Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Oh, for the love of Ireland, August festival to share rich culture

A group of Irish natives and lovers of the Emerald Isle’s cultural traditions have launched a new nonprofit organization known as Culture Ireland Tennessee.

The group is already planning a traditional Irish festival Aug. 5-7 on the grounds of O’More College of Design and around downtown Franklin.

One of the goals of the Authentic Ireland Festival is to celebrate Irish roots in music, song, dance, film and literature with an interesting review on how they have influenced the country and bluegrass musical traditions in Middle Tennessee.

The weekend’s events will kick off at 6 p.m. Aug. 5 evening with A Taste of Ireland at The Factory at Franklin. There will be dancing and informal presentations about growing up in Ireland and the country’s history. The event will be geared toward children.

On Aug. 6, several workshops on O’More’s campus will focus on musical instruments such as the button accordion, fiddle, uilleann pipes and flute, along with performances and sean nós singing and dancing.

All bluegrass musicians and country musicians are encouraged to visit the Culture of Ireland Tennessee Web page through www.omorecollege.edu for details on how to participate in the sessions.

Documentary will be shown

The festival will also play host to the premiere of Good Piping, a documentary film about Ireland’s uilleann pipers. The film will be shown 6 p.m. Aug. 6 and 4 p.m. Aug. 7 on O’More’s campus.

The documentary is the creation of filmmaker Davis Watson, who in 2008 sold his belongings and set off around Ireland to document the uilleann piping tradition. Shot over two years, Good Piping is a mix of music and song, story and place, individuality and shared tradition — a film that moves in and out of the lives of a handful of Ireland’s finest uilleann pipers, such as Seán McKiernan, Néillidh Mulligan, Kevin Rowsome, Jimmy O’Brien-Moran and many others.

There also will be various daily lectures and group discussions to cover all things Irish — from art and history to music and dancing — and on Aug. 6, after the film premiere, an open concert will feature the Irish musicians who traveled to Franklin for the festival.

Sister cities of Franklin and Williamson County’s Passport to the World Lecture Series will continue on campus at 2 p.m. Aug. 7 with the artists in from Ireland, including Éilís Crean, Johnny Óg Connolly, Máirín Ui Céide, Meaití Jó Shéamuis Ó Fátharta and Máire Áine Ní Iarnáin, discussing their native influences and experiences.

For more information on Culture Ireland Tennessee, visit www.omorecollege.edu, “like” the CIT Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CultureIrelandTennessee, or email Éilís Crean at eiliscrean@gmail.com.

Oh, for the love of Ireland, August festival to share rich culture | The Tennessean | tennessean.com

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