Féile Patrick Byrne goes online
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic this year’s Féile Patrick Byrne will take place online from 6th to 8th November.
The online féile opens on Friday 6th with an online lecture by fiddler Gerry O’Connor. Gerry will play music from and talk about the Donnellan manuscripts, a collection of 285 South Ulster traditional melodies in the National Folklore Collection. Gerry researched and edited the tune transcriptions for his 2018 book The Rose in the Gap. The talk covers this significant repertoire of music from the Oriel region with illustrations and music performances.
On Saturday 7th November there will be a streaming of a concert of harp music recorded before a live audience in the Patrick Kavanagh Centre in Inniskeen on 3rd October, just before the lockdown. This concert features harper Siobhán Armstrong and singer Eibhlís Ní Riordáin performing music and songs from the old wire strung harp tradition which largely died out with Patrick Byrne in the late 1800s.
An abridged version of their performance was previously streamed on National Harp Day but this is the full recital with the duo performing songs and music from the old Irish wire strung harp tradition.
Then the féile will conclude on Sunday 8th with a streamed concert featuring Gerry O’Connor and Breton guitar player Gilles le Bigot. Gerry and Gilles originally planned to record an album before a live audience at the féile last April. This would have been a follow-up to their 2006 live recording. Critics hailed that album as “one of the great records of fiddle music” and “flawless in a way that is rarely found with live albums”. While we wait for the Coronavirus pandemic to recede and the recording of their next live album to take place, this performance gives everyone the opportunity to experience two superb musicians close-up.
All three online events are being streamed on YouTube Premier as live each evening at 8pm which will allow viewers to post comments as they watch. The three videos will then remain on the féile YouTube channel for a week so that anyone who couldn’t catch them as ‘live’ will still have the opportunity to see the performances or watch them again.