National Heritage Fellow by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Here’s his remarkable story.
Seamus Connolly is a teacher, scholar, and, as you heard, a remarkable irish fiddler. By his mid-twenties, Connolly had won the Irish National Fiddle Championship ten times, a feat that is still unequalled. Since emigrating to the United States in the 1970s, Seamus has performed at numerous festivals throughout the country, including the National Folk Festival, Smithsonian Folklife Festival, and with three of phenomenonally successful Masters of the Folk Violin tours organized by the National Council for the Traditional Arts.
Connolly’s recordings including his two solo CDs, Notes from my Mind and Here and There, as well as The Boston Edge with 2004 NEA National Heritage Fellow Joe Derrane and John McGann. Since 2004, Connolly has been the Sullivan Artist in Residence at Boston College’s Center for Irish Programs where he had previously directed the highly acclaimed Gaelic Roots Summer School and Festival. Not surprisingly he is the recipient of many awards—and , he’s added a national heritage fellowship—which is a lifetime honor presented to master folk and traditional artists by the national endowment for the arts.
I traveled to Maine to visit with Seamus when he was awarded the heritage fellowship. I began by asking Seamus to explain what makes Irish fiddling, Irish Fiddling?
The Gloaming is Martin Hayes, fiddle, Iarla Ó Lionáird, vocal, Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh, hardanger fiddle, Dennis Cahill, guitar and Thomas Bartlett, piano.
Live performances in The Music Show studio:
- Song 44: Trad arr. The Gloaming
- Sailors Bonnet Trad arr. The Gloaming
Iconic Irish folk group Altan has been bringing Donegal’s rich collection of Irish Gaelic language songs and instrumental styles to audiences around the world for more than 25 years.
Hear highlights of their recent performance at the Port Fairy Folk Festival in this week’s show.
Traditional Irish ensemble Lúnasa has been touring and performing for nearly 20 years, and they’re showing no signs of slowing down any time soon.
Their namesake is an old Gaelic festival called Lughnasadh, which marks the beginning of the August harvest season, and there’s a certain festive note in their ardent and lyrical tunes, along with a casual finesse.
Hear Lúnasa’s fine set recorded at the Port Fairy Folk Festival by RN’s live music team, on this week’s Live Set.
Mickey Finn’s life was short and had many of the elements of tragedy for Mickey drank himself to death.
In ‘No Cure for Mickey Finn’ Finn’s life is remembered by his family and his wife, Lena Ulmann.
In a sense Mickey Finn has not been forgotten, his image decorates many of the pubs in Galway to this day.
He was a fine musician. His music was improvised and flamboyant. He was photogenic and became a legendary character in the Galway of that era. He was sharp-tongued and quick-witted. He busked on the streets, became part of an emergent music scene centred around the Cellar Bar; one that spawned Mary Coughlan, Sean Tyrell and De Danann.
The short life and death of Mickey Finn are emblematic to that time, a time when Galway began to expand; when people drank with no notion of the price that would one day be paid. ’
No Cure for Mickey Finn’, tells his story, the relentless search for alcohol, through the memories of his family and his wife. But this is also a documentary about a time and place and about the symbiotic relationship between traditional music and alcohol and the consequent waste of this single life.
From Matt & Shannon Heaton, home of the Tune of the Month Podcast.
This month’s Tune of the Month goes out to the gang at Simple Gifts Folk College in PA. We had a great time participating at this fine annual event over the Memorial Day weekend. We worked on this e minor reel, "The Ashplant" at our Rhythm and Style for Melody Players workshop, and managed a great group rhythm by the end of the class. Thanks, Pennsylvania (Matt’s home state) for having such style.
Also, if you are seeking inspiration beyond the June tune, check out my friend Sue’s recent blog about practicing and flute playing. I think she sums things up better than I could: http://sueandstevelindsay.blogspot.com/2010/05/day-320-of-practice-lessons-from-lesson.html
The story of two Irish traditional music sessions; one in California, USA and one in Waterford, Ireland.
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