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City based music academy aims to hit the right note

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The Groove Tube with Jimi McDonnell – tribunegroove@live.ie

Galway Music Academy, based in Galway City, will have an open day on this Saturday, August 24, giving people a chance to meet the teachers and enrol for classes that will begin on Monday, September 16.

“It’s an opportunity for people to come and see the facility, and to meet the teachers,” says Jamie O’Neill, the Academy’s founder. “Primarily, that’s the main thing – we’ve got a great team of teachers together, across a number of different genres.

“Parents can see firsthand the quality of teachers we have – they’ll be giving free workshops and people are welcome to join in. We’ll have all the information about this school’s philosophy.”

The Academy will operate from Galway Rehearsal Studios, which Jamie opened in the Ballybane Industrial Estate last year.

“That was a bit of a scary proposition, to launch a new business in a recession,” Jamie says.  “But my perspective was that this particular way of doing rehearsals – facilitating creativity with the band and producers, was based on the fact that it works in every other city in Ireland. And, therefore, it should certainly work in Galway.

“There was a lack of these sort of facilities in Galway, with 24/7 access to purpose-built studios,” he adds.  “The bands that are here are able to produce in their own way and in their own time. By the end of this summer, there’ll be half a dozen full albums recorded here. Bands like Dott, Christians Vs Lion, Them Martyrs.”

Recording a debut album is a nerve-wracking prospect for any musician, and being comfortable in a room is a vital. But Jamie is surprised that what he had conceived as a rehearsal space has become something of a recording hub.

“Initially, I didn’t really see the recording side of things being a big part of this place,” he says. “But now with the affordability of music recording software, the process has been demystified. Very shortly after I opened the doors, within a matter of weeks, there were recordings happening here.”

Jamie had initially planned to open a music school and a rehearsal space at the same time, but it just wasn’t feasible, so he held back on the Academy until now.

“I looked at opening the music school about four years ago, but I suppose because of the economy at that time, the rates and so on, I wasn’t quite brave enough to take it on. So I started to look more at the rehearsal space side of things.

“I eventually got around to establishing this,” he adds. “There was a lot of research, and persistence more than anything. It was always the short- to medium-term plan that once the studios were established enough, that the music school would be the thing.”

Classes at the Galway Music Academy will encompass traditional Irish, classical, pop/rock and jazz. Jamie, who drums with the excellent Brad Pitt Light Orchestra and has also played with Galway band, The Timbertramps, is excited about launching the school.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

Reverberate – exploring migration and memories

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Joselle Ntumba of Éireann and I, the collective that is presenting the show at Galway Arts Centre, pictured with her family.

Arts Week with Judy Murphy

A new exhibition, Reverberate, by Éireann and I, will open at the city’s Galway Arts Centre this Saturday, December 3, at 2pm, and will run until December 22.

Reverberate is an oral history project developed by Éireann and I, a black migrant community archive, in collaboration with members of Galway’s African diaspora.

The organisers invited Black migrants who have settled in Galway to recount their journeys to Ireland, their relationship with the city and county, and to reflect on whether they have developed a sense of belonging.

The testimonies in Reverberate come from eight people of varying age and from different places. The many subjects they deal with include parenting, politics, the effects of the asylum system on lives and the communities and organisations they have built.

Some of their shared background is immediately obvious, but there are deeper connections too and these demonstrate how all humans are affected by the global and local tensions that cause people to leave their homelands and build new lives elsewhere.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Songs of Celebration at Galway Cathedral

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Composer and clarinettist Emma Johnson will join Vox Orbis.

Galway’s Vox Orbis, a female choral ensemble directed by Mark Keane, is joining forces with internationally renowned clarinettist Emma Johnson to present her Songs of Celebration. The concert will take place in Galway Cathedral next Friday, December 9

Emma Johnson, who won the BBC Young Musician of the Future at the age of 17, has since gone on to become one of the world’s biggest selling classical artists, celebrated for her diverse repertoire. The choir will present two of her compositions as well as her Variations on We wish you a merry Christmas with Annalisa Monticelli, piano.

The programme will also include Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols, accompanied by concert harpist Aisling Ennis. Aisling has recently released an album of harp solos, Folly of Melancholy, and will perform a solo on the evening too. Galway based soprano Noreena McDonagh will join the choir for seasonal favourite, O Holy Night, newly arranged by conductor Mark Keane.

Vox Orbis promotes the work of female composers, and the programme will include Snow Angel by the contemporary Canadian composer Sarah Quartel, with Nickie Geddes, cello. They have also commissioned leading Irish composer, Rhona Clarke, to compose a set of carols, Sweet the Song, which will also be premiered on the evening.

Tickets at €20 are available on Eventbrite and at the door on the night. Visit voxorbis.ie for more information.

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CITY TRIBUNE

‘Potato People’ pays homage to victims of Great Famine

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Artist and sculptor Joe McCaul

The Potato People, an exhibition of sculptures based on the Irish Famine of 1845-49, will open in the foyer of Alcantara, one of the new buildings at the city’s Bonham Quay, this weekend.

It’s the work of artist and sculptor Joe McCaul, who lives in Ballinderreen.

These ceramic figures, fired in clay, “tell the harrowing stories of the lives and deaths of our ancestors during the Great Hunger”, he explains.

The exhibition has already had an eight-week run in Kinvara where it was very well-received, Joe adds.

Joe became fascinated by the Great Famine in recent times and with the many different accounts of those tragic years.

This fascination began in earnest when he read The Truth Behind the Irish Famine, by Kerryman Jerry Mulvihill.

“I began to feel a strong affinity with the people in these stories, their tragedy and the horrendous suffering they endured. I felt compelled to find a way to honour the millions who died of hunger and disease – and emigration; the countless stories forgotten in the Famine graveyards all over this country.”

Joe used his knowledge of working with paper clay to express this need. The process was intuitive and experimental, he says, as he worked without pre-planning or pre-drawing.

The resulting figures, which were formed by draping paper clay over armatures of chicken wire and steel bars, “just emerged from my fingertips. I sculpted feverishly for many months, one horrific figure leading to the next – so many stories to be told”.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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