Ceolchuairt / Musical Pilgrimages

Ceolchuairt / Musical Pilgrimages

Tuesday, 13 January 2015, 9.30pm

A new series of Ceolchuairt Musical Pilgrimages returns on Tuesday 13th January @ 9.30pm on TG4 

In each of the 6 x 40 minute Ceolchuairt documentaries, we hit the road with an Irish traditional musical artist to a far-flung land of personal inspiration, to see if they can find common ground with their own brand of music. In each country, we will jam with the cream of local artists; we will seek out the pure drop in the remotest villages; and we will busk in the high streets of these musical Meccas. From Morocco to Mongolia, Jamaica to Sardinia, and from Portugal to Argentina: ‘Ceolchuairt’ is world music with a twist of Irish and a healthy dollop of craic along the way! 

In the opening documentary, Hothouse Flower Fiachna Ó Braonáin embarks on a musical journey to Morocco in search of the roots of the blues. Among the hillside villages of the Rif mountain range, he explores the ancient links with traditional Irish music culminating in a magical moonlit encounter with the famous Master Musicians of Joujouka. Speaking of his experience Fiachna said: “To be given the opportunity to jump in at the deep end of Moroccan life and swim through it was incredible….My Ceolchuairt was filled with colours and flavours I had never experienced before as well as rhythms and melodies I never dreamt I could be a part of. Those rhythms and melodies are now a part of me. It was quite simply a trip of a lifetime.” 

In Episode 2 (20/01/15) Belfast troubadour Gearóid Mac Lochlainn realises a lifelong ambition to journey to the very roots of roots reggae in Jamaica. On an emotional voyage of self-discovery, Gearóid looks for the origins of the ‘one love’ message that transcended sectarian boundaries during his teenage years in a divided Belfast. 

In Episode 3 (27/01/15), Sean-nós singer Róisín Elsafty explains how she always considered the mournful Fado singing in Portugal to be the closest she has heard to her own plaintive sean-nós style, and she explores this rich link with renowned Fado singers including Gisela Joao, Katia Guerreiro & Carlos do Carmo. 

Episode 4 (03/02/15) sees Slide’s Daire Bracken journey to the open plains of Mongolia in pursuit of the most exotic fiddle on the planet - the elaborately designed horse-headed fiddle. During his musical encounters with the Mongolian nomads, he obtains a deep understanding of the vulnerability of their way of life while also trying his luck (or chancing his arm!) with Mongolian throat singing… 

In Episode 5 (10/02/15) Dublin piper Mick O Brien embarks on a musical escapade to Sardinia to meet Luigi Lai, the maestro of the Launeddas - an ancient 3 reed cane pipe believed to be the precursor of the uileann pipes. 

Episode 6 (17/02/15) sees Sean nós dancer Máire Áine Ní Iarnáin brings her dancing shoes to Argentina to dance with gauchos and native Indians alike, but she is seduced by the sexiest dance of all, the tango. 

Director Paddy Hayes said of the series: “This is musical fusion like you’ve never heard or seen before - often we just throw disparate musical instruments/artists together, turn on the cameras and film their first musical conversations - the results are really magical.” Producer Laura Ní Cheallaigh said: “What’s different about this series is that each documentary is a standalone story, where the Irish artist journeys inwards as well as outwards, and discovers as much about themselves as about the rich musical heritage they are exploring.” 

Music is a language that knows no boundaries, so join our ‘Ceolchuairt’ musicians as they open your eyes, your ears and your soul to the soundtrack of these bizarre but brilliant musical encounters. 

Ceolchuairt, a six part series is produced by Magamedia with funding from TG4 and the BAI. Series begins Tuesday, 13th of January at 9.30pm on TG4

Repeated on Saturday, 17th of January at 10.05pm.


Published on 19 December 2014

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