Friday, April 27, 2012

Laura Feddersen & Anna Colliton #5/5 Live at The Ale House

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Irish nights: Uplifting songs played simply

Session in Mulligans Irish Music Bar, Amsterda...(Photo credit: Wikipedia)There’s no band, and an audience isn’t necessary, but there are plenty of musicians, and the place is packed.

This format is the way Irish music works on Monday nights at Galloway Station. Musicians form a closed circle and play traditional tunes, usually in unison, flute player Lee Worman said.

The group is not a band; it’s an informal gathering that anyone can join, Worman said. Musicians take turns around the circle calling the next tune. It’s a “session,” as the Irish call it, not a performance, he said, though the players are pleased to have an audience.

“There’s not a lot of harmonies, no arrangements, no fancy stuff — just play the tunes,” said Worman, who hosts “The Gold Ring” program of Irish music on KSMU. Musicians learn songs by ear and pass them down in an aural tradition, he said.

That’s how fiddler John Ehlers learned Irish music. “When I started showing up 5-6 years ago, I knew no Irish music. Just by sitting in and listening, I taught myself to play it,” he said.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Conwy Valley firm makes drums for world famous musicians

Cymraeg: Dyffryn Conwy English: Conwy valleyCymraeg: Dyffryn Conwy English: Conwy valley (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A HOBBY has grown into a business for members of a Celtic folk band who have started handcrafting traditional drums.
Alan Collinson and Mark Harmsworth, who are members of Conwy county based The Wee Bag Band, are behind an innovative project to make bodhráns and other frame drums in Tal-y-Bont.
The bodhrán (byddar in Welsh) is the Celtic folk drum of Wales, Ireland and Scotland. And although they use traditional materials they are also using up to date laser technology.
“Mark is a teacher of craft design technology so he has the skills necessary to make the drums, and I’m the drummer in the band so I bring the practical side of how the drums sound to the table,” explained Alan.

And within a few months of the company starting up, it’s received a number of prestigious commissions from some of the world’s leading percussionists and musicians.
“We recently designed and produced special drums for Dame Evelyn Glennie, the world famous deaf percussionist, and in the process constructed what is probably the largest bodhrán in the world,” said Alan.

A self-employed cartographer, his map-making business was hit by the recession so the drum-making has seen a hobby turn into an enterprise.
“I started teaching drumming at corporate gigs and with 200 to 300 people attending we didn’t have enough drums for everyone.
“That’s where we got the idea of making them.
“Last year we went to a few music festivals and sold them there, and that encouraged us to go into business as Dragon Drums and it’s just starting to take off,” explained Alan.
The drums are made in a barn at a farm near Tal-y-Bont and are distinctive because, by laser etching the wooden shell before it is formed, the company can decorate them with a variety of Celtic, Welsh and custom designs.
“It’s customising them which makes them a bit different and because we’re musicians ourselves we work had to make sure they sound good as well,” added Alan.

Conwy Valley firm makes drums for world famous musicians - North Wales Weekly News

Friday, April 20, 2012

Percussion workshop at the Linenhall

Image of Linenhall Street, looking towards Rus...Image of Linenhall Street, looking towards Rush St., Castlebar, Mayo, Eire (Photo credit: Wikipedia)"Bodhrán player and percussionist Robbie Harris presents a Rhythms of the World percussion workshop for anyone over 16 years of age at the Linenhall Arts Centre in Castlebar on Thursday May 3 from 7.30pm to 9.30pm.

This interactive and fun workshop will introduce participants to rhythms from all over the world and will teach them to explore their own abilities through a hands-on drumming experience. Rhythms from a wide variety of locations including Ireland, Africa, Latin America, and Asia will be explored, as well as a range of ensemble drumming pieces. Percussion instruments will be provided for all participants. No experience is necessary. Robbie has recorded and performed with artists including Bobby McFerrin, Clannad, Bob Geldof, Dónal Lunny, and Rodrigo y Gabriela. He toured extensively with Riverdance The Show, and has been a guest lecturer at The Julliard and The New School, New York.

The workshop will run from 7.30pm to 9.30pm and costs €6, booking is essential so you should call 094 9023733 for more information. The Linenhall Arts Centre acknowledges the financial support of the Arts Council and Mayo County Council in making this workshop possible."

Percussion workshop at the Linenhall:

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Bushmills Irish Whiskey to Host Music Festival

BushmillsBushmills (Photo credit: Wikipedia)The Old Bushmills Distillery, where handcrafted Irish Whiskey has been made for centuries, is to host a landmark whiskey and music festival. The Bushmills Live two-day festival will take place on June 20th and 21st and will be the first ever music festival staged in an Irish whiskey distillery.

Some of the Bushmills' most famous fans will play a series of intimate gigs at the distillery which is situated on Ireland’s north coast. Age old buildings where the art of distilling has been practiced for generations will become venues for the festival.

Already strongly associated with the contemporary music scene through a series of global partnerships that's seen artists such as Bon Iver, Chromeo, Theophilus London, Foy Vance and Iain Archer appear in its current advertising campaign.

Colum Egan, Master Distiller at the Old Bushmills Distillery, has this to say about the festival:

I am so excited about Bushmills Live and the fantastic line-up of talent that will be coming to the distillery this summer! We are in the final stages of confirming all the artists and I can’t wait to tell you who will be playing. I can promise you that the acts that will be performing are both known and loved around the world. Their music, like our whiskey, represents the very best in craftsmanship. We welcome more than 100,000 visitors to our distillery every year and it will be fantastic to host some of our most famous friends as part of Bushmills Live this summer. It will be a unique occasion and will bring the best of handmade music and the best of handmade Irish Whiskey together under one roof.

Sounds like fun, right? But before you whip out the credit card to book your tix, read on and make sure your camera and your best friend are within easy reach.

Bushmills Live will be a “money can’t buy experience.” Tickets for the event won’t go on general release. Instead, fans can win the chance to attend the festival only by entering a competition on the Bushmills Facebook page,

To stand a chance of winning Bushmills fans will have to submit a photo of themselves and a friend and explain why they should be in the audience for Bushmills Live. As well as listening to great music, those fortunate enough to win a ticket to the festival will also have the opportunity to make their own blend of Bushmills Irish Whiskey.

To win tickets to ‘Bushmills Live’ or to find out more, visit You've got until 11:59 p.m. (Greenwich Mean Time) on the 27th of April.

Bushmills Irish Whiskey to Host Music Festival | CheapOair

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Clans to gather for celtic spree

Modern flag of Brittany (the Gwenn-ha-du, made...Modern flag of Brittany (the Gwenn-ha-du, made in 1923), formerly strong nationalist symbol, but less so today. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)IF you’re moved by the spine-tingling skirl of pipes, beat of drums, colour and spectacle, join the clans and spectators from across the nation on May 3-6 for the Australian Celtic Festival’s 20th birthday.
Organisers are delighted by the surge of interest for the anniversary event, preparing it to eclipse the 2011 festival which drew a record of almost 6000 visitors and injected $1.5 million into the community.

Discounted weekend festival passes are available at the Visitor Information Centre to residents for $20 on proof of residency.

The festival will honour remote Galicia, Asturias and Brittany in line with the tradition of singling out a Celtic nation each year. Galicia, in a mountainous region south of the Bay of Biscay, is renowned for pilgrimages to the shrine of Santiago de Compostela where in the ninth century the reputed tomb of the Apostle James was discovered.

Neighbouring Asturians are noted for their courage and independence, shown in the Napoleonic wars and Spain’s 1936-39 civil war.

Brittany, northwest France, has a landscape dotted with megalithic monuments, Celtic language, akin to Welsh, is still spoken in some western areas with colourful costumes, featuring high lace headdresses, worn in celebrations.

A dance spectacular from the traditions of the three Celtic nations will be among highlights of the festival.

Spanish Oye Ritmo, from Brisbane, with all Spanish descendant performers who’ve been acclaimed at Canberra’s National Folk Festival, will present a fusion of dance from Galicia and Asturias.

Perth-based Souleiado French Dance Group, in demand for Celtic dances from Brittany, include Breton women as advisers on dance authenticity. Multi-instrumental Senor Cabrales, from Bathurst, will make their first appearance at the festival with traditional Asturian and other Celtic music.

Canadian dancer and choreographer Shawn Silver, from Newfoundland, who has performed with Ireland’s Riverdance, will return for his second appearance at the festival.

Clans to gather for celtic spree - Local News - News - General - Glen Innes Examiner: