Clare’s soundscape to be explored in upcoming book

Clare’s soundscape to be explored in upcoming book


Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin
Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin

County Clare’s soundscape will be explored in an upcoming lecture while a soon to be released book will touch on the Irish soundscape.

Professor Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin is a leading figure in Irish traditional music, history and culture. He is a five time World Champion Irish traditional musician on concertina, uilleann pipes and a former member of the legendary Kilfenora Céilí Band. He will visit Co Clare in August 11th to launch a new book Flowing Tides: History and Memory in an Irish Soundscape.

Flowing Tides is the first study that combines historical research with the contemporary voices of oral music historians. It presents an insider perspective on the music and history of Co Clare.

An undisputed mecca of traditional music, County Clare is an isolated soundscape in the west of Ireland. Home to legendary music villages such as Doolin, Miltown Malbay, Lisdoonvarna, Tulla and Kilfenora, Flowing Tides argues that this ancient place has felt the effects of global cultural flows for centuries.

Despite its isolation on the western edge of Europe, Ireland occupies vast amounts of space on the music maps of the world. Deeply rooted in time and place, Irish songs, dances and instrumental traditions have a history of global travel that span the centuries.

For the first time, this remarkable soundscape is investigated. Entrusted with the testimonies, tune lore, and historic field recordings of Clare performers, Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin reveals why this ancient place is a site of musical pilgrimage and how it absorbed the impact of global cultural flows for centuries.

These flows brought musical change inwards, while simultaneously facilitating outflows of musical change to the world beyond – in more recent times, through the music of Clare stars like Martin Hayes and the Kilfenora Céilí Band. Placing the testimony of music and music makers at the centre of Irish cultural history and working from a palette of disciplines, Flowing Tides delves into an Irish soundscape undergoing radical change in the period from the Napoleonic Wars to the Great Famine, from the birth of the nation state to the meteoric rise-and fall-of the Celtic Tiger.

Ennis’ The Old Ground hotel hosts the book launch and on the same night (August 11th) a lecture God, Crown and Country: Clare’s Soundscape in the Age of Rebellion will also take place. The illustrated lecture will examine the eclectic roles of music and music makers in Clare’s transformation from colonial outpost to revolutionary county.