Monday, 31 May 2010

Irish Music Body Sues O2 and 3 Ireland Over File Sharing

Rally in Stockholm, Sweden, in support of file...Image via Wikipedia
The Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA) has filed legal action against O2 and 3 Ireland seeking to force them to disconnect subscribers it alleges are sharing copyrighted content, reports the Irish Times newspaper.

The IMRA says that it has engaged in talks with other, unspecified providers regarding the implimentation of a "three strikes" rule. Irish ISP Eircom launched a three-month pilot program earlier this month that will see those who share copyrighted files cut off from their Internet service after a third warning is ignored. The ISP only launched the trial after it was also sued by the IRMA.

"O2 can confirm that it has been served with a plenary summons by solicitors acting on behalf of record labels EMI, Warner, Universal and Sony," the company said in a statement. "O2 is currently reviewing the issue, but does not believe it is legally liable in relation to illegal filesharing activities that any of its customers might seek to engage in."

Hutchison 3G Ireland confirmed it had received legal papers but said it was too early to comment further.
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Thursday, 27 May 2010

Volcanic Ash Replaced By Moving Cloud In Clare

Forget the volcano in Iceland as the town of Ennis erupts with Music, Song and Dance from 23rd to 31st May for the Fleadh Nua.

The only “Moving Cloud” that Met Éireann and Michael O’Leary will have to worry about is the reel of the same name as the festival returns to the country’s Traditional Music Capital.

With a programme of over 60 events - many of which are free – Fleadh Nua is a family friendly festival with the emphasis on entertainment and enjoyment. Highlights of this year’s Fleadh include:

CELEBRITY CONCERT – THE SEVENTIES REVISITED
Ennis was a hive of traditional music activity in the Seventies with the result that Fleadh Nua benefitted greatly from the sterling efforts of local families – both parents and children - like the Hanrahans, the Murrays, the Roches, the Cotters, the McMahons and the Nugents from Barefield. When Fleadh Nua first came to the town back in 1974, the Aos Óg Concert was one of the highlights – as it continues to be to the present day. Consequently, it is our privilege and pleasure to welcome some of these artistes back to the Fleadh for this year’s Celebrity Concert.

The Concert line-up includes Kieran and Mike Hanrahan, Paul Roche and Helen Murray, Vincent McMahon, Geraldine and Eamonn Cotter, Mary and Josephine Nugent, Cyril O’Donoghue and Séamus McMahon amongst others. A most welcome addition to the line-up is Concertina Maestro, Noel Hill who will be accompanied by his daughter, Aisling on the night. Aos Óg has always prided itself on bringing outside acts to the attention of audiences drawn in the main from County Clare.

Noted Piper, Eoin Ó Riabhaigh, Flute Player, Conal Ó Gráda and Colm Murphy on the Bodhrán were amongst the earliest performers to subject themselves to the scrutiny of a discerning Clare Audience. They obviously passed muster as their musical careers have gone onto bigger and better things. Join Eoin, Conal and Colm as they retrace their journey to Ennis over 30 years ago as they perform at the Celebrity Concert

RICHES OF CLARE FREE LUNCHTIME CONCERT SERIES
Fleadh Nua is delighted to host the Riches of Clare series of Free Lunchtime Concerts in association with Clare County Council Arts Office. The County Museum is the august venue for the concerts which will run from Monday, 24th May to Thursday, 28th May. The line up is a veritable who’s who of Traditional Musicians. First up are Seamus McMahon, Tim Collins, Dessie Mulkere and Jim Corry. Tuesday sees Niamh O’Dea, Michael Queally, Padraig Rynne and Tommy Carew take centre stage.

Caoilfhionn Ní Fhrighil, Damien O’Reilly, AnneMarie Rynne and Eimear Howley perform for the Wednesday concert. The final concert features Paul Brock, Manus Maguire, Enda Scahill and Denis Carey. Further information is available on www.richesofclare.com

“LAST NIGHT AS I LAY DREAMING”

Fleadh Nua meets Hollywood with the screening of “Last Night As I Lay Dreaming” – a not to be missed documentary on the life and times of Robbie McMahon. The contribution made by the Spancilhill native to the world of singing down through the years, both through his own compositions and his unique interpretation of traditional songs, is immense.

This film, directed by Ray Conway, features interviews with those who have known Robbie over the years as well as contributions that set his achievements in a wider context, highlighting the important role the singer and songwriter has traditionally played in their local communities, recording events and keeping that memory alive for future generations. Contributors include Grammy Nominee Maura O’Connell, Kieran Hanrahan and poignantly, Gary McMahon and Dermot O’Brien both of whom have passed away since being filmed. As well as being supported by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, ‘Last Night As I Lay Dreaming’ received funding from the Arts Office of Clare County Council, through its Traditional Music Initiative supported by the Arts Council.

THE FLEADH FRINGE

Every serious festival these days seems to run a number of fringe events and Fleadh Nua is no different. The Bríd O’Donohue Music School is based in Miltown Malbay and will be showcasing their talents in a Concert featuring performances by the School’s Grúpa Cheoil, Céilí Bands, Tin Whistle and Flute Groups. Uilleann Piper, Séamus Ó Rocháin and Vincent Griffin on Fiddle will also join Bríd on the night. Glór also plays host to late night gigs for Lúnasa and for Guidewires on. See www.glor.ie for details. John Spillane visits Patrick’s Bar in the Market as part of the CeolÓlta Sessions – more information is available on www.ceololta.com.

As always Fleadh Nua has something for everyone - Céilithe, Music and Set Dancing Workshops, Street Entertainment, Traditional Singing Sessions, Storytelling, Oíche Ghaelach, Seisiún Launch, Ciorcal Cainte, Corofin Teach Ceoil Tribute, A Guided Walking Tour, The National Dancing Championships, Senior And Junior Cabaret Shows, “The Banjo Strikes Back” – a dedicated Banjo/Mandolin/Guitar Session, Pub Music Trail, and Street Music Trail and Cupán Ceoil – a series of Café Music Sessions. And that is only the organised part of the programme! A myriad of sessions both indoors and out ensures that the narrow, medieval streets of Ennis will resound with Traditional Music, Song and Dance throughout the Festival.

See full event details at www.fleadhnua.com

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It's A Dogs Life For Clare Singer

The american rapper Snoop Dogg live at BudapestImage via Wikipedia

Ruan musician Sharon Shannon's dogs have become a major Internet sensation across the world.

The Co Clare star's floppy-eared pets feature on a new rap-style video by promising Miltown Malbay singer Sean Og.

Lily, Daisy and Benji are shown strumming a banjo and playing a fiddle on the song, I Still Love You Without Your Car.

In other hilarious scenes for the video, the 'Snoop Dogg' wannabes are shown driving a car with cigars in their mouths.

The YouTube clip, which has been viewed by more than 18,000 fans, was shot around Galway city centre and its harbour area.

Leaving Cert student Sean Og (17) dons a rapper-style hoodie and baseball cap while doing his vocals in the footage.

Sharon's accordion playing is heard on the video and fiddle-player Dessie O’Halloran from Inishboffin also collaborated.

Sean Og is going on a nationwide tour this summer. Hundreds of fans are also downloading the quirky song from iTunes.

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An Introduction to Irish Music

Session in Mulligans Irish Music Bar, Amsterda...Image via Wikipedia

An Introduction to Irish Music


Powerpoint presentation, giving a brief introduction to Irish music. This presentation was used as the basis for a lecture given by Tradschool in late 2009.

An introduction to Irish Traditional Music.

- The Music
- Transmission of Irish music
- Social and cultural context of Irish Music
- Tradition vs. Innovation
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Thursday, 20 May 2010

Fleadh Nua

Ennis, County Clare, IrelandImage via Wikipedia

The annual Fleadh Nua will bring together concerts, céilithe, music, song and dancing workshops, street entertainment, and pageants/parades in Ennis next weekend.

The festivities will commence on Sunday 23rd May at 8pm with the official opening followed by Corofin Teach Ceoil Tribute Concert and the Fleadh Club in Cois na hAbhna, Ennis. Monday 24th May until Thursday 27th May will feature similar activities. Each day will begin at 11am with Ciorcal Comhrá. At 1pm, there will be a lunchtime concerts (Riches of Clare) in the County Museum. The Old Ground Hotel will host Foinn Seisiúns with Frank Custy at 4pm. At 9pm the Fleadh Club will take place in Cois na hAbhna.

Additional weekday activities include: Monday 24th May at 7:30pm there will be an Oíche Ghaelach in Cois na hAbhna. On Wednesday Dick O’Connell will host a Set Dancing Class at 9pm in the Library Bar. Thursday will see pub sessions in various venues in Ennis commencing at 10pm.

Weekend festivities will kick off on Friday at 11am with Ciorcal Comhrá. At 1pm, there will be a Lunchtime session in the County Museum. That evening at 8pm, there will be Set Dancing Workshop and also Aos Óg Concert in Glór, followed by music at 9:30pm with the singers club. At 10pm, céili with the Abbey Céili Band at Cois na hAbhna. Lúnasa will appear in concert in Glór at 11:30pm in conjunction with pub music sessions in various pubs.

Saturday will start at 11:30am with the Film “Last night as I Lay Dreaming” in Danlann an Chláir. The film will be shown again at 14:30pm. Throughout the day, there will be fun filled family entertainment on the streets from 12pm in conjunction with Comórtas Rince Náisiúnta held in Cois na hAbhna. At 12:30pm in the Holy Family Hall, Scoraíocht agus Plearacha will be taking place. From 1pm, Eddie Lenihan will be storytelling in the Old Ground Hotel. At 2pm, there will be set dancing workshops, followed by Irish for beginners with Clár as Gaeilge in the Rowan Tree Hostel. From 3pm, the singers club will perform traditional Irish songs.

The evening events will start with a Celebrity Concert in Glór at 8pm. The Singers Club will perform again at 9:30pm, followed by a céili with the talented Kilkenora Céili Band in Cois na hAbhna. To close the evening Glór will host a Late Night Party with “Guidewires” and also pub music sessions in various venues.

Sunday’s Fleadh activities will commence at 10:30am with Aifreann Gaeilge in Ard Eaglais na hInse (Ennis Cathedral). At 12pm there will be a guided walking tour of Ennis meeting at Temple Gate Plaza. The launch of the Seisiún 2010 will take place at 12:30pm at The Old Ground Hotel, followed by storytelling at 1pm with Eddie Lenihan. In the town centre there will be street entertainment from 2pm. At 4pm in the market, the Open Air Céili with the talented Five Counties Céili Band will take place. For evening entertainment, the Singers Club will perform at 9:30pm followed by a Céili with Matt Cunnigham Céili Band in Cois na hAbhna alongside pub music sessions in various pubs in Ennis.

To close the festivities, Monday 31st at 11am, a Farewell Session will take place in Queen’s Hotel Bar followed by a Céili with star of Munster. The Fleadh Nua will culminate with a Céili with The Four Courts Céili Band in Cois na hAbhna at 9:30pm.

For tickets or information on any of these activities, contact the Fleadh Nua Office at the County Museum on 065 6824276 or visit the website www.fleadhnua.com. Opening hours are from 11am-5pm, Monday to Saturday.

For more see www.fleadhnua.com

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Fleadh Nua Website

River Fergus going through Ennis.Image via Wikipedia

Fleadh Nua Website

There are many Irish traditional festivals organised throughout the summer months but there are few people who will dispute that Fleadh Nua which started in Dublin in 1970, is the forerunner of them all. The concept of bringing together concerts, céilithe, music, song and dancing workshops, street entertainment, pageants/parades and much more was innovative in its time. However, it's still a winning formula today as evidenced by the thousands of visitors who flock to the festival every May for a week of unsurpassed traditional entertainment.
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Wednesday, 19 May 2010

A new day dawns for Lúnasa

Cover of "Otherworld"Cover of Otherworld

By Kevin McGuire

IRISH TRAD ensemble Lúnasa have been touring for more than 14 years and are poised to release their seventh studio album Lá Nua through their own Lúnasa Records.

Named after the Celtic harvest of Lughnasa, they first started playing together when fiddle player Sean Smyth, bassist Trevor Hutchinson, and guitarist Donogh Hennessy toured Scandinavia in 1996.

They reconvened in Ireland and broadened their sound by recruiting John McSherry on uilleann pipes and Michael McGoldrick on flute/whistle. In 1998 they released their eponymous debut album to critical acclaim. Allmusic Guide wrote :“Lúnasa’s rhythmic daring and the prominent use of Trevor Hutchinson’s string bass mean the band sounds significantly different from its more trad-oriented contemporaries.”

The band were re-defining Irish traditional music by pushing it in to the melting pot of bluegrass, rhythm‘n’roots, and jazz.

After McGoldrick left to pursue other musical avenues the band called upon flute, tin whistle, and bodhran player Kevin Crawford to join their ranks for an Australian tour. Born in Birmingham to Co Clare parents Kevin returned to Miltown Malbay in the late 1980s.

“Even though I was brought up in England all the people I mixed with were Irish,” Crawford says. “When I came over here to live in 1989 whatever traces of a West Clare accent I had helped me slot straight in.”

The band signed to American independent label Green Linnet Records and this placed them alongside an impressive roster of Irish, Breton, Scottish, Galician, and American musicians. They released the albums Otherworld in 1999, The Merry Sisters of Fate in 2001, and Redwood in 2003 and strengthened their global position by regularly touring the US, Australia, Europe, and Asia.

They were joined by piper Cillian Vallely and were described as an ‘Irish music dream team’. In 2004 Hennessy departed the line-up but Lúnasa continued their musical odyssey.

What has set them apart from their Irish contemporaries is that they have drawn from a vast array of influences and backgrounds. Smyth and Vallely come from noted Irish trad families in Mayo and Armagh; Crawford was exposed to Asian and West Indian music from a young age; and Hutchinson emerged from a rock, jazz, and blues background.

“My influences would largely come from outside of the traditional world,” Trevor told me. “I’d be very much into the jazz players of the 1950s and 1960s. I’d also be very much influenced by the rock players of the 1970s. I’d describe what we do with Lúnasa as trad music with a groove to it.”

The one collective source which the group take their well of inspiration from is Planxty, De Dannan, and The Bothy Band. Smyth remembers his uncle Sean McGarry bringing records Old Hag You Have You Killed Me and The Well Below The Valley to his house in Straide in the 1970s. When he put together Lúnasa in the 1990s he re-discovered his enthusiasm for those albums and aimed to build upon the legacy of Donal Lunny, Matt Molloy, and Paddy Keenan. “You can’t help but be influenced by those groups,” he says.

The Chieftains’ Matt Molloy said Lúnasa “remind me of a band I used to play with”. Yet to assume Lúnasa are simply a new generation Bothy Band would be to miss the point of their music.

“It’s a huge compliment when somebody of the calibre of Matt Molloy makes a comparison between what you do and what was one of the leading forces in Irish traditional music,” Kevin Crawford states. “As time has gone on though we would prefer if that quote wasn’t bandied about as much because we really want to judged on our own sound.”

Crawford expands upon the point by explaining what goes into the making of the Lúnasa sound.

“We draw our music from all the Celtic regions such as the Scottish, Breton, and Galician traditions and from acoustic music from across the globe,” he says .“It helps that we all come from very different backgrounds and we’re not kind of tied down to one particular genre or one particular style.

“Most of us, apart from Trevor, would’ve grown up listening to The Bothy Band and I suppose there is an obvious association there in the fact that the main instruments in both bands are fiddle, pipes, and guitar. Our overall sound though is somewhat different.”

Lúnasa are about bringing on their musical development a step further and looking more to the future than to the past with their new album Lá Nua. Indeed it is a new day in many ways for the group.

“We’ve just become an independent recording act and have set up our own label,” Crawford says. “This is first full album with our new guitarist Paul Meehan and he has brought a new exciting dimension to our sound. So, it’s a new day for our group from many perspectives.”

As part of the promotion for their new release Lúnasa will play the Town Hall Theatre on Sunday May 23 at 8pm. “We’ve always thought of ourselves as a Galway band,” Kevin says. “Our early days as a band were spent there, so we’re very much looking forward to returning”

Tickets for Lúnasa’s Town Hall Concert are available from the Town Hall on 091 - 569777.

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Thursday, 13 May 2010

Top trad blows in

Three top tradition musicians are combining their formidable musical forces for a rare touring show, ‘Do Bhíosa Lá i bPortlairge – Music from the South East’.
David Power (uilleann pipes), Fionn Mac Giolla Chuda (fiddle) and Ciarán Somers (flute) unearth a veritable treasure trove of music with its origins in the Co Waterford Gaeltacht and the surrounding region. Reviewing his music, Siobhán Long wrote in The Irish Times: “David Power brings a breathtaking freshness to the set, his fluid, fluent playing as light as a feather.”
Virtuoso piper David Power is a former All-Ireland winner and was a member of Liam Clancy’s Fairweather Band in the ’90s. He has two highly-acclaimed solo CDs and has performed alongside such trad giants as Tony MacMahon and Máirtín O’Connor.
Flautist Ciarán Somers is noted for his musical links with Brittany: his recent CD ‘Faoi Bhláth’ was recorded there with fiddler Dave Sheridan and Breton guitarist Nicolas Quemener, formerly of Arcady.
Fionn Mac Giolla Chuda first fell in love with traditional music in An Rinn and later returned there to record two CDs with local musicians. In addition to numerous TV and radio appearances, he has toured in Japan and across Europe in the distinguished company of The Helvick Heads, Dónal Clancy and Gorumna.
Catch ‘Do Bhíosa Lá i bPortlairge – Music from the South East’ in The Linenhall Arts Centre in Castlebar on Wednesday, May 26, and at Ballina Arts Centre on Thursday, May 27, as part of a nationwide Music Network tour. Both concerts start at 8pm.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Music stars celebrate the Donegal landscape

Paul BradyPaul Brady via last.fm

Top names in Irish music came to Donegal on Monday to take part in a concert supporting the ongoing protest against a proposed high-power line across miles of rural Donegal.
"Don't forget why we're here," said Moya Brennan, who hosted the concert in the Meenaleck pub that her father, Leo Brennan, started.
Monday night's SOS (Save Our Scenery) concert was held to support the ongoing campaign against plans to erect a high-power line. The concert, the first of what organisers said will be several, was organised by

Alternatives to Pylons (ATP), in conjunction with Coiste Timpeallachta Ghaoth Dobhair and Tábhairne Leo. Moya was joined on stage by Paul Brady, Glen Hansard, Mundy and other respected musicians.

ATP and Coiste Timpeallachta Ghaoth Dobhair oppose plans by the ESB and Eirgrid to erect a 110kv power line across 102 kilometres of the county. But supporters say the 40 million euro project will bring a secure power supply that will draw needed economic development, and say the plans have met strict planning criteria.

The musicians weren't having it.

"I wouldn't like to see Donegal with braces on," said Mundy, to cheers
from the audience.

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Irish Traditional Youth Orchestra

Playing Planxty Hewlett at their first concert, Hilton Hotel, Belfast, Dec 09. The Irish Traditional Youth Orchestra is part of the Andersonstown Traditional and Contemporary Music School. Neil Martin is the Musical Director, Assistant is Dónal O'Connor, Organiser is Thomas McElroy.


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