Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's day to all of you!

As I did last year, I'd like to show a few videos about Irish music. The first video comes from a 1972 documentary about Donegal fiddler John Doherty. Doherty was the last in a family who made their living by traveling from village to village in southwestern Donegal working as tinsmiths, but who were also accomplished storytellers and fiddlers. When he reached middle age, Doherty was discovered by various folklorists, such as Peter Kennedy and Allen Feldman. Due to this exposure, and a few commercial recordings, Doherty exerted a great influence on a new generation of Donegal fiddlers, such as Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh of Altan.

What I like most about this documentary is that it gives a glimpse, albeit a somewhat sentimental glimpse, into what Irish music and Irish peasant life was like not that long ago (something I tried to do, here and here).

The rest of the documentary can be found here.

For anyone curious in how the Irish language sounds, this next video is for you. It features singer Treasa Ni Mhiollain from the Aran Islands. I must warn you, though, that this style of singing is probably not what you usually associate with Irish music. This is an example of sean-nós singing, and will probably sound quite foreign to most ears.

And, if you have had enough learning for today and all you want is some good tunes, here are two jigs from one of my favorite young Irish bands, Teada.

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