NUI Galway sponsors musical research and performance project

Monday, 3 July 2006

NUI Galway has announced it is to sponsor Cumha go Hora, a new musical research and performance project based at the University. The project will seek to retrieve and revive old Irish folk songs and support the creation of new ethnic material. Cumha go Hora takes its title from Cumha, meaning parting sorrow in Irish and Hora, meaning elation or celebration in Romanian.

The first output of the project will be a concert at Galway's Augustinian Church on 18 July at which traditional Irish songs, both new and old, will be set to new string arrangements by Garry O'Briain and played by Romanian quartet, ConTempo, Galway Ensemble in Residence.

The concert, also called Cumha go Hora, will include performances by Mary McPartlan, well-known traditional and contemporary singer, musicians Garry O'Briain, Dave Carty, Seamie O Dowd and Eddie Lynch and the award-winning NUI Galway Choir.

Songs on the night will include Elizabeth Cronin's version of Lord Gregory as interpreted from a collection edited by her grandson, Professor Dáibhi Ó Cronín, NUI Galway. New songs include Cumha, written by Padraig O hAoláin and translated into English by Tim Dennehy, which is a song of sorrow for the changing lifestyles in deepest Connemara. Kiss the Moon and Sanctuary, written by Vincent Woods and set to music by Máirtín O Connor, will be featured along with Seanfhocal by Douglas Gunn, a specially commissioned piece for NUI Galway Choir.

Mary McPartlan, recent graduate of NUI Galway and artistic director of the project, commented, "We are creating a new sound by experimenting with ethnic culture and giving a new richness to traditional folk music. Through the project, artists such as ConTempo, who are Romanian classical musicians, will be able to perform some of this country's most precious and previously unheard musical heritage in a revolutionary classical format."

The Cumha go Hora project will see a true merging of styles to produce a new dynamic sound that will enrich and extend the experience of traditional music. The Arts Office at NUI Galway is plans to further develop the research part of the project with students, staff, ConTempo and traditional musicians all collaborating. The new and rare material will be documented and there will be future concerts at NUI Galway.

Cumha go Hora, the concert, will be performed in a special event during Galway Arts Festival 2006 on Tuesday 18 July at 8.30pm in the Augustinian Church, Augustine Street, Galway. Tickets:€15/12 from Arts Festival box Office at 091-566577 or www.galwayartsfestival.com

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