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Cream of the Traditional Music crop for Tunes In The Church

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Emma O'Sullivan who is organising traditional music concerts at Tunes In The Church

Spend any length of time in Galway City Centre these days and it’s likely you’ll be brought to a halt by the crowds around Evergreen Health Shop on Mainguard Street watching the nimble Emma O’Sullivan display her sean-nós dancing skills, accompanied by live traditional music.

Emma’s street performance serves as an unparalleled advertisement for Tunes in the Church, a summer-long series of traditional concerts being held in St Nicholas’s Collegiate Church in which the Renvyle dancer plays a key role.

Tunes in the Church, featuring the cream of Ireland’s musicians, was set up some years ago in Galway by Kerry musician Cormac Begley to give audiences and performers a chance to interact in a non-pub, non-session environment.

The venue was the medieval St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church and that still the base. Cormac has since moved to Dublin and now runs Tunes in the Church there at the Unitarian Church on Stephen’s Green, while Emma and Christopher Place have taken responsibility for running the Galway concerts.

Emma is a sublime dancer, whose warm personality comes through in her performances, and who has won awards all over the place, but she laughs as she says she didn’t start dancing until she was 20, when she was studying for a Business and Marketing degree at GMIT.

At the time, she was dating a sean-nós dancer who was so committed to his work that all of their dates were scheduled around his performances and practices.

Emma had grown up in a family steeped in traditional music and dancing and while she had learned neither, she realised when watching her then boyfriend that she had an instinctive feel for sean-nós dancing.

“Something clicked,” she recalls.

“Every step he was doing, I could almost predict what was coming up next. I just got the language.”

Tunes In The Church is running in the city from Monday to Friday throughout July, and seven nights a week in August.

Some of the 100 guest musicians taking part this year include harpists Laoise Kelly and Kathleen Loughnane, flute players Harry Bradley and Gary Hastings, accordion players Brendan Begley, Andrew McNamara and Colm Gannon, singer Niamh Parsons, uilleann pipers Tommy Keane, Maitiú Ó Casaide and Cormac Cannon, and concertina players Cormac Begley and Jacqueline McCarthy. That’s just a sample of the talent.

Each session is broken into two halves, with a core group taking part in the first half.

They include 22-year-old Clarinbridge accordion player Conor Connolly “who is gifted and has an old head”, says Emma. He has a lot of tunes from South and East Galway and is able to put these in context for the audience, being a natural storyteller, she adds. Similarly, with harpist Úna Ní Fhlanagáin, who has a background in music education.

The numbers attending Tunes in the Church this year are up on last summer with a mix of foreign and Irish tourists. Emma describes Tunes in the Church as an evening of “amazing music, fully acoustic, in a relaxed, zen-like atmosphere”, and says it’s a chance to engage with “the cream of the crop” in a unique way.

Tickets are €15 per person and include a tour of the historic medieval church.

Fore more about Tunes In The Church see this week’s Galway City Tribune digital edition here or download our app.

Connacht Tribune

Evoke broaden their sound to fuse Motown with folk!

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Evoke...new single from Loughrea four-piece.

Groove Tube with Cian O’Connell

Almost a year on from the release of their debut EP, Loughrea four-piece Evoke are back, with their fourth studio single Sorry than Safe. And the track sees the group push themselves in its arrangement and production – experimenting with Motown-style rhythm and soul, while retaining the folk sensibilities that run through their extended catalogue.

It was August of last year when the Revelations EP came to life and progress has naturally stalled through multiple lockdowns.

Having found themselves in need of work to replace the income lost during the national pause on live music, the band has been busy in the intervening eleven months – but not quite in the circumstances they had hoped to be. Sorry than Safe has been in the pipeline since that EP’s conception so realising the song as a finished article now feels like a big moment.

“We’d just come off the release of the EP and we went down and recorded this song and another one off the cuff,” recalls lead singer Keagan Forde.

“It was a tough song to blend with everything we wanted. The banjo is at the root of our sound all the time and it’s something we really wanted to keep in but with this, it was really difficult to blend the banjo into such a dense mix. The drums are really thick, the bass is really thick, there are layers of organs and vocals and guitars… layers upon layers of everything and trying to arrange the banjo and get it to sit in nicely caused a few headaches.

“It was tough to navigate staying true to our own sound and what we’re able to replicate live but making the most of the production and throwing ourselves into that. It’s our most complicated song if that makes sense. For two and a half minutes, there’s a lot going on.”

Given the time the band spent toiling over the single, it is no surprise to hear Keagan emphasise the importance of the production on Sorry than Safe. The song feels like a marked studio upgrade, and it seems to have required plenty of planning. Having orchestrated the EP in the leadup to the recording of the song, the group benefitted heavily from its increasing recording experience.

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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Connacht Tribune

Musical ‘Playboy’ takes to highways and byways

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Philip Sweeney and Kate O'Toole who are performing in the musical version of The Playboy of The Western World.

Arts Week with Judy Murphy

Nobody could accuse Justin McCarthy of lacking imagination, because this man of many parts – musician, television director, videographer, dramatist – will go to any lengths to get his long-cherished pet project to the biggest audience he can. The Playboy of the Western World – The Musical started out as a radio production, broadcast to critical acclaim on RTÉ; it became a stage show at An Taibhdhearc and the Town Hall Theatre before Covid forced it outdoors into a giant tent – and now it’s about to embark on a national tour.

Once again, it will be staged under canvas, with an all-star cast that includes the legendary Kate O’Toole as narrator, amid a host of home-grown talent, many of whom have been part of the story through its various incarnations.

Two nights at Coole Park in Gort on August 27 and 28 will wrap up the short tour, by which time it will have been staged on the grounds of IMMA in Dublin, from August 5 to 7, and at Muckross House in Killarney, from August 19 to 21.

This is the culmination of an idea that has burned brightly for over three years now, ever since Justin – whose own professional background is in directing for television – and actor and director Diarmuid de Faoite first got the idea to develop a musical version of John Millington Synge’s classic drama which tells the story of the arrival of a young man, Christy Mahon, into a village in West Mayo, claiming that he’s on the run after having killed his farmer father.

Problem was they couldn’t find any theatre company willing to take on the risk – so they re-imagined it as a radio play and approached RTÉ’s head of drama, Kevin Reynolds, who loved it.

Thus, The Playboy of the Western World – the Radio Musical was broadcast on RTÉ Radio and won a silver award at the annual PPI Radio Awards in Kilkenny, adding to the bronze which it won at New York Festival’s Best Radio Program Award.

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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CITY TRIBUNE

Ceramic artist who found her creative home in Galway

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Tatiana Dobos...creative space in Galway.

A ceramic artist who made her home in Galway a decade ago is one of twelve creative pioneers to feature in a new series of abstract short films available for viewing on the TG4 Player.

Samhlú Croí Cruthaitheach is a season of twelve commissioned abstract short films featuring artists and creatives – among them Moldovan born Galway-based ceramic artist Tatiana Dobos.

Tatiana was born in 1982 in Bujor, and studied all kinds of ‘numbers’ till she was 27, when she discovered clay accidentally while doing sculpture in an art studio.

She describes it as being like arriving home for the first time. She had to quit my job, erase everything she studied and start her forever journey with clay which, since then, is a constant learning and discovering process.

She came to Ireland in 2010, and Galway felt like home from the first walk on its streets.

“Ten years later I can say that Galway is the true and only home to me,” she says.

“My studio is located in Knocknacarra, very close to the sea where I cycle almost every day for refreshing swims, and also close to Barna Woods, a place for reflection and reconnection. It feels really inspiring to be so close to Connemara and Burren, places that invite to rediscovering oneself,” she adds.

From her little studio, Tatiana creates ceramic artworks inspired by human emotions.

She seeks to materialize in her works the mechanisms of the inner battles, at the same time exploring the anatomy of the aftermath.

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.

 

Continue Reading

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