The appointment of Liam O’Connor as the new Director of the Irish Traditional Music Archive (ITMA) has met with universal approval in the traditional music ‘community.’
Traditional music and dance is integral to Nic Gareiss’ life. “It is a mode of being in the world,” he says. Because the culture is so crucial to him, he is driven to question its more arbitrary conventions.
Though the subject of our conversation was supposed to be his two most recent projects, it quickly developed into a wide-ranging engagement coloured by experiences and observations drawn from a lifetime in music.
This year marks the centenary of the birth of Séamus Ennis, consummate uilleann piper, and prodigious collector of music, songs and folklore.
Shut up and play! Do elements of traditional/folk music discourage diversity?
Brian (J.B.) Vallely could be genuinely said to be a Renaissance man – since the founder of the Armagh Pipers Club is, of course, also one of Ireland’s foremost painters and a stalwart of the Armagh Athletics Club.
From the Piedmont to Knockcroghery
Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin – musician, composer, academic and artist – died recently after a long illness. Like many musicians before him, he has left a wonderful catalogue of audio and video recordings of his inspired performances of both traditional airs and new compositions. But, uniquely his legacy includes the realisation of his panoramic cultural vision in the form of the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance on the campus of the University of Limerick.
Alec Finn, one of the twin pillars at the heart of the acclaimed traditional group, De Danann, died in November at the age of 74. A multi-instrumentalist who was best known for his prowess on the bouzouki, Alec made a significant contribution to the development of traditional music.
The master fiddle-player, Tommy Peoples, died prematurely in August at the age of 69. One of the most influential artists in his field as well as a prolific composer of music in the traditional style, Quiet-spoken and modest, Tommy’s genuine humility belied a prodigious talent.