Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A traditional music session on the island of Ireland is a must for any visitor – it’s a deep-rooted part of the culture of the land. It’s also no secret that some of the world’s musical legends hail from the Emerald Isle – has anyone ever heard of U2, Riverdance or Van Morrison? – so what better way to experience some true music culture than with a true Irish musician.

Kilkenny Traditional Music is run by two professional musicians, Joe Brennan and Trisha Hutton, who spend their time sharing the origins, instruments and influences of Irish music. For the two-plus-hour tour, guests will wind through the city streets of Medieval Kilkenny (and now also Waterford city) where they will be taken to some of the city’s iconic pubs and be treated to an ‘unrivalled session’.

Joe Brennan says the pair have been doing tours for the “past two years and still have fun doing it”. With a range of attendees, from families or youth to adults of all ages, Joe and Trisha will make sure everyone feels involved. They also guarantee it will be “unlike anything else you’ve been to – it’s not a concert, but there’s music; it’s not a class, but there’s lots of information; it’s not a comedy show, but there’s jokes”.

The duo can also cater private groups – just name the date and location and they’ll do the rest!

Irish people have had centuries of practice at music – legend has it that the Celtic bards travelled from village to village, trading their talents for bed and board, swapping new songs and tunes along the road, telling the stories of the people and recording them for posterity.

The smallest towns and the biggest villages throughout the island offer memorable musical experiences – you may find a céilí (an Irish dance) here, a ballad singsong there, a folk concert around the corner or a jazz festival over the hill.

It was Pete St. John who gave us ‘The Fields of Athenry’, a song so convincingly authentic that you might assume it comes from centuries back instead of from a modern Dublin songwriter, or for traditional Irish music you might think of internationally-acclaimed group The Chieftans. Is it any wonder that people come from around the world to discover the spirit of Irish music?

For an even deeper connection you’ll find fans visiting the Phil Lynott (of Thin Lizzie fame) statue off Grafton Street in Dublin, or the famous U2 Graffiti Wall where you’ll find heartfelt message from fans from as far away as Brazil or Japan. For Van Morrison enthusiasts you can walk the legend’s footsteps through the streets of Belfast as part of the self-guided tour using the Belfast iPhone application (see below).

Whatever the draw, music lovers are sure to find good craic (fun) on a musical adventure throughout the Emerald Isle.

From Tourism Ireland , http://www.discoverireland.com/

Posted by Anne Gordon on Tuesday, 31st August, 1010


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