Turas Éire Fhíorúil sa Cheol/Virtual Ireland in Music DVD

Fintan Vallely, Gerry O’Connor, Tiarnán Ó Duinnchinn \nMáire Ní Choilm, Róisín Chambers, Karan Casey, ballads in English by Karan. Stépahie Makem, Maurice Leyden, Róisín White. Sean-nós step dance by Sibéal Davitt., bodhrán pioneer Seamus O’Kane.


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This DVD and movie is a Covid-era response to the absence of live performance. It is a TV-style documentary of still images with music, linked sequentially in Traditional tunes named for each county on the island of Ireland and its Diaspora regions of England and the USA. The imagery and music embody hundreds of the key elements with which Irish music engages, as found among the data in the encyclopedia Companion to Irish Traditional Music . These are presented as a county-by-county, old and new, tunes/song repertoire linked to places by visual images.

The music is played by Fintan Vallely, Gerry O’Connor and Tiarnán Ó Duinnchinn – a 100-minute performance, with sean-nós and Irish-language song by Máire Ní Choilm, Róisín Chambers and Karan Casey, and ballads in English by Karan, by Stépahie Makem, Maurice Leyden and Róisín White. Sean-nós step dance by Sibéal Davitt powerfully accents the music with percussive rhythm, as does 19th-century tambourine played, and made, by bodhrán pioneer Seamus O’Kane.

Visual imagery is used as the narrative for the music to give information effortlessly, to avoid the intrusion of spoken language and translation issues – a continuous stream of stills, each of them related to the music being played at that moment. The images are of instrumental musicians, singers and dancers, performance and scenery. These are mainly by photography by Jacques Piraprez Nutan, he an award-winning artist who has contributed covers to many Irish albums, including Martin Hayes, and had worked with Fintan Vallely on other photographic/music projects, notably the 1998 music-interviews book The Blooming Meadows, and the 2011 biography of the Leitrim fiddler, Ben Lennon, The Tailor’s Twist. Superb landscapes by Sligo photographer Gareth McCormack bring a sense of dramatic scale, and images by other artists fill out an island-wide coverage.



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