Traditional Irish Music
Last Wednesday, I recorded some of my own compositions for the well known music programme, Céili House, on national radio station RTÉ Radio 1, presented by Stockton's Wing banjo player Kieran Hanrahan. Playing with me on the night were my brothers Conor and Donal as we played two sets from my CD "The Waylaid Man" and I also had an enjoyable chat with Kieran, explaining the concept of the album and my influences in composing. The one hour programme was arranged mainly to showcase music from another great local project Our Dear Dark Mountain with the Sky Over It excellently put together by Sean McElwain and I performed with Sean and the lads for some of these sets also.
It's great to be involved in showcasing both the new and the old music of the area side by side in what should go to show the importance of preservation of a great old musical cache alongside the fact that a massive part of the process of the traditional art form is the assimilation of new tunes into it in an ongoing organic process based on both musical tastes and social constructs.
Sometimes we play traditional tunes assuming that they were always there (hence traditional) whereas at one time or another every tune was new and being championed into the tradition by some player in the community.
This, I think is one of the most interesting dualities of traditional Irish music and reaffirms the importance of the social and the personal in music (between people and also between the musician and the tune itself).
I had a highly enjoyable evening, finishing off with an interesting conversation with the producer and piper Peter Browne about such people as Seamus Ennis and his archival recording work and also David Attenborough's great work in the furtherance of folk music.
The programme will be aired nationally on Saturday, May 9th at 9 pm on RTE Radio 1 so tune in to hear a great hours music and hopefully both my sets will make it into the final edit!
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