About Carry The Tunes
Carry The Tunes is a collection of specially recorded concerts that trace the tradition across 100 years of music-making and sharing. The first part of the series was recorded in the legendary Cryan's Teach Ceoil in the heart of Carrick on Shannon with the second phase of recordings taking place here in The Dock. We are delighted to share it with you. The title of the series is a reference to the tradition of picking up, carrying, and passing on the music.
It is more than just a series of concerts, however. Each performance explores not only the music through its playing but through conversation and insight also peels back the layers of history that accompany each piece. Using composers and styles as points of departure Carry The Tunes embarks on a remarkable journey of discovery and rediscovery of the origins of the tunes and songs, how they have travelled across time and place to remain firmly rooted in the tradition.
This series was in part inspired by James Fraher and Gregory Daly’s 2020 publication 'In Nearly Every House' which contains biographies along with black and white photographs featuring over one hundred traditional musicians from counties Sligo, Leitrim, Roscommon, and Mayo.
As part of the Carry the Tune series, you can listen to an exclusive interview with those authors recorded at The Dock by broadcaster, Vincent Woods.
The Carry The Tunes series will continue with the recording of four additional concerts in The Dock during September and October 2021. These will be released online in November and December 2021.
June to August
“The McKenna Influence” Featuring Sean Gilrane (flute), Lorraine Sweeney (flute), Liam Kelly (flute), John McCartin (guitar) and Liam Cryan (Bodhrán)
The concert referenced tunes & archive recordings of McKenna, whose recording career spanned from 1921 to 1937 during which time he recorded with New Republic, O'Byrne De Witt, Columbia and Decca Records, amongst others. John McKenna was responsible for reintroducing Leitrim tunes such as "Lucky in Love", "The Sailor and the Rock" and the "Happy Days of Youth".
His legacy of recordings made him one of the most influential flute players in Irish traditional music and that influence has been felt throughout subsequent generations of Leitrim flute players right up to the current generation of players including Packie Duignan and Mick Woods.
Seán Gilrane is an authority on McKenna, leading out on extensive research on John McKenna,
resulting in an important publication in recent years on the music and life of McKenna, with the John
McKenna Society in Leitrim. The connection from this concert back to McKenna himself is made all the stronger as Liam Kelly from the band Dervish is playing one of John McKenna’s flutes in the recorded performance and releasing a CD of McKenna tunes played on this flute.
Watch the concert
"The North Connacht Influence” Featuring : Dylan Carlos (fiddle), Daithi Gormley (accordion), Clare Bohan (fiddle) John McCartin (guitar)
This concert featured four of the finest musicians available to explore how the music of Michael Coleman and James Morrison has endured and continues to influence newer generations of musicians. The selection of tunes that we were treated to was made up of many session tunes taken from Michael Coleman’s archive 78rpm recordings from the 1920’s. These recordings have had a strong influence on fiddle players. Daithi Gormley explored the connection with the other celebrated Sligo fiddle player James Morrison, who also emigrated to New York and in addition to Coleman, is well-known for his 78rpm recordings from the 1920s and 1930s. These recordings have hugely influenced many musicians, including Daithi. The players also referenced their different interpretations of a tune from Stephen Grier’s manuscripts and Dylan played homage to the Roscommon flute tradition, which has also influenced him as a fiddle player through his father John Carlos.
Watch the concert
“The Generational Influence” Featuring Oliver Loughlin (accordion), Breda Shannon (flute/concertina), Aisling Ní Choisdhealbha (fiddle) and special guest Michael O' Brien (accordion)
The significance of “The Generational Influence” underpinned this highly enjoyable performance celebrating the importance of people like Michael O’ Brien to the tradition and music in his area and in the county of Leitrim. Michael is not only a rich source of tunes, he is also a passionate advocate of traditional music who inspires and enthuses all who have had the pleasure of playing in his company, generously sharing, encouraging and influencing so many younger musicians. Hearing Oliver Loughlin, and many others, reference Michael’s influence in his musical development is testament to Michael’s importance to the music in Leitrim over many years. Michael’s deep knowledge of Leitrim music and musicians also makes him an important keeper of stories so fundamental to our understanding of the broader context of how the tradition has survived. Hearing names such as Seamus Horan and Joe Burke recalled ensures that their legacy remains intact.
"The Leitrim Influence” Featuring Fionnuala Maxwell (vocal), Eleanor Smith (vocal/concertina), Clare Bohan (fiddle), John McCartin (guitar) and Liam Cryan (Bodhrán)
The last in the summer series of concerts, this concert focused on the song tradition and how this is
passed on. Cryan’s Teach Ceoil presented the perfect place for this exploration as it is a location renowned for traditional singing and known as a place where young singers learn songs. Indeed, in her performance Fionnuala was accompanied by a younger singer, whom Fionnuala has influenced through her teaching. The songs in this wonderful concert have been handed down and learned over generations and are to be found in community archives, the Dúchas collection and other online collections.
November and December
The Ward Sisters: Women in Irish Traditional Music Featuring Niamh Ward, Sarah Ward, Lisa Ward, Orla Ward.
The Wards sisters are from Ballinagleara Co. Leitrim and are rooted in Irish traditional music. Thismulti-instrumental family have been awarded many All-Ireland Fleadh titles over their years. Lisa, the eldest, released her debut album Black Swan in 2015. Their performance is inspired by female artistswithin the Irish traditional music scene and will celebrate female artists from Leitrim, the surroundingareas and female artists from further afield.
Turlough O’Carolan Influence – Harp trio. Featuring Fiachra Guihen, Emma Benson, Niamh McGloin
Turlough O’Carolan has contributed greatly to Irish traditional music and has a special connection with this area. His legacy is celebrated each year in Keadue, as part of the O’Carolan Festival and Summer School. Fiachra and Emma are both from Keadue and play a major role in setting up the festival and summer school each year. Niamh McGloin, from Grange, Co. Sligo has studied the harp for many years including immersing herself in learning O’Carolan’s repertoire.
Teachers and Students from the Region Featuring Brian Mostyn – Button Accordion, Emily Keane – Flute, Catherine Cullen – vocal/tinwhistle/dance
Music teachers and tutors play an important role in passing the tradition onto up-and-coming musicians, so we are proposing to have a session featuring local teachers and students of Irish traditional music who have influenced young people to start playing.
Irish World Academy of Music and Dance Featuring Niall Keegan – Flute – Alan Reid – Banjo/ Bouzuki, JohnCarty – Fiddle/ Banjo, Sandra Joyce -sean nos song/ bohrán
For the final session in the series, we are proposing an academic approach. Featuring musicians who have connections with the region and have been influenced by the music tradition from Roscommon/Leitrim and surrounding areas, Dr. Niall Keegan, Dr. Sandra Joyce, John Carty and Alan Reid. All coming from the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance in the University of Limerick, these musicians have all completed research on the tradition here and have a wealth of knowledge in Irish traditional music.