fiddle, tin whistle, and bodhran, painting by Pam O'Connell.

The Sight of Sound: Traditional Music in Irish Art

Fintan Vallely gave the 2018 Breandán Breathnach Memorial lecture on 7 July 2018 on the opening night of Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy, Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare. Venue: The Community Hall. A century and a half ago, the Young Irelander Thomas Davis urged that the plain people of Ireland and their cultural practices deserved to be represented in painting and sculpture; he regarded Art as: “biography, history and topography taught through the eye”. (more…)
Companach CD Cover

Double CD of Compánach Concert Released

Compánach – Music from all the counties of Ireland

Irish-traditional tunes, song and dance performed on acoustic instruments, with Gaelic songs, ballads in English, and old-style percussive step-dance.

Two hours of music, song and dance named for each of the counties of nineteenth-century Ireland, music of the island from the pre-electric age. Fifteen different tune-types are played in thirty sets of solos, duets and trios, built out to tremendous richness by uilleann pipes drones, with rhythm marked in dance steps and historic tambourine. Older song-airs and laments are set alongside local jigs, reels and hornpipes, popular dance-forms like quickstep and barndance, continental rhythms polka and mazurka, and Scottish ‘highlands’. The performers are Tiarnán Ó Duinnchinn on uilleann pipes; Gerry O’Connor, fiddle; Fintan Vallely, concert flute; Sibéal Davitt, old-style, hard-shoe step dance; and singers Karan Casey, Máire Ní Choilm, Róisín Chambers, Maurice Leyden, Stephanie Makem, and Roisín White. (more…)

The Compánach Concert

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 120-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. (more…)


Comment on EMIR, The Encyclopedia of Music in Ireland

EMIR information

A detailed review of this book was done for the February, 2013 edition of The Living Tradition magazine. An interview was also done for RTÉ 1 radio’s Arts Show. In order to understand it better it was necessary not just to read content, but to have statistics upon which to base comment. These were extracted in the traditional (journalistic) manner with a ruler and an abacus. Data which has appeared in print in The Living Tradition, February, 2013, is not included here now, but will be posted next month. The RTÉ radio programme is worth listening to online – on the RTÉ player. Prof. Mícheál Súilleabháin also reviewed the EMIR in The Irish Times, on Nov. 30th, 2013, and the following information was posted on the paper’s online edition. John Moulden has reviewed it too for An Píobaire, journal of Na Píobairí Uilleann. (more…)

Release of Companion as an eBook

The 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. (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. (more…)

Companion selected as 11th out of 7,000 in US books rating

Companion to Irish Traditional Music 2 cover

The Companion to Irish Traditional Music has been awarded a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title (OAT) for 2012.

Coinciding with this award is the Companion’s release on Friday, 1st February as an ebook:

Full information on the Companion’s contents is on the page (more…)