London- based musicians feature in the new series of TG4’s traditional musical series ‘Ceolaireacht’ (Musical Wanderings) which returns this weekend with presenter Doireann Ní Ghlacáin.
Armed with her fiddle and bicycle, Doireann embarks on another musical journey, exploring lesser-known traditional musical strongholds across Ireland and beyond.
Doireann commences her journey in London, a city steeped in Irish musical history due to the migration waves during the 50s and 80s.
Meeting with key figures such as Reg Hall, instrumental in the iconic recording ‘Paddy in the Smoke’ capturing London’s music scene in 1968, and connecting with young musicians like Eimear McGeown and Rita Farrell, Doireann explores the vibrant intersection of classical and traditional music. A visit to the renowned Irish pub, Brendan the Navigator, introduces her to Seáinín Phat Mhaidhle from Conamara and James Óg Carty, a talented fiddle player from the musical Carty family.
Doireann, who has played at London’s well known traditional festival herself, also meets Return to London Town founder and director Karen Ryan at the London Irish Centre where the festival began as Return to Camden Town all the way back in 1999.
Returning to Ireland, Doireann criss-crosses the country, exploring the traditional music styles of the current generation in North Tipperary, Cork, and Mayo.
Conversations with a diverse array of musicians and singers, including Jackie Daly, Matt Cranitch, Laoise Ni Chinnéide (Up and Coming Fiddler of London 2022), Gerry O’Connor, Julie Langan, Keelan McGrath, Séamus Ó Mongáin, Séamus Deane, Joe Carey, Liam Mac Congail, and vocalists Con Fada Ó Drisceoil, Astrid Ní Mhongáin and Cáit Ní Riain, provide insights into the regional styles of their respective areas.
While Sliabh Luachra, Co. Clare, and Donegal are famous for their recognizable regional styles, Doireann is aiming to uncover emerging uncelebrated and styles in other parts of the country, such as North Tipperary, Cork City, North Mayo, and, of course, London.
The series reflects the current renaissance of Traditional Irish Music, experiencing a flourishing resurgence throughout the country and beyond.
Particularly noteworthy is the growing interest and innovation among the younger generation. Traditional music, once confined to small pockets, is now thriving and captivating a whole new audience.
The new series of ‘Ceolaireacht,’ premieres this Sunday 21 January 21, 2024, at 9.45pm and continues at 9.30pm for three weeks afterwards.