The Living Stream: Matt Cranitch, Jackie Daly and John Faulkner

It is the spring of 1996, mid-morning. Standing in the kitchen of my apartment, the kettle is boiling. As it gradually quietens and slows to its ‘click’, a track of violin and piano comes into aural focus. I had put on Matt Cranitch’s 1984 LP, Éistigh Seal,as I left the sitting room, and overwhelmed by the sound of boiling water, it was half-way through the opening air, ‘An raibh tú ag an gcarraig?’ (‘Were you at the rock?’), before I could hear it. I’d listened to it before of course, but some of the most magical recordings are often like new neighbours. You see them often, but never really connect. Then one day, for whatever reason, you engage with them, and you wonder why you never did Continue reading

The Proposed Traditional Arts Committee

Two recent events will certainly have major repercussions for Irish traditional music. The first is the Government’s backing of the Arts Council’s new five-year plan, a document which has serious intentions for the traditional arts. The second is the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands’ presentation of a new Arts Bill which includes a proposal to establish a traditional arts ‘Standing Committee’ which ‘shall make recommendations to the Continue reading