Tradition Now: Bláth na hÓige; Ruth Clinton – This Fearless Maid II

Tradition Now: Bláth na hÓige; Ruth Clinton – This Fearless Maid II

Friday, 3 May 2024, 7.00pm

7.00pm: Edwina Guckian - The Studio
7.30pm: Ruth Clinton - This Fearless Maid II - Main Stage
9.00pm: Bláth na hÓige - Main Stage
9.15pm: Jim Ghedi - Kevin Barry Recital Room
9.30pm: Passing on the Songs with Thomas McCarthy - The Studio

Explore the new in the tradition as NCH opens up across all its venues for a night of the most exciting new folk and traditional music featuring Bláth na hÓige, Ruth Clinton, Jim Ghedi, Thomas McCarthy and guests and dancer Edwina Guckian.

RTÉ Folk Award 2024 Nominees Bláth na hÓige is an exciting new song collaboration featuring some of Ireland’s best sean-nós singers. The ensemble showcases the multi-faceted talents of Síle Denvir, Caoimhe and Séamus Ó Flatharta, Méabh Ní Bheaglaoich, Cathal Ó Curráin, Megan Nic Ruairí, Piaras Ó Lorcáin and Máire and Étáin Ní Churraoin. Green shoots from the deep roots of the sean-nós singing tradition, from Conamara to Rann na Feirste, from Ráth Chairn to Oriall and from Corca Dhuibhne to Gaoth Dobhair, this project is an exciting adventure of artistic discovery for these singers and a memorable waypoint on their musical journeys.

Ruth Clinton (Landless, Poor Creature) with Cormac MacDiarmada (Lankum, Poor Creature), Sinead Lynch (Landless) and Consuelo Breschi (Varo, Landless) will present songs from Clinton's new book, This Fearless Maid II. Following on from the first volume, published in 2016, this collection presents songs in a traditional or folk idiom, which challenge patriarchal power and feature women in active roles. Rarely heard Irish, English, Scottish and American songs from the 17th century to the modern day will be presented in new arrangements for voice, strings and synth, covering themes such as work, thievery, political struggle and the supernatural.

Passing on the Songs is a celebration of Traveller Culture rooted in the oral tradition of teaching music and song to the next generations, a vital and sometimes fragile but ultimately powerful act. Thomas McCarthy is an artist who has brought Traveller music, particularly songs never written down but central to Traveller Culture across generations and to the public. Thomas has assembled some of the singers from the Traveller Community with whom he has been exchanging songs, using the oral tradition, transmitting the music directly. This performance by Thomas and guests features Rosie O’Grady, who at 16 years of age is already garnering attention for her unique talent and sensitivity to the music, as well as the powerful voices of Kathleen and Mary Keenan and Trish Reilly.

Jim Ghedi hails from Sheffield, South Yorkshire and although clearly well versed in the history of folk music, he stands out as a potential torch bearer for a new generation of respectful yet experimental performers. As his music develops away from his previous records A Hymn for Ancient Land (2018) & In the Furrows of Common Place (2021), his sound emulates a more brooding, dark and electronic world which is mirrored in his piercing lyrics and singing. Here he draws from social observations, contemporary songwriting, historical & traditional material.

Dancer Edwina Guckian hails from outside the village of Drumsna in Co. Leitrim. Coming from a family steeped in the tradition of music and dance, her style is greatly influenced by the style of local music she grew up with across Leitrim and Roscommon. Having started teaching dancing at the age of 16, Edwina has now taught her steps and shared the stage with some of Ireland’s most influential acts such as Altan, De Danann, Dervish, Mairtín O Connor, Frankie Gavin, Kíla, Martin Hayes, Séamus Begley, and Laoise Kelly to name a few.

Passing on the Songs was developed In partnership by the Cork Traveller Women’s Network and Triskel Arts Centre in Cork
Presented by NCH in partnership with The Arts Council (Traditional Arts)

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Published by nationalconcerthall on 29 February 2024

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