Lectures, Film Screenings and Tribute
Venue: Community Centre for all events.
Dé Sathairn 2ú Iúil - Saturday 2nd July
8.00 pm - Oscailt Oifigiúil/Official Opening by Patsy Hanly, renowned traditional flute player and TG4 Gradam Ceoil Award winner.
8.30 pm - Breandán Breathnach Memorial Lecture: When It All Started: The Traditional Music Landscape of 1973.
Presented by Dr Nicholas Carolan co-founder and first Director of the Irish Traditional Music Archive.
Dé Luain 4ú Iúil - Monday 4th July
3.00 pm - Lecture: From New France to La Belle Province: Québec’s Traditional Soundscapes.
Presented by Professor Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin, School of Irish Studies, Concordia University, Montréal.
The lecture will be followed by a screening of Gearóid's film 'The Lost Children of the Carricks'.
7 pm - Screening of documentary on the life and music of renowned fiddle player Seán Keane, formerly of Ceoltóirí Chualann and The Chieftains.
Dé Máirt 5ú Iúil - Tuesday 5th July 3.00 pm
A Tribute to Bobby Gardiner, master accordion player, tutor, TG4 Gradam Award WInner and author. Presented by Ciarán Ó Gealbháin, traditional singer, musician and lecturer in the Department of Folklore and Ethnology at University College Cork.
Dé Céadaoin 6ú Iúil - Wednesday 6th July 3.00 pm
Lecture: Bill Stapleton and the Irish Recording Company. Presented by Harry Bradshaw, former producer with RTÉ Radio and researcher in Irish traditional music.
Déardaoin 7ú Iúil - Thursday 7th July 2.30 pm
Lecture: Welsh Medieval Harp Music: Structures and Parallels with Irish Music Traditions. Presented by Dr Paul Dooley, an expert on the metal-strung Irish harp and researcher in harp tuning and string-making techniques, and Ceri Owen Jones, Welsh harper, singer and researcher in traditional medieval Welsh music.
Dé Sathairn 9ú Iúil - Saturday 9th July 2.30 pm
2.30 pm - Screening of Dark Horse on the Wind, a feature documentary on the life and songs of singer/songwriter Liam Weldon.
Presented by Myles O’ Reilly, director, Lorraine Kennedy, producer, and Colm Keating, assistant producer..
Breandán Breathnach Memorial Lecture
When It All Started: The Traditional Music Landscape of 1973.
Dr Nicholas Carolan
Nicholas Carolan is Director Emeritus of the Irish Traditional Music Archive of which he was founder-director 1987–2015. He is best known as researcher and presenter of the archival television series Come West along the Road on RTÉ and Siar an Bóthar on TG4 1994–2014.
The Willie Clancy Summer School began in 1973 at a pivotal time in Irish traditional music. The long-running 'ballad boom' had wound down and there was an upsurge in the playing of instrumental music. A dance revival was in the future. Interest in the history and social contexts of the music was increasing. New organisations were being set up, the WCSS among them. Nicholas Carolan will outline the musical situation of the time and examine the influential template established by the School.
This lecture will be presented on Saturday 2nd July at 8.30 pm.
Dr Nicholas Carolan
From New France to La Belle Province: Québec’s Traditional Soundscapes.
Professor Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin
An award-winning musician, ethnomusicologist and cultural historian, Professor Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin held the Jefferson Smurfit Chair of Irish Studies and was Professor of Music at the University of Missouri-St. Louis from 2000 until 2009. Since then, he has been the inaugural holder of the bilingual Johnson Chair in Québec and Canadian Irish Studies at Concordia University in Montréal. Funded by the Québec government, his research investigates Irish cultural memory, lifeworlds and soundscapes in Québec since the fall of New France. Author of the best-selling Short History of Irish Traditional Music (Dublin, O’Brien Press, 2017), as well as chapters, recordings and articles on Irish music and folklife, his Flowing Tides: History and Memory in an Irish Soundscape was published by Oxford University Press in 2016. He is the director of Lost Children of the Carricks, a trilingual film that explores the Great Irish Famine diaspora in Québec.
The Franco-Canadian fiddler, Jean Carignan (1916-1988) frequently claimed that he played music in three languages—Québécois, Irish and Scottish. By far the most celebrated exponent of Québec’s traditional soundscape, Carignan was keenly aware of the multicultural process that shaped his music. Exploring a palette of historical and ethnomusicological evidence, this lecture will showcase Québec’s eclectic soundscape - from French colonial encounters with First Nation musicians to the arrival of successive waves of immigrant traditions from Oceanic Europe, and the secondary diaspora of Québécois music makers to ‘Les Petits Canadas’ in the milling towns of New England in the half century before World War I. Particular attention will be given to the renaissance of traditional music in Québec since the Quiet Revolution of the 1960s and its subsequent rise to global prominence.
This lecture will be presented on Monday 4th July at 3.00 pm.
Prof Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin
Lost Children of the Carricks | Defying the Great Irish Famine to Create a Canadian Legacy
Written and directed by Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin
Produced by Cecilia McDonnell, Celtic Crossing Productions
Lost Children of the Carricks is a timeless story of emigration—from tragedy and exodus to acceptance and integration in the New World. Filmed on location in Canada and in Ireland, the film traces the horrific journey of Patrick Kaveney, Sarah MacDonald and their six children from Keash in south Sligo to Québec’s Gaspé peninsula, where their ill-fated coffin ship the Carricks sunk in May 1847. It follows Québécois-Irish historian, Georges Kavanagh as he walks in the footsteps of his grandfather’s grandfather, through the landmarks and seamarks of the Carricks tragedy and finally his return home down a narrow country road to his ancestral village to meet cousins who thought their relatives had all perished in the wreck of the Carricks during the blackest year of Ireland’s Great Famine. A trilingual film, Lost Children of the Carricks is narrated by Irish poet, Vincent Woods and features musicians and singers from Ireland and Canada—among them, Áine Meenaghan, Mícheál Ó hAlmhain, Pierre Schryer, Kate Bevan-Baker and Joan Hanrahan.
The film will be presented by the director, Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin on Monday, July 4 at 4.00 pm
Screening of a documentary on the life and music of renowned fiddle player
The film will be screened at 7pm on Monday 4th July. More information will be published in due course
Sean Keane playing at Willie Clancy's Graveside, July 2011.
Photo: Tony Kearns
Tribute to master accordion player Bobby Gardiner
Bobby Gardiner playing in a session on Miltown Malbay's main street, July 1995.
Photo: Tony Kearns
Bobby Gardiner was born in Aughdarra, Lisdoonvarna, the Burren area of County Clare. His mother, Dilly, played a German two- row concertina and from her he learned his first tune – the fling What the devil ails you? His brother introduced him to a new Hohner two-row button accordion and after that, Bobby bought a grey Paolo Soprani accordion. At the age of 15, he was asked to join the Kilfenora Céilí Band. In 1957 he joined Malachy Sweeney's Céilí Band from Armagh and travelled throughout Ireland as a professional musician.
In 1960, Bobby followed his brother Mike and sister Mary to New Haven, Connecticut. During the day he worked as a mechanic on the New York Railway while playing for dances with the likes of Paddy Killoran, Joe Cooley, Ed Reavey and Joe Derrane as well as doing some session work for Colonial Records. His solo recording career began when Justus O'Byrne De Witt heard him on the Jack Wade Ceili Band record and contacted him to record his first LP, "Memories of Clare" which was one of the first solo LPs by an Irish button accordion player. He also recorded with Paddy Killoran. The LP sold so well that he was asked back to do more recordings. In 1963 Bobby was drafted into the US Army and was stationed at Fort Dix in New Jersey. On his weekends off, he would visit the Catskill Mountains in New York where he played with renowned musicians such as Joe Cooley, Sean McGlynn and Andy McGann.
In 1970 he returned to Ireland with his young family and they settled in Burncourt, a small village in south Tipperary near the town of Cahir. All his children are accomplished musicians, carrying on the Irish music tradition, playing melodeon, whistles and concertina.
Over the years Gardiner proceeded to make further recordings, most notably "The Master's Choice" and "The Clare Shout". Gardiner has also travelled extensively with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann and is a member of the Brú Ború Troupe in Cashel, Co. Tipperary, who have also toured in China as well as Japan, Spain, Canada and the US. He is an active accordion teacher in Tipperary, Waterford and Limerick. He was recruited by the pianist Micheal Ó Súilleabháin to the Music Department in University College Cork where he has been teaching traditional music for the last 25 years.
This tribute will be presented on Monday 4th July at 3.00 pm. and will feature contributions from Bobby's many friends from the Irish traditional music world.
Bill Stapleton and the Irish Recording Company.
Harry Bradshaw worked as a radio producer, record producer, sound engineer in RTÉ radio and has contributed to Irish traditional music studies as a researcher and lecturer. He produced many noted Irish traditional music programmes, like The Long Note and The Irish Phonograph. Other programmes with which he was involved were Folkland, Music of the People and An Droichead Beo. He has also researched traditional musicians who recorded Irish music in America in the 1920s.
Kilkenny-born Bill Stapleton (1921 – 1983) opened one of the first recording studios in Dublin in 1947 where he began his ambitious project to create the first Irish-owned record label. For the label he recorded many of the leading musicians of the time: fiddle players, uilleann pipers, accordion players and céilí bands.
This lecture will be presented on Wednesday 6th July at 3.00 pm.
Welsh Medieval Harp Music: Structures and Parallels with Irish Music Traditions.
Paul Dooley and Ceri Owen-Jones
Paul Dooley is a leading exponent of the Irish harp in its historical form – a metal-strung harp played with fingernails. He studied the construction of medieval Irish harps in Dublin during the early 1980s. He has built several instruments and began a performing career on the harp in 1986. His repertoire consists mainly of traditional Irish dance music, which has been learned for the most part from players of other traditional instruments – flute, fiddle, pipes. This music presents a considerable challenge for any type of harp and consequently has not been explored to any great extent on the metal-strung harp. Paul has also spent the past two decades studying the music of the Robert ap Huw manuscript, the oldest collection of harp music in existence. His recent research has focused on tuning and string-making techniques. He holds a PhD from the University of Limerick; the title of his thesis is ‘Harp Tuning Practice in Medieval Ireland and Wales’.
Welsh harper and singer Ceri Owen-Jones initially learnt from his Welsh-speaking father. Raised in Canada, he returned home to West Wales to play traditional Welsh music and further his interest in Welsh medieval music. He studies telyn deires (Welsh triple-harp) with Llio Rhydderch, pre eminent harper and holder of two harp lineages. Ceri performs with Llio and the Telynwyr and is working with Llio to catalogue her personal music archive and record her histories. He plays with Deuair and Carreg Bica, teaches, and has made music for film, storytelling and dance. Ceri’s long-term project - researching and compiling an edition of eighteenth-century traditional Welsh music - will also become a musical biography of song-collector visionary, Iolo Morganwg. Elsa Davies plays fiddle and crwth with Ceri Owen-Jones as Deuair and plays with Carreg Bica for twmpathe (social dances). She researches traditional Welsh music, teaches, and promotes folk arts in her community. Deuair makes music with two voices, fiddle and harp to explore the sounds of traditional Welsh idiom and instrumentation. Their research and performance brings to life rare historical material from a thousand years of written and unwritten music-making in Wales. Deuair is Welsh for ‘two words’ and is an old Welsh poetic form and measure.
Medieval writers inform us that the Celtic nations once shared a common musical language. This lecture will examine some remnants of this through the Welsh medieval harp music of the Robert ap Huw and Iolo Morganwg manuscripts. This music uses a variety of compositional techniques and chordal structures, including the occasional use of a drone note. How these interact will be demonstrated on harps and crwth. Precisely notated medieval harp finger movements, and their application to traditional harp playing, will be discussed using harps strung with different materials - gut, wire, horsehair - to show how their unique sounds and characteristics can impact the tradition. With the exception of the iconic Trinity College harp, nothing has survived of the medieval Irish harp tradition. In contrast, the codification of its Welsh counterpart is to a large degree preserved in a wealth of manuscript sources dating from 1495 onwards. Some parallels between underlying harmonic structures in Irish traditional dance music, and surviving Welsh compositions, will be explored, and perhaps shed some light on the evolution of the Irish tradition.
This lecture will be presented on Thursday 7th July at 2.30 pm.
Photo: Tony Kearns
Elsa Davies and Ceri Owen-Jones
Photo: Felix Cannadam
Screening of Dark Horse on the Wind, a feature documentary on the life and songs of singer/songwriter Liam Weldon.
Liam Weldon was a strong advocate for oral tradition and notoriously wary of self-promotion. He left little behind in the way of recordings, but his legacy is more alive today than ever, flourishing in a new generation of folk singers. Comprising recently discovered archive footage, stories from family, friends and admirers, and with a soundtrack by Damien Dempsey, Radie Peat (Lankum), Lisa O ‘Neill, Daoiri Farrell and many more, the film is an insightful investigation into the man and his songs.
His songs and lyrics have left a vast footprint in the consciousness of the Irish diaspora.
The film will be presented by Myles O’Reilly, director, Lorraine Kennedy, producer, and Colm Keating, assistant producer, on Saturday 9th July at 2.30 pm.
Photo: Colm Keating
Myles O’Reilly is a musician, composer, and film maker. Since he began in 2010, Myles has filmed, directed and edited over 100 music videos and 20 documentaries of Irish musicians at home and abroad, including Glen Hansard, Imelda May, Lisa O’Neill, Sinéad O’Connor, Ye Vagabonds and many others. In 2017 Myles created, with Donal Dineen, “This Ain’t No Disco”, a web series of videos that gives vital exposure to Ireland’s emerging folk and indie musicians.
In 2019, work started, in collaboration with Lorraine Kennedy and Colm Keating, on Dark Horse On The Wind, the life and songs of the late Dublin balladeer Liam Weldon. The film was completed in early 2022 and premiered at the Dublin International Film Festival in March 2022.
Lorraine Kennedy has worked in the Newspaper Industry all her working life. In the last number of years she has concentrated on producing films on local social issues. She was executive producer on the award winning 2015 documentary 'Fortune's Wheel'. Working with director Joe Lee and Bill Whelan they brought the story of Ireland’s lion tamer to audiences across Ireland, England, and the US. In 2018 she produced a documentary 'Patients of Cannabis', a film documentary detailing the lives of several people with very serious illnesses.
In 2019, she fulfilled the dream of creating a documentary on the life and songs of Liam Weldon.
Colm Keating is a retired Civil Servant, but remains an active stills photographer, working largely in the traditional singing and music traditions. He is a former Producer of Community Television programmes in Ballyfermot.
Colm has been a personal friend of Nellie and Liam Weldon since the 1970s. As assistant producer, Colm brought his personal knowledge of Liam, his family, and friends to this documentary.