I'll roam the deserts of wild Abyssinia And yet find no cure for my pain I'll go and enquire on the Isle of St. Helena No there we will whisper in vain Now tell me ye critics now tell me in time The nation I'll range my sweet linnet to find Was he slain at Waterloo or at Elba on the Rhine If he was I shall never see him more
The Green Linnet
The Willie Clancy Summer School, held annually in Miltown Malbay, Co Clare is celebrating 40 years of activity dedicated to the memory of the influential uilleann piper. The format of classes, ceilis , lectures and concerts has remained reassuringly unchanged over the years and on Friday I heard the afternoon of 'Traditional Singing in Irish & English' at the Community Hall.
|Traditional Singing fromSean Garvey at Miltown Malbay Hall an Pobail|
What a pleasure to hear Ulster Singer, Len Graham, surely one of the most authoritave voices in the sean nós tradition . His powerful delivery of The Wee Lass on the Brae and a North Antrim version of The Parting Glass were a highlight of the afternoon. Mike Flynn represented Clare and closed the proceedings with his rendition of The Rocks of Bawn
|Gown and Parchment for late Muiris O Rochain cofounder|
This was music stripped to its barest elements, a solo voice unsupported by any instrument telling stories. Perhaps the most notable aspect of the afternoon was the intensity with which the audience of locals and international visitors listened to each singer to catch every nuance in the lyric. It was the same intensity which surrounded me in an audience in a packed French Theatre last week for a new opera production at the prestigious Festival d'Aix. While the forces and scale may have been different, the impulse of storytelling through song and the eagerness to listen were the same in the Grand Theatre de Provence and Halla an Pobail , Miltown Malbay
Here's to the next 40 years of Willie Clancy Festivals in Clare. Long may it prosper.
|Shop Window Ben Lennon Fiddler centre|
Other related posts you might enjoy The Raw Bar Festival of Singing in Clare
For the Great Gaels of Ireland are the man that God made mad, for all their wars are merry and all their songs are sad.