Re-Imagining Irish Traditional Music in the 21st Century

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Re-Imagining Irish Traditional Music in the 21st Century

WEDNESDAY, MAY 17, 2017, 6 – 8PM


A public lecture by award-winning Irish musician, ethnomusicologist and cultural historian, Professor Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin organised by the School of Creative Arts as part of the Constellations Series.

Abstract:
Irish traditional music is arguably one of the most popular World Music genres of our time. Nurtured by Irish and non-Irish musicians throughout the world and patronized by audiences in diverse social and cultural settings, this ancient art is one of Ireland’s most enduring and defining cultural products. Although its eponymous home on the island of Ireland is still its creative centre of gravity, Irish “trad music" has expanded far beyond its former ethnic, spatial, class and political boundaries. This lecture will explore this sonic transformation from the "inside out" and the "outside in,” investigating the rhizomorphic forces—indigenous, diasporic, virtual, prosthetic—that forged Ireland’s national and transnational soundscape during the past century.

Biography: Professor Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin, MA, HDE, Ph.D., DUEF, MBA is an award-winning Irish musician, ethnomusicologist and cultural historian. Formerly Jefferson Smurfit Chair of Irish Studies and Professor of Music at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, he is the inaugural holder of the bilingual Johnson Chair in Québec and Canadian Irish Studies at Concordia University, Montreal. Funded by the Québec government, his research investigates Irish cultural memory, lifeworlds and soundscapes in Québec and Canada since the fall of New France. Author of the best-selling Pocket History of Irish Traditional Music (Dublin, O’Brien Press, 1998/2014), as well as book chapters, recordings and articles on Irish music and folklife, his multidisciplinary study Flowing Tides: History and Memory in an Irish Soundscape was published by Oxford University Press in 2016.

Book Launch: This lecture will be followed by the the launch of Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin's A Short History of Irish Traditional Music by O'Brien Press, Dublin. Copies of the book will be available for sale.

About the Constellations Series:
Over the course of the 2016-17 academic year, Trinity’s Creative Arts Practice Research Theme is pleased to partner with the Trinity Long Room Hub to offer The Constellations Series, a new programme of public events exploring the entanglement of creativity, artistic practice, and research.
The series features artist-researchers, particularly those who cross disciplinary boundaries, presenting their work and discussing their creative process.

Campus Location Trinity Long Room Hub
Accessibility Yes
Room Neill Lecture Theatre
Event Type Arts and Culture, Lectures and Seminars, Public, Special events
Type of Event One-time event
Audience Undergrad, Postgrad, Alumni, Faculty & Staff, Public
Cost N/A

Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin
College Green
Dublin 2,
Ireland.


http://www.tcd.ie/trinitylongroomhub/
 

AgProv

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#2
"Professor Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin,"

Ah, one of those names. Pronounced "Fred Smith"?

 

AgProv

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thank you! this probably isn't quite what's intended here, as it dates from sometime in the 1970's, updating the generally held concept of Irish music being a row of aran sweaters with trad acoustic instruments doing Chieftains-y stuff, or else re-hashing the Dubliners......

 
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AgProv

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Joking apart, this is actually quite an interesting idea. The "evolution" of Irish traditional music especially over the last half century and the perceptions of it held by people who only have a passing familiarity. As Billy Connolly pointed out, "trad Irish" sums up a picture of a line of dreadfully earnest Aran sweaters with their fingers in one ear singing "The Irish Rover". Or else the Chieftains sitting in a semicircle pounding on bodhrans, squeezing the bellows of an uillean pipe or scraping a fiddle - ideally in Gaelic on on strictly acoustic instruments. Either that or one of the Behan brothers drunkenly singing a rebel song accopello - and that's it.

I was too tired to articulate the thought last night, but the Horslips were pretty much one of the first acts to ask "Why should it be thought of as heretical or wrong to use electric instruments in interpreting trad music? Why not use a rock drum kit rather than a bodhran?" and so on. They even mixed it up a bit and dabbled in other genres...


Thank you to ramonmercado for inspiring me to look up the Horslips' music and listen to it again and start thinking a little about the issues here!

A question for you - does this class as Irish trad, heavy rock, or a combination of both? The genre of Irish trad music still evolves?

 

AgProv

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Joking apart, this is actually quite an interesting idea. The "evolution" of Irish traditional music especially over the last half century and the perceptions of it held by people who only have a passing familiarity. As Billy Connolly pointed out, "trad Irish" sums up a picture of a line of dreadfully earnest Aran sweaters with their fingers in one ear singing "The Irish Rover". Or else the Chieftains sitting in a semicircle pounding on bodhrans, squeezing the bellows of an uillean pipe or scraping a fiddle - ideally in Gaelic on on strictly acoustic instruments. Either that or one of the Behan brothers drunkenly singing a rebel song accopello - and that's it.

Thank you to ramonmercado for inspiring me to look up the Horslips' music and listen to it again and start thinking a little about the issues here!

A question for you - does this class as Irish trad, heavy rock, or a combination of both? The genre of Irish trad music still evolves?

UPDATE: It's just occured to me: the same Mr Charles Connor who played fiddle with the Horslips also appears to crop up here, possibly twenty years older, playing fiddle for Gary Moore on "Over The Hills..." - the resemblence between the two fiddle players is striking. Check this out compared to "King of the Fairies". More evidence of the ongoing evolution of trad-themed Irish music?
 
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