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
Thursday 22nd September, 8.00pm
Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O. (and subsequent offshoots) is a Japanese psychedelic band, the core of which formed in 1995.
Led by Kawabata Makoto, there are currently around 30 members, famous and unknown, musicians, artist, dancers, farmers etc. In order to follow and document their multifarious activities, in 1998 the Acid Mothers Temple family record label was set up. The Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. group is just one part of collective’s activities.
Over a decade ago Kawabata became involved with a commune of Japanese beatniks and hippies. The members of Acid Mothers Temple have several houses all over Japan, and each of us is free to come and go between these houses. So we’re not a commune in the sense that all of us live together in the same place. There are some members who like to travel, others who stay at home. Everyone is free to live in whatever way they like. Our slogan is “Do Whatever You Want, Don’t Do Whatever You Don’t Want!!”. As a result of this philosophy, we have lost money and the trust of society as a whole, but we’ve gained time and freedom. One of our members is a farmer, living together with his fields and rice paddies. There’s another member who has traveled through the Australian deserts and lived with Aborigines. There’s others who are bumming round India. One went to Africa and never came back. One dropped out of a yakuza gang and decided to travel around Japan searching for mermaids. But we all live according to our slogan, and we all eventually return to the fold.
Support from Derry based band Scenery. Scenery are a five piece soul, jazz and blues band from Derry, Northern Ireland. Despite only forming in late 2015, Scenery have been building a dedicated fan base with their energetic live shows and recently set up camp in Smalltown America Studios to record their debut offering.
Tickets available soon.
Friday 23rd September – Cancelled
Regretfully we have been informed that Dick Gaughan has had to cancel his Irish Tour due to ill health. We wish Dick a very speedy recovery. Full refunds are available from An Grianán Theatre Box Office. 0749120777
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.
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
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)
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
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
Thursday 17th November, 8.00pm
A piano trio with a difference, Swiss trio Vein create exciting, dynamic and innovative music with a nod to deeply held traditional values.
The group, who play classy, powerful music are joined by New York saxophonist Greg Osby, a figure who has made an indelible mark on contemporary jazz.
As a quartet Vein & Greg Osby produce groove-heavy, lyrical, rhythmically and harmonically complex pieces that fizz and crackle with energy. A ‘Blue Note’ records artist for more than 20 years, Greg Osby was a crucial member of the renowned M-Base Collective, working with players like Steve Coleman.
“A European piano trio with an altogether fresh angle on this time-honoured instrumental format. The most striking thing about the trio of the Swiss Arbenz brothers, Florian on drums and Michael on piano, with Thomas Lähns on bass, is the wit and humour they bring to their music…” Peter Bacon The Jazz Breakfast
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.
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)