Category Archives: music

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Colin Dunne, Tola Custy, Maeve Gilchrist and David Power (Irl.)

Wednesday 21st September, 8.25pm

Music Network is thrilled to present a new collaboration between the prodigiously talented dancer Colin Dunne, fiddler Tola Custy, harpist Maeve Gilchrist and uilleann piper David Power. This newly-commissioned work, is a sparkling kaleidoscope of melody and rhythm inspired by the natural sounds and shimmering patterns of light that announce Ireland’s day. ‘Edges of Light’ draws from a unique and little known Irish idiosyncrasy: the rising of the sun at Dunsink Observatory occurs 25 minutes and 21 seconds later than at Greenwich, meaning that 8 pm Dublin Mean Time occurs at 8.25 pm GMT! Step in time anyone?

Best known for his performances and choreography in Riverdance and Dancing on Dangerous Ground, Colin Dunne has toured with musical groups The Chieftains and De Dannan and performed at such venues as Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall. Three award-winning musicians from Ireland and Scotland complete the ensemble: Clare fiddler Tola Custy, one of the founding members of ground-breaking band Guidewires, acclaimed harpist Maeve Gilchrist and uilleann piper David Power, a former member of Liam Clancy’s Fairweather Band and regular collaborator with Martin Hayes’ Masters of Tradition Project.

Colin Dunne, dance
Tola Custy, fiddle
Maeve Gilchrist, harp
David Power, uilleann pipes, whistles

Buy link: Book Now
Buy: Book Tickets Online Here or at An Grianán Theatre Box Office 074 91 20777
Price: €12/€10
Date: Wednesday 21st September
Time: 8.00pm



music

Dick Gaughan (Sco)

Friday 23rd September, 8.00pm

Guitarist, singer, songwriter and unparalleled interpreter of traditional and contemporary folk songs, Dick Gaughan has been called “the Scottish Woody Guthrie” for the depth, passion and political conviction of his music. He has one of the finest voices on the planet, capable of capturing the heart with the most traditional of ballads in one moment and stirring the fire of the spirit with his uncompromising commentary on social injustices in the next. And as a guitar player since the age of seven, his mastery of the instrument – acoustic and electric – is astounding.

For more than 35 years, Dick Gaughan has been forging an incredible musical legacy. He recorded his first of many solo albums in 1971 before joining the Boys of the Lough, in time for their first album. Shortly after, he helped found the legendary Scots/Irish folk-rock band Five Hand Reel, with whom he performed and recorded three albums during the ’70s. Since that time, Gaughan has released a series of powerful solo albums and occasional collaborations, such as Parallel Lines with Andy Irvine. His 1980 album, Handful of Earth, was voted by a Folk Roots critic’s poll as “the album of the decade.” In the mid-’90s, Gaughan formed, Clan Alba, a “supergroup” of Scottish traditional singers and musicians, before resuming his solo career.

Dick is deeply committed to fighting social injustice and standing up for the common man in the face of oppression. His unwavering belief in the strength of the human spirit to conquer seemingly insurmountable obstacles has influenced his willingness to sing new songs and rework old ones to accentuate an essential optimism and belief in humanity’s ability to stand up and be free. In this, he has become a leading voice in the topical song movement, inspiring a generation of songwriters that includes Billy Bragg, who says “Gaughan is one of my favourite artists and has been a tremendous influence on my career.”

Dick Gaughan has many and various influences. In his guitar playing one can detect the influence of Doc Watson and Bert Jansch, but he also claims to have been influenced by musicians as diverse as Hank Williams and Sean O Riada. His songs have been recorded by Billy Bragg, Marty Black and Capercaillie amongst many others. He has also recorded extensively as a session musician. Gaughan’s interest in composition and orchestration has led to two orchestral commissions from the prestigious Celtic Connections festival: Timewaves (Lovesong to a People’s Music) in 2004 and, in 2007, his first symphonic work, Treaty 300; a musical examination of the effects of the Treaty of Union of 1707. In 2002 Gaughan released Prentice Piece, a self-selected thirty-year retrospective of his career, and a studio album, Lucky for Some, was released in April 2006. A live CD (the first since 1985) entitled Gaughan Live! at the Trades Club, was released in 2008. The Boston Globe described Gaughan as “One of Britain’s most innovative and contemporary voices . . .a superb musician, one of the finest guitarists in the British Isles (Martin Carthy has called him the best player on the folk scene), and a brilliant all-around entertainer.”

Buy link: Book Now
Buy: An Grianán Theatre Box Office 074 91 20777
Price: €12/€10
Date: Friday 23rd September
Time: 8.00pm



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Nathalia Milstein (Fra)

Wednesday 19th October, 8.00pm

This tour sees the return to Ireland of the young French pianist Nathalia Milstein, who swept to victory in the 2015 Dublin International Piano Competition with what one critic described as an “electrifying” performance of Prokofiev’s Second Piano Concerto. While possessing a phenomenal technique, Nathalia has also been lauded for her wonderfully expressive, heartfelt playing and has quickly developed a reputation as an outstanding chamber musician in addition to her solo performances.

Nathalia gave two recitals as part of the 2015/2016 Steinway Celebration Series which finishes on June 6th, and recently gave her début recital at Carnegie Hall. She has also performed for French television and Dutch radio and won prizes at numerous competitions, including 1st Prize at the “Flame“ Youth Competition in Paris and 1st Prize in the Manchester International Concerto Competition For Young Pianists. Heavily influenced by the Russian pianistic school, her repertoire features many works by Romantic and early 20th-century composer.

Programme:

Johann Sebastian Bach Toccata in C minor, BWV 911
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Sonata in B-flat major, K.281
Béla Bartók Suite “Out of Doors” Sz.81
Franz Liszt Sonneto 104 del Petrarca
Gráinne Mulvey “Interference Patterns”
Maurice Ravel Le tombeau de Couperin

Buy link: Book Now
Buy: An Grianán Theatre Box Office 074 91 20777
Price: €12/€10
Date: Wednesday 19th October
Time: 8.00pm



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Furnace Mountain (USA)

Friday 21st October, 8.00pm

Straight from the Appalachian mountains, Virginian act Furnace Mountain unleash their own distinctive take on rootsy Americana, breathing new life into old-time, bluegrass and folk tunes.

One of the fast-rising stars of the American roots scene, Furnace Mountain have true Appalachian soil caked onto their boots. With a repertoire largely drawn from the old-time, bluegrass and folk ballad tradition, the quartet’s members all grew up on or near the mountain in Virginia bearing the same name as the group.

At times lively and raucous, at times poignant and poetic, Furnace Mountain have won critical acclaim for their fresh, authentic sound, which combines the heart-worn and effortlessly sweet vocal harmonies of Aimee Curl and Morgan Morrison with fiddle playing that evokes everything from keening bagpipes to lonesome train whistles – with some dazzling mandolin chops thrown in for good measure. The band have performed at folk and bluegrass festivals across the globe, gracing stages from the Yangtze River in China to the banks of the Shenandoah River, where they are the host band of the world famous Watermelon Park Festival each year.

Aimee Curl (bass, vocals)
Danny Knicely (mandolin, vocals, fiddle)
Dave Van Deventer (fiddle, vocals)
Morgan Morrison (bouzouki, vocals)

http://www.furnacemountain.com/

Buy link: Book Now
Buy: An Grianán Theatre Box Office 074 91 20777
Price: €12/€10
Date: Friday 21st October
Time: 8.00pm



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Hotclub of Cowtown (USA)

Wednesday 26th October, 8.00pm

Music Network presents Hot Club of Cowtown (USA)

Elana James, fiddle, vocals Whit Smith, guitar, vocals Jake Erwin, bass, vocals

For two decades Hot Club of Cowtown have been setting stages ablaze with their intoxicating blend of jaw-dropping virtuosity and down-home melodies, weaving together country, ragtime, big band jazz and blues to awesome effect. Based in Austin, Texas, the globetrotting trio are long-serving musical ambassadors for the US State department, bringing a barrel of joy to venues from Azerbaijan to the Sultanate of Oman, while touring with everyone from Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson to Roxy Music.Oozing warmth and charm, bassist Jake Ervin, guitarist Whit Smith and fiddler Elana James use every trick in the book to get those feet tapping:playing loose with tempos or ratcheting up the intensity with fretboard-blistering guitar licks, virtuosic fiddling and a Rockabilly-tinged slap-bass style. Be in no doubt: this music is for dancing and an old-fashioned good time!

 

“Pretty much the perfect trio…” The Belfast Telegraph

“Spirit, originality and skill that would surely have impressed Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt back in 1930s.” The Guardian

“[Elana’s voice] just flows with 1930s wonderment; it has an underlying sexiness that draws the listeners in until each and every one is caught in her musical spell” Maverick Magazine

 

Buy link: Book Now
Buy: An Grianán Theatre Box Office 074 91 20777
Price: €12/€10
Date: Wednesday 26th October
Time: 8.00pm



music

RANT (Sco)

Thursday 27th October, 8.00pm

Nominated in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2014, RANT is the meeting of 4 of Scotland’s finest fiddle players, two from the Shetland Islands and two from the Highlands.

Bethany Reid, Jenna Reid, Sarah-Jane Summers and Lauren MacColl join forces to create a rich, vibrant and evocative soundscape – a chamber ensemble of the highest quality. 4 fiddles: one beautiful sound!

Since the release of their debut album RANT in 2013, the band have made major festival and concert appearances across the UK, Ireland and Scandinavia, and recorded strings for Julie Fowlis on her latest album Gach Sgeul.

“This is dignified, deep and profound music.” fRoots

“Hypnotic” The Herald

“Rant’s playing throughout is immaculate, spirited and warm. Definitely one to look out for.” Fiona Talkington, Songlines

Buy link: Book Now
Buy: An Grianán Theatre Box Office 074 91 20777
Price: €12/€10
Date: Thursday 27th October
Time: 8.00pm



music

VEIN feat. Greg Osby (Sw/USA)

Thursday 17th November, 8.00pm

VEIN
Michael Arbenz: piano Thomas Lähns: bass Florian Arbenz: drums

There certainly is no special need any more to mention the fact that today most jazz piano trios are deeply attached to musical interplay (even though this fact is worth to never be taken for granted!).

And yet, even with the most subtle, most distinguished form of interplay there is always one in the trio who plays the part of the primus inter pares – the pianist, of course (usually and by definition leader of the group).

That’s exactly where pianist Michael Arbenz, drummer Florian Arbenz and bassist Thomas Lähns come up with their own idea of musical interplay. In fact, what they aim to achieve with their music – their understanding of music – is nothing less than the greatest possible balance of their three voices – starting with the way they work out their own compositions and arrangements, and going right through to the soloistic parts, fully assigned to all three of them.

The result is a stupendous musical togetherness, packed with surprising melodic, rhythmic and dynamic turns, played with highest precision even in the most complex, distorted and twisted passages of their compositions, arrangements and solos.

Buy link: Book Now
Buy: An Grianán Theatre Box Office 074 91 20777
Price: €12/€10
Date: Thursday 17th November
Time: 8.00pm



music

Pierre Bensusan (Fra)

Friday 18th November, 8.00pm

“How the guitar would want to sound if it could play itself”…

The “Mozart of Guitar” is back in the UK & Ireland. Over the past 43 years, acoustic guitar virtuoso Pierre Bensusan has taken his unique sound to all corners of the globe. Winner of the 2014 Independent Music Award in the Live Performance Album category for his triple live album “Encore”, voted Best World Music guitarist by Guitar Player Magazine reader’s Poll, Pierre is recognized as one of the greatest guitar players of the 21st century. Described as a ‘genius’ by the likes of Jon Gomm and Melody Maker, immortalised by the tune ‘Bensusan’ written in tribute by the late Michael Hedges, and referenced as an important inspiration to many other great musicians, Pierre Bensusan is a one-of-a-kind artist whose music transcends genre and time, with an uninhibited sense of musical freedom and expression, a sense of something both playful and serious, otherworldly yet right here right now. His “manner” of playing defies classification – crossing world, classical, jazz, traditional, folk, pop and more. None can be isolated as simply “World Music”, “Celtic”, “Arabic” or “French”; rather, they represent our world in its current state, a world sharing itself, fusing cultures together in ways we have never experienced. A great embassador of peace. Not to be missed!
“Bensusan is very much his own animal. It’s like listening to a butterfly, to dappled sunshine coming through quaking aspens. His music flits and darts around like fish in a pool. And his compositions manage to encompass both the calmness of the pool and the flashing of the fish. It’s an entrancing, almost hypnotic thing to watch and hear, as he seems eager to share his journey, his light. I was struck by how the aim of each song was to be beautiful. Not witty, not avant-garde, not new, necessarily, but beautiful. A great craftsman plying his trade. A shepherd with his flock. As I left I felt all of a sudden that I’d been to temple, my own sort of temple, and by the end of the service I felt purified, cleansed, and ready for the new year.”

Nyack News and Views (USA, NY, Dan Cohen, Oct 4, 2015)

Buy link: Book Now
Buy: An Grianán Theatre Box Office 074 91 20777
Price: €12/€10
Date: Friday 18th November
Time: 8.00pm