’Is it easier to be a traditional artist in other countries?’: Tristan Rosenstock and Oisín Mac Diarmada Launch Trad Ireland
Musicians Tristan Rosenstock and Oisín Mac Diarmada have announced a new entity titled Trad Ireland/Traid Éireann. Its first project is to commission a significant piece of research that will focus on the career opportunities available to musicians, singers and other traditional artists in Ireland.
As part of the initiative, which is funded by an Arts Council project award, Trad Ireland is also creating a traditional music residency in Sligo – the details of which will be announced in spring – and hosting an international symposium on the traditional arts in early summer.
Speaking to The Journal of Music, Rosenstock said:
Trad Ireland is a new entity that seeks to promote the traditional arts and support traditional artists through advocacy and through creating career development opportunities.
The idea comes the musicians’ experience of performing and touring professionally for over two decades.
This draws from twenty years’ experience travelling the world and meeting with fellow musicians, singers and dancers. … When we meet other traditional musicians abroad, they would be quite surprised at the level of international touring that Irish musicians do. … If you go to France and meet traditional musicians there, they can actually make a living at home …. That’s not the case in Ireland. What structures are there [abroad] that support that?
Trad Ireland have today (11 January 2019) announced a tender for a piece of research to examine ’the challenges, opportunities and supports currently available to traditional arts practitioners in Ireland’. The project duration is 12 months from 1 March 2019 and the research fee is €10,000.
We want the researcher to really engage with traditional artists and conduct as many interviews as possible, and surveys, to give us a clearer picture…. What are the biggest challenges? Are they financial? What are the obstacles in terms of traditional musicians trying to further their career?
Trad Ireland’s inaugural symposium, which will take place in early summer, will invite traditional artists from European countries to explore and compare the support structures available.
We’re very curious to see what is happening in other jurisdictions… We’d like to look at some of the Balkan regions, Mediterranean countries and Scandinavian countries to see how we fair in comparison. We’ll also look at things like broadcasting. We’re trying to get a sense of what works in other countries. Is it easier to be a traditional artist in other countries, and, if so, how?
The tender for the research work can be downloaded below. For updates, follow Trad Ireland on Twitter.