Intro Text 

New Commissions

The Arts Office has recently awarded two commissions for traditional music, and one commission to work collaboratively with young people .

78 Revolution – Niall Vallely

78 Revolution will explore the interaction between live musicians and pre-recorded material; contemporary music and traditional music; modern technology and century-old technology; Irish musicians in 2018 and Irish musicians in 1918.  This piece will utilise archival audio and video as well as live musicians and electronics to create a stunning amalgamation of ancient and modern sounds. 78 Revolution will celebrate the circular nature of traditional music, turning back on itself while moving inexorably forward.

Over the past 25 years Niall Vallely has established himself worldwide as one of Ireland’s most significant musicians and composers. He began learning the concertina at the age of seven, taught by his parents Brian and Eithne Vallely, founders of the Armagh Pipers' Club. Over the years he has developed a unique approach to playing the instrument and his compositions have gained widespread acclaim both within the world of Irish traditional music and further afield.  Since the early 1990s Niall has been working at composing traditional-style tunes.  His tunes have been recorded on more than 75 albums while some of them have become ‘standards’ in sessions throughout the world. 

In more recent years he has been expanding the scope of his compositions to embrace larger scale forms and instrumentation and involving musicians from the worlds of traditional and classical music. He has received commissions from RTE LyricFM, BBC, TG4, Cork Opera House, Crash Ensemble, University College Cork, Kate Ellis and the Vanbrugh Quartet and has had his works broadcast on radio and television in Ireland, the US and throughout Europe.


Dinnseanchas - Lorcán Mac Mathúna

Dinnseanchas means the history and folklore of place-names; and is the title of this commission which will see young traditional musicians of the county take inspiration from records of the past, to unpack the contexts of traditional music and arts.

Sean-Nós interpreter and composer, Lorcán Mac Mathúna, will take young musicians and singers from The Pipers Club CCÉ, based in Monkstown, on a journey exploring themes of place and folklore, inspired by The Irish Folklore Commission’s School Collection; collected between 1937 and 39. The project aims to enrich the experience of participants -performers, their teachers, and audience- through deep and thematic engagement with archived folklore material; and to give new understanding of the context of traditional song, music, and storytelling. Lorcán will work throughout 2018 with musician’s storytellers and archivists on delivering a concert which will be performed in October 2018.

Lorcán Mac Mathúna is a Sean Nós singer and composer raised in Co. Dublin. Throughout his career he has worked across genres and collaborated with traditional, contemporary, improvised, and jazz musicians and composers. He has directed music projects and created many works including 6 song cycles and 6 studio albums. Commissioned song cycles include: The Battle of Clontarf, An Táin, Derry to the Sea, Tásc is Tuairisc, 1916 - Visionaries and their words, and The Arrows that Murder Sleep. Major works include Preab-Meadar; a groundbreaking collection of rhythms based on Gaelic syllabic poetry. He is a published researcher and a noted sean-nós tutor.


Commission with the Grainstore, dlr's Youth Arts Facility

Director Ciarán Taylor has been awarded the commission to create new artwork with young people at the Grainstore, dlr’s youth arts facility.  He will be working collaboratively with young people to create a new site-specific artwork connected to the Grainstore in Cabinteely Park. Research, development and creation will be taking place during 2018, exploring the history, spaces and creative life of The Grainstore, and the community of young people who have worked and played there, culminating in performances at the Grainstore and dlr LexIcon.