Created with a mission to explore current innovation in traditional music, the Tradition Now series…
From Wednesday October 26 to Sunday October 30, the National Concert Hall hosts the tenth instalment of the Tradition Now series, exploring innovation in traditional music. The latest edition will bring the acclaimed Northumbrian vocalists, The Unthanks; piping virtuoso, Paddy Keenan; Liam O’Flynn Award-winner, Louise Mulcahy; Clare-based singer-songwriter Luka Bloom; contemporary vocalist and visual artist, Ceara Conway; and Breton guitarist, Soïg Sibéril.
Since their album, Mount the Air, was acclaimed as the BBC Folk Album of the Year in 2015, the Unthanks have developed a depth and breadth to their creativity which has included appearances with a full symphony orchestra at the BBC Proms as well as a return to the minimalist unaccompanied singing of their roots for their album, Diversions Vol 5. The band have recorded fourteen albums so far, earning them a Mercury Prize nomination for The Bairns (2008) and two Mojo Folk Album of the Year awards, Cruel Sister (2005) and Here’s The Tender Coming (2011).
At the heart of the project are sisters, Rachel and Becky Unthank, and composer, pianist, producer and arranger, Adrian McNally (Rachel’s husband). The core line-up is completed by singer and fiddler, Niopha Keegan, and multi-instrumentalist and singer, Chris Price. The five are often complemented on tour by at least four other musicians – Lizzie Jones (trumpet), Becca Spencer (viola), Kath Ord (violin) and Martin Douglas (drums). Their Dublin appearance will include music from their forthcoming album, Sorrows Away.
Also on stage that night will be another pair of sisters, instrumentalists, Louise and Michelle Mulcahy. Double All-Ireland champion (uilleann pipes and flute) and the 2022 recipient of the Liam O’Flynn Award, Louise will be joined by multi-instrumentalist, Michelle Mulcahy, along with wire-strung harper, Paul Dooley Their performance will take inspiration from Liam O’Flynn’s incredible legacy – not only in the figurative sense but also quite literally since Louise was chosen by Na Píobairí Uilleann as the custodian of Liam O’Flynn’s set of pipes after his death.
The uilleann pipes take centre stage on Thursday October 27 when virtuoso player, Paddy Keenan, will be joined by fellow piper, Colleen Shanks; bouzouki player, Cyril O’Donoghue; and Éamonn de Barra on flute and tin-whistle. Paddy’s role as a founder member of the highly influential Bothy Band is well known. But his career after the band’s demise has been equally prestigious – performing as a soloist and a member of a variety of ensembles in partnership with many of the tradition’s leading instrumentalists. He won a TG4 Gradam Ceoil as Musician of the Year in 2002 as well as an Irish Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award.
While Paddy’s playing is firmly rooted in the tradition, his sense of adventure and his fondness for tasteful improvisation means that he will more than meet the criteria for creative innovation which is the hallmark of the Tradition Now series.
A full programme will also feature renowned singer-songwriter, Luka Bloom, who will showcase music from his latest album, Out of the Blue, as well as vocalist and contemporary artist, Ceara Conway, who will be joined by musicians Kevin Murphy (cello), Ultan O’Brien (viola, fiddle) and Seán Mac Erlaine (clarinet, electronics, piano) to perform tracks from her latest album, Caoin.
Breton guitarist, Soïg Sibéril, is known for his rich, dense, colourful style of playing. He will be joined by fellow Breton, bass player Alain Genty.
Treehouse is Ceol Connected’s unique big band music and puppetry performance for children ages 3-7 and their families. With mesmerising original music and songs, the wonderful interactive show by The Whistleberries will include the launch of the Song Tales presents Treehouse album.
Tradition Now is an initiative of the Arts Council and National Concert Hall and is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.
Tradition Now Schedule
Wednesday October 26 @ 8.30pm: Caoin by Ceara Conway Tickets €15
Thursday October 27 @ 8.30pm: Paddy Keenan and friends Tickets €15
Saturday October 29 @ 12pm and 2pm: Treehouse Tickets: Adult €12 Child €10, Under 2s Free, Family Ticket €37 (family of 4 with maximum 2 adults)
Saturday October 29 @ 8pm: Luka Bloom Tickets €22, €27.50
Sunday October 30 @ 6pm: Soïg Sibéril Tickets €15
Sunday October 30 @ 8pm: The Unthanks and Louise Mulcahy Tickets €25/€30