Home » Arts & Culture (page 20)

Arts & Culture

Lisdoonvarna gig for Clare’s O’Connell Brothers

ACCLAIMED Miltown Malbay duo O’Connell Brothers have announced their first-ever headline show later this month, and it looks set to be one of the gigs of the year.  Brothers Kieran and Jon O’Connell have plied their trade with local folk group The Fiddle Case for the past number of years and are well known for their performances in other bands, including The Walls and Serious Mischief.  When the first pandemic hit and with gigs cancelled, the brothers turned inward and seized the opportunity to forge a new creative path. They built a home studio and immersed themselves in a bubble of songwriting and recording, the fruits of which have proven hugely popular with music lovers.  Earlier this year, ‘Songbird’, their debut single, flew into the world and onto radio playlists and the reaction was hugely positive. “Some songs get tossed around for months, years; a lyrical idea or a bit of a melody, but some seem to just land in …

Read More »

Norma’s live and kicking for Killaloe cathedral concert

LIKE most entertainers, Norma Manly couldn’t wait to get back to singing in front of a live audience, writes Dan Danaher. The Ballina singer/songwriter had to be content with online performances during the Covid-19 lockdown. However, she feels there is no comparison between performing live and online. “Watching lockdown sessions on line was fantastic. However, you have to be at a live gig to experience the atmosphere and the energy. When I am buying music, I want to listen to live performances. “You can’t beat a live gig. I have met so many people at live gigs who are now lifelong friends. You share a lovely bond, even though people have different tastes. I love being introduced to new music.” She says the return of live audiences is very welcome following Covid-19 restrictions that were previously imposed since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. “When you are singing, you are trying to create something. You can feed off …

Read More »

Clare cathedral showcases its concert credentials

SAINT Flannan’s Cathedral will reverberate to the sound of music again this Friday night at 8pm when it hosts a fundraising community concert, writes Dan Danaher. Cathedral Dean, Vicar Rev Paul Fitzpatrick, is very happy to acknowledge the generous voluntary support of all the performers, supporters of the cathedral and wider community. Rev Fitzpatrick said there is no shortage of extraordinary goodwill, talent and commitment towards the cathedral. Rev Fitzpatrick and Dean Rod Smyth were keen to organise an event that would reward local community groups. This follows in the footsteps of a programme of musical evenings that were streamed live from St Flannan’s Cathedral during the month of May thanks to the support of Dean Rod Smyth and Rev Fitzpatrick along with members of the St Flannan’s Vestry. The Sunday Selections proved to be a big hit in the local community. All the proceeds from Friday night’s concert will be donated to the Killaloe Community Enhancement Group and the …

Read More »

Virtuoso pianist to perform concert in east Clare

AN EVENING of Schubert, Schumann and Bach is in store in Mountshannon on Sunday night next as renowned pianist Alexander Ardakov makes a welcome return to Clare. The virtuoso pianist, who has strong connections to East Clare, had been due to give a major recital in Glór, Ennis at the end of March, 2020, but the pandemic put paid to that. This month, he returns to the Banner County with a performance at St Caimin’s Church at 5pm on November 7. Mr Ardakov, who lives in London, hails for the Volga region of Russia and as well as being an acclaimed musician is a Professor of Piano at a leading conservatoire. He played to a capacity audience in Mountshannon in 2019 and excitement is building ahead of his return to the town.  Roxanne Leonard who is a member of the Mountshannon Arts Festival committee had known Mr Ardakov when she lived, for a time, in London. She had been working with …

Read More »

Clare musician lines up EP to aid jazz pianist’s recovery

A CLARE musician has joined forces with leading jazz figures on a new EP to raise money for a stricken colleague. In 2020, the Irish jazz scene suffered shockwaves after pianist, Phil Ware, was incapacitated by a stroke. Ware’s fellow band-members in the Phil Ware Trio, Kevin Brady (drums) and Dave Redmond (bass) have joined Danny Healy and Eamonn Linehan to present three never-before-heard songs of his (and two instrumental variations) on the forthcoming “Happy Ever After” EP. It has been issued for global download through nobetterman [Cat. No. nbm007] and The Fund For Phil from October 22 and the entire session, accompanying booklet and video are available free! The group is asking music lovers everywhere to donate what they can “to assist in financing Phil’s long and arduous return to an independent life”. A spokesperson said, “Every single donation will go to the trust fund that’s been set up by his family and friends. Visit The Fund For Phil …

Read More »

Podcast series to share wealth of Clare oral history project

THE first-ever episode of the news Cuimhneamh an Chláir podcast will go live online this weekend. The Clare Oral History Podcast, produced by Paula Carroll, will provide deep dives into the oral history archive of Cuimhneamh an Chláir, which now contains over 12 years of memories and stories collected from the county’s oldest citizens. The most surprising, interesting, informative, inspirational and moving of these stories will now be shared in a permanently accessible way, thanks to funding from The Heritage Council. The pandemic has forced many organisations to review how they work and it inspired Cuimhneamh an Chláir to find new ways to share its material. Ordinarily, the main focus would have been put on live community events where the stories recorded in an area were brought back to that area. “The pandemic has made that kind of in-community sharing  impossible in the last 18 months’, said Paula. “Older people have been isolated in their own homes – the very …

Read More »

Cooney joins leading harpists for special Ennis concert

MUSIC lovers are in for a rare treat on Saturday night when some of Ireland’s finest harpists will be joined by renowned guitarist Steve Cooney for a special concert in St Columbia’s Church, Ennis. The concert is entitled ‘Harping On’ and is presented by Clare Arts Office. The idea for the concert originated from John O’Connor of the legendary Custy’s music shop in Ennis and it is being organised by Pat Ryan Music Services. The concert features six of Ireland’s leading harpists, including Aisling Lyons, Elaine Hogan, Eimear Coughlan, Fionnuala Rooney, Lily O’Connor, and Paul Dooley. They will be playing new original music as well as music from the masters of the tradition. They will be joined by singer Cadhla Brock with Steve Cooney adding an extra layer of musical magic. Steve is a renowned musician and was recently announced as the Cumadóir na Bliana (Composer of the Year) at the Gradam Ceoil Awards. He has worked extensively with Irish harp music on his …

Read More »

Flashpoints and fallout from Civil War focus of Joe’s book

Two violent historical episodes in the years after Irish civil war are investigated by north Clare writer WHILE the Civil War ended in 1923, the division and bitterness remained for decades after. The fallout from the conflict forms the background to historian Joe Queally’s book, Echoes from a Civil War, which is about to be launched. It looks at two incidents in the years that followed; firstly the killing of Garda Thomas Dowling, a Kilkenny man, who was shot four times in Fanore on December 28, 1925, by people who ambushed him from inside a stonewall next to the graveyard in the townland of Craggagh. Four years later on June 11, 1929, in Tullycrine in the parish of Kilmurry McMahon, Garda Timothy (Tadgh) O’Sullivan, a Corkman, was blown to pieces by a bomb on the roadside. It is believed that neither man was the intended target. Joe’s exhaustive research finds the men who were supposed to be killed on the …

Read More »