Voyage of Amergin

Voyage of Amergin

Friday, 5 April 2019, 8.00pm

A night of original compositions of new Irish music and song, by traditional musician and composer, Ciara McElholm, as part of the Five Lamps Festival. Ciara will showcase her original pieces reintroducing brass instrumentation into Irish traditional music.

This event brings together an incredible line up of talented musicians and vocalists including:
Eamonn Galldubh – saxophone and flute
Ciara McElholm – fiddle
Cian McGrory – guitar
Deirbhle Sheppard – concertina
Naoise Rowsome – cello and uileann pipes
Claire Watts – vocalist
Ossia Youth Choir & Ború, under the direction of Carmel Whelan.

Known as ‘the origin song’ of the Celts, The Song of Amergin, set to a new melody and arrangement, will be performed by Ború. According to the 11th century Book of Invasions, The Song of Amergin was so powerful that Ireland changed its mind on hearing it, allowing storms to abate and granting the Celts safe passage to Irish shores. With the original melody lost, McElholm writes that when she found this powerful story and beautiful lyrics ‘the desire to compose a melody was overwhelming’.

‘Of 241 ancient brass instruments found worldwide, 122, or over half were found in Ireland. Brass was a huge part of the tradition in earlier times and I am fascinated by the idea of brass finding a place once more in the pantheon of traditional instruments,’ says McElholm.

This commitment to re-embracing brass within traditional Irish music is reflected in a number of McElholm’s original compositions which will be played on the evening. Three of the traditional forms of Irish music, geantraí, associated with joy and lightness, goltraí, associated with a more sombre feel and suantraí, associated with lullaby, are also represented in the evening’s programme.

Ossia Youth Choir, will perform a song about the tearing asunder of family bonds by the slave raids which were a feature of Irish life, most especially for coastal settlements, from the late 700s up to the early 1100s.

Claire Watts, composer, will perform three of her own new songs. The evening will also feature a recital of Jim Crickard’s musical poem “Dad”.

Get ready for a celebratory evening of vibrant music and energy, with toe tapping polkas and reels, original airs and choral pieces.


Published on 20 March 2019

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