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Memorable Inish – an island festival forges unique identity

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Sunday's walk on Inishbofin, taking in the island's archaeology, history, topography and wildlife, attraced 113 people. They heard local historian Tommy Burke give an overview of Bofin's past, inluding St Colman's association with the island where he established a monastery in the 7th century.

Something rare and special took place on Inishbofin last weekend during the island’s second ever Inish Festival.

Whether it was discovering the treasure that is Kilchreest singer-songwriter Larry Beau, or hearing actress Olwen Fouéré talk about her life and growing up in nearby Cleggan, this was a festival full of surprises.

The four-day event also gave musicians, poets, film-makers and artists a chance to meet and discuss ideas – that’s one of the main aims of Inish: Island Conversations, according to its founder, Peadar King, who hails from Inishbofin.

Stunning weather and scenery provided the backdrop for the amazing mix of music, documentaries, talks and readings – a marked contrast to last year’s festival, when it rained incessantly.

Fine weather, being so rare in Ireland, could have discouraged audiences from attending events in Bofin’s community centre – which possesses one of the darkest halls in Ireland. But it didn’t.

Locals and visitors attended sell-out concerts, including a double bill from Canada’s Doug Paisley and Portugal’s Elisa Rodrigues, with Pedro Vidal on piano.

From closer to home, Máirtín O’Connor, Garry Ó Briain and Cathal Hayden joined forces with the ConTempo quartet for an evening where trad music met classical to resounding approval. Friday night’s concert from the high-energy, fun and excellent Whileaways, was preceded by an unusual show featuring four-singer songwriters. Jack L, Steve Wall, Doug Paisley and Larry Beau took turns to perform some of their own compositions, giving the stories behind them. It was a mellow and revelatory evening, and fascinating to watch the various ways in which the performers engaged with the audience.

Over four days, Inish hosted film screenings and panel discussions, exploring themes of identity, emigration and island life. Atlantic, Richie O’Donnell’s crowd-funded documentary on the impact of the fight for oil, gas and fishing resources on coastal communities, resonated with audiences as did A Turning Tide in the Life of Man. Filmed over eight years, it followed small-time fisherman John O’Brien in his quest to protect that island and local people’s fishing rights.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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Legendary Andy Irvine in concert

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Andy Irvine

Legendary singer/songwriter Andy Irvine will play the Gig Room in the Kinvara Community Centre next Saturday, May 28, at 8pm.

With an impressive repertoire of Irish songs and Balkan dance tunes, he is renowned for his unique fusion of Irish and World music.

Andy’s musical career took off when he joined Sweeney’s Men in 1965, touring extensively with them before leaving in 1968 to pursue his own musical journey. That took him to Bulgaria, Romania and Yugoslavia, as he studied the music and traditions of these places.

During this time, he began playing the bouzouki professionally, as it allowed him to develop his own style while deepening his knowledge of Balkan music.

Back in Ireland Andy founded the now-legendary Planxty with Christy Moore, Donal Lunny and Liam O’ Flynn. When the group took a break in 1967, he recorded an album with Paul Brady, simply entitled Andy Irvine & Paul Brady, which became a classic.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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World premiere to feature in free concert

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Dave Flynn

The world premiere of E-Bow, a work for string quartet and electric guitar by  composer Dave Flynn, will take place this Sunday, May 22, at 3pm at the O’Donoghue Theatre, NUIG. Admission is free and all are welcome.

E-Bow will be performed by Galway’s quartet in residence, ConTempo, and Dave Flynn himself. A work in three movements, it plays with the tradition of the guitar quintet, which dates back to the late 18th century, but brings it in new directions by using an electric guitar with the addition of an e-bow.

This is a hand-held electronic bow invented by Greg Heet in 1969 and patented in 1978, after which it became an essential tool for rock guitarists. Performers including Blondie, U2, Radiohead, Big Country, Genesis, Pink Floyd and R.E.M. have used them, but e-bows are less common in classical music because they don’t work on nylon-string classical guitars.

The work was co-commissioned by long-term commissioning partners Galway Music Residency (GMR) and Galway City Council and is being presented  as part of Arts in Action, by  GMR, in association with Dublin’s Contemporary Music Centre.

Sunday’s show will also include a performance of Philip Glass’ Mishima, arranged for string quartet and electric guitar, with special permission from the composer. Philip Glass composed this piece for the film Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters, about Japanese author Yukio Mishima who died in November 1970 after performing Seppuku (ritual suicide by disembowelment).

For more, read this week’s Galway City 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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Hidden Horses in Kinvara’s KAVA gallery

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Hidden Horses in Kinvara’s KAVA gallery

Hidden Horses, an exhibition of work by Clare-based artist Kate Browne will open at Kinvara Area Art Gallery, KAVA, this Friday, May 20, and will run daily until Sunday, May 29, from 11am – 4pm.

It’s an exhibition that grew from the loss she felt over the past decade as her children left home and began to forge their own paths.

Kate, who’d had a passion for horses in her younger years, rediscovered that passion.

“Now my muses are the mountain ponies of neighbours, the rescued equines and forgotten horses in our countryside and cities.  Hidden Horses asks you to see that the lives of all sentient creatures, is our moral obligation and to speak up when in doubt.”

All are welcome to view the work at the KAVA gallery in Kinvara’s  former courthouse.

 

 

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