Toner Quinn

Which social groups are more likely to attend different music events? Why are some people many times more likely to be involved in music than others? Are some people excluded from musical life? In February, the Economic and Social Research Institute issued...
Martin Hayes and the Tradition
In 2008, fiddle player Martin Hayes received the TG4 Gradam Ceoil award. Toner Quinn explores the work of an artist who has walked new ground in traditional music.
One of the Forum for Music in Ireland’s most important roles has been its highlighting of the slow development of music education in Ireland. It does this through its bi-annual meetings, its website and its campaigns. The difficulty, however, has always...
The third annual festival of the Institute of Ideas in London – The Battle of Ideas – took place in October. There was a music element this year, which I attended, comprising four separate discussions on music education, the ubiquity of music,...
The interview with fiddle player Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh in this issue raises the issue of experimentation in traditional music, and it is coincidental that the Contemporary Music Centre has just commissioned a study ‘on the feasibility...
Interview with Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh – ‘…what happens when you stop playing tunes…’
From Rathfarnam in County Dublin, Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh is a fiddle player, whistle player and uilleann piper. On fiddle he has recorded one solo album, Turas go Tír na nÓg (1999), and made a widely acclaimed duet recording with uilleann piper Mick O’Brien, Kitty Lie Over (2003). Now aged 27, Ó Raghallaigh has this year produced a solo recording which stretches beyond the boundaries of traditional music. This interview took place in An Spidéal, County Galway, on 23 July 2007.
What is new in the Arts Council’s relationship with the traditional arts?
The matter of providing state-funded music education services is still unresolved.
myTunes and i
On tunes and musicians' relationships to tunes.
Talk about ‘music education’ in Ireland is actually about classical music education.
Dublin Style
A review of the recent Temple Bar Trad traditional music festival in Dublin.
Just as this issue is going to print, the Arts Council has published its report, The Public and the Arts 2006, providing a snapshot of the behaviour and attitudes of Irish people as regards the arts. The last such report was published in 1994.The intervening...
The idea of an avant-garde wing in Irish traditional music may seem a contradiction in terms, but it shouldn’t be, argues Toner Quinn.
Public-service broadcasting is a vital two-way conduit for those seriously interested in music.
For reasons that perhaps have more to do with Zeitgeist than design, this issue is punctuated by thoughts, comments and comparisons that consider the music and culture of Ireland in the context of the wider world. John McLachlan visits the new music scenes...
It is possible that, over the past five years or so of JMI, Seán Ó Riada has received more mentions in the magazine than any other Irish musical figure. While this may suggest some establishment-like status for the composer and musician, it is...
Piping Aces
Na Píobairí Uilleann's 39th Anual Tionól, which took place in Dublin.
The BBC Radio 4 Reith lectures by Daniel Barenboim.
Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray, 23 February 2006The challenge for Trihornophone was clear from the start: trumpet, alto sax, baritone sax, and drum kit appeared – where’s the rest of the band? Rather, this self-imposed reduced format suits where saxophonist...
Purists All
Little captures the imagination like the idea of the ‘traditional music purist’ – though it’s a notion rife with inconsistencies. What is more, the idea appears to be as popular as ever, though for reasons, argues Toner Quinn, that have little to do with music…
For all the ties that bind Ireland to England – not least in family and employment – it remains in our perception a force to be pushed against. In this jostling, there are expressions of English culture which we are prone to overlook. English folk...
Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray, Co. Wicklow, 20 January 2006 Ronan Guilfoyle, bass; Tommy Halferty, guitar; Aoife Doyle, vocals; Sean Carpio, drums; Phil Ware, pianoOutside jazz circles, I wonder does the extent to which Ronan Guilfolye is the generator of (or...
Various venues, Temple Bar, Dublin, 26-29 January 2006Although Dublin has the greatest concentration of traditional musicians in the country, Temple Bar Trad, which took place over the last weekend in January, was the first broad-based festival of traditional...
There is a new and very large advertisement for alcohol on the main street in my town, and the image is of a stylish and very contemporary-looking Irishman, dreadlocked and in his twenties, moodily playing a harp which has been painted Irish green and gold....
It seems timely that we lead in this issue with an article that focuses on jazz, for there are many important developments taking place at present in the jazz scene in Ireland. Indeed, there have been for some time, but it seems to have passed some sort of...
The Pressure to Conform
Commitment to tradition versus experimentation.
I am sure that our lead article will ring a bell with anyone who has ever tried to explain their area of musical speciality to someone with entirely different musical interests. It is not an easy thing to do, primarily because there are so many different areas...
The news that the Arts Council has allocated 3 million euro to the traditional arts for 2006, with that figure set to increase in 2007 and 2008, is both welcome and significant. Setting aside for a moment the practical impact it could have on traditional music,...
Reading aloud Folk Music and Dances of Ireland...