A Complete Guide to Learning the Irish Flute

The Irish Flute by Fintan VallelyMusic and tunes for the wooden concert flute · New flute tutor by Fintan Vallely

Including the basics of playing traditional music and a selection of over 100 tunes for all instruments.

A unique visual and descriptive ‘method’ for all levels of learning and playing on the keyed and unkeyed ‘Irish’ wooden flutes. Tried and tested, this is a greatly expanded and improved update of the very first Irish flute tutor which was published in 1986. Its 136 pages are packed with background information and suitable for all from the most basic to the most advanced levels. The book covers breathing and ornamentation techniques, has a hundred and five notated tunes and a companion CDs with 180 tracks of tuition, ornamentation and music examples. This ‘method’ is perfectly suited too to the tin whistle.
The book was launched on Wednesday, 27th November, 2013, at the Harcourt Hotel, Dublin. [Read more…]

The Compánach concert

comPOSTERirishNoNames A fast-moving, audio-visual recital of Traditional Irish music, song and dance by Gerry O’Connor, Roisín Chambers, Fintan Vallely, Sibéal Davitt and Tiarnán Ó  Duinnchín who perform in front of a changing, narrative backdrop of large-screen photographs by Jacques Nutan. The 90-minute show expresses the artistic depth, finesse and variety of the music as described in the new encyclopedia Companion to Irish Traditional Music. Based on the format of the book, the concert covers all Irish counties and regions, demonstrating hallmark styles and repertoire. For students of the music and of Irish culture this is a wonderful melodic display of information; for aficionados it is an exceptionally vibrant presentation of solo and group playing, sean-nós step-dance and singing.

A work in progress, this had an inaugural performance at the major French summer school of Irish music in Tocane, summer 2012. It was staged in its present form at Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris, and at The Leuven Institute for Ireland, Leuven, Belgium in December, 2013, and at Ranelagh Arts Festival, Dublin, September 2014. It was performed at Aras Chronáin, Clondalkin, and at the From the Mountains to the Sea literary festival at Dún Laoghiare, Co. Dublin in March, 2015. Several performances are upcoming (see EVENTS).

Full details are on the Compánach brochure (Irish and English) [Read more…]

China meets Ireland – Traditional and new Irish and Chinese music

China Meets Ireland Concert 2014 - PosterChina Meets Ireland is an inter-cultural programme presenting two poles of Chinese and Irish musics featuring traditional Chinese music from a thousand year tradition and new music from China written in the past 10 years. Ireland’s rich heritage of traditional music is presented with old airs and dance tunes on Fiddle and Flute by Gerry O’Connor and Fintan Vallely, Irish Harp with Annemarie O’Farrell, and John Feely, Guitar.

New Irish music is represented by John Buckley’s work I Am Wind On Sea for solo voice, and a selection from A GIRL by Seoirse Bodley with poetry by Brendan Kennelly.

A new work by the Chinese composer Zhao Xi using similar ancient Chinese and old Irish poetry, voice, piano and Gu Zheng will be premiered.

Three concerts have been performed to date, in 2014, at St. Ann´s Church, Dawson St. Dublin, St. Patrick´s Cathedral, Dublin, and Birr Castle, Co. Offaly.

Publication of Crosbhealach an Cheoil – Crossroads Conference (2003) papers

Crosbhealach an Cheoil - Crossroads Conference - Fintan VallelyTraditional music is soundly established in Ireland as a ‘national’ music with a cross-class goodwill that sees large numbers of young people playing it as their music of choice. It is guided by enthusiastic idealists who run week-to-week teaching and seasonal music schools;  they make things happen by belief, commitment, foresight, planning and persistence. Their work is paralleled by equally dedicated people in Scotland, England, Europe, Scandinavia and North America, all of whom are linked to Ireland by performance and touring in the one disparate, global community of taste. Part of this picture too is the university-level study of Traditional music in Ireland and Britain, out of which comes much valuable research and writing. The Crosbhealach/Crossroads conferences set out to understand all of this better, and this second volume of papers is a diverse range of voices which assess aesthetic, practical and academic aspects of formal and informal Traditional music learning. The thirty-four essays in this volume are a cogent contribution to Irish Studies knowledge, and are of particular relevance to education, State agencies and the media. They should add too to the confidence of those involved in performance and promotion, for they show Traditional music internationally as alive and engaged – a challenging, satisfying contemporary music of the twenty-first century. [Read more…]

Release of Companion as an eBook

Companion to Irish Traditional Music 2 coverThe Companion to Irish Traditional Music is now available in digital formats. On February 1st 2013 it was released as an ebook on Kindle and on iBooks. It is also available to libraries on-line through the Project Muse UPCC collection, as part of a greater collection, or, later in 2013 as an individual title; libraries can also get access from CHOICE website by subscription.

This is a landmark for a reference publication dedicated to Irish music, and opens up a huge new potential for the encyclopedia’s use in education in particular. The online formats make it possible for schools and colleges to economically manage productive access to the book’s huge volume of data: searches for places, names, music or instrument references, quoting information or gathering together linked but diffuse information on such as dance or song – as part of project and music programme research. [Read more…]

Prestige ranking for Companion

The Companion to Irish Traditional Music has been ranked 11th in a shortlist of 644 ‘Outstanding Academic Titles’ (OAT) chosen by a key US librarians’ resource, Choice Reviews Online. The shortlist was selected from a total of c. 7,000 academic reviews of books in all subject areas which were themselves chosen by Choice Reviews for critical comment during 2012 out of more than 25,000 submitted books. This means that the Companion is in the top 3% of these 25,000 titles. This is a great achievement for the Companion’s publisher, Cork University Press and indeed for a book dedicated to Irish Traditional music, and for its contributors. [Read more…]