Latest Appointments and Awards in Music (April 2022)
Lasrach, a traditional music group from West Cork, has won the Siansa Gael Linn 2022 competition. The traditional music competition for school groups, which Gael linn has been running since 2002, took place in the National Concert Hall on 10 April. Eight young bands competed for the prize fund of €4,500. The evening was presented by Áine Hensey and the judges were Niamh Ní Charra, Séamus Ó Flatharta and Mark Ó Ceallaigh. The members of Lasrach are Rían McCarthy, John Munday, Lucy Crowley, Anna Moynihan, Áine Teape, Seán Ahern, Diarmuid Ward and Fearghus Walsh. The group’s teachers are Richie Delahunty and Rosaire Cagney. Second prize and €1,250 went to the Cork group Draíocht and third prize and €750 went to Codraisc from Castlebar. The full competition can be viewed below. For more, visit https://bit.ly/3vCRUSC
The Arts Council and the National Concert Hall have announced uilleann piper and flute player Louise Mulcahy as the recipient of this year’s Liam O’Flynn Award. The award was established in 2019 and supports traditional artists in the creation of work and the development of new ideas. Mulcahy is the fourth recipient of the award, following Jack Talty (2021), Barry Kerr (2020), and Úna Monaghan (2019).
Mulcahy will receive a bursary of €10,000; a dedicated work space at the NCH; €5,000 for fees and expenses relating to collaboration with other artists and the presenting of works; and professional support and career advice.
Mulcahy has previously received the Arts Council’s prestigious Markievicz Award and, in 2020, she featured in the Irish Traditional Music Archive online series Drawing From the Well, presenting an episode on the archive’s Liam O’Flynn collection. In December 2021, TG4 broadcast a documentary based on Mulcahy’s research on women uilleann pipers titled Mná na bPíob, which she also presented. In February this year, she was commissioned by the Irish Traditional Music Archive and the Department of Foreign Affairs to compose a new tune, ‘Port Naomh Bríd/St Brigid’s Jig’, to celebrate St Brigid’s Day.
Singer and flute player Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh has started hosting a new bilingual programme on RTÉ Radio 1, titled Folk on One. The first show aired on 16 April and it will be a weekly feature on Saturdays at 10pm. RTÉ Radio’s website describes the programme as ‘a golden hour of folk music both old and new, acoustic and traditional from across Ireland and beyond’. Commenting on the new programme on Twitter, Nic Amhlaoibh said ‘Folk is a very broad church, one that I am proud to be a part of. Is cúis mortais dom chomh maith go mbeidh an clár seo dhá-theangach.’ The next episode will air on 23 April. Nic Amhlaoibh previously presented Malairt Port on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta.
Listen to the first episode of Folk on One here: www.rte.ie/radio/radio1/clips/11400337/
Donegal fiddle player and TV director Ciarán Ó Maonaigh will begin a new traditional music programme on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta starting 28 April. Ceol a’Ghleanna will broadcast every Thursday at 7pm and will feature archive material as well as recent releases, with a particular focus on the music of Donegal. ‘It’s a great honour for me to present this new programme from northwest Donegal,’ said Ó Maonaigh, ‘particularly in this special 50th year of broadcasting for Raidió na Gaeltachta. I’m looking forward to sharing some of the music that has had the greatest impact on me since I began listening to the radio as a young boy many years ago.’
The Finding a Voice festival and the Contemporary Music Centre have announced Maeve Kelly as the winner of the 2022 competition for emerging women composers. Kelly’s winning composition Análú is based on the experience of suffering with chronic breathlessness. ‘Breath is not only a bodily function,’ said Kelly, ‘it allows us to speak, laugh and sing. It reflects our state of mind and can be consciously controlled. For many it has a spiritual significance. Breathlessness is a condition often overlooked by the wider society… This piece is an exploration of the inner life of one who lives with this experience.’ The text of this piece is an extract from the poem ‘Under the Surface’ by writer and librettist Jennifer Thorp.
Commenting on the award, Finding a Voice’s Artistic Director Róisín Maher said:
Once again, we had a record number of entries for our emerging composer competition … There was an exceptionally strong field of talented composers which bodes well for the future of composition in Ireland! Maeve is a very worthy winner and I’m excited to hear the work performed live at Clonmel Junction Arts Festival later in the year.
For further details, visit www.findingavoice.ie.
New York organisation ArtsWestchester has announced Irish-American flute and whistle player Joanie Madden as one of the recipients of its 2022 Arts Awards. The award was presented to Madden during its annual ceremony on 6 April at Brae Burn Country Club in Westchester County.
The annual awards recognise artists, cultural organisations, patrons and institutions that enrich the cultural life of the area, its communities and its citizens. ‘The pandemic has truly underscored the important place that music, dance and art of all kinds play in the creative heart and soul that makes Westchester such a great place to live and work,’ said Janet Langsam, CEO of ArtsWestchester. ‘At this time, we also recognize that the arts will play a vital role in the recovery of New York’s economy going forward.’
Madden is a founding member of the group Cherish the Ladies and a recipient of the 2021 National Heritage Fellowship Award, the United States government’s highest honour awarded to folk and traditional artists.
For more, visit: https://artswestchester.org/271764-2/
Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi have won a Grammy Award for ’They’re Calling Me Home’. See more here.
Jazz pianist Nils Kavanagh was this month announced as the recipient of the inaugural Young Irish Jazz Musician award. Full details here.
The TG4 Gradam Ceoil traditional music awards took place at the National Concert Hall last Sunday 17 April. Find out more about the recipients here.
For March 2022 appointments in music, see here.