Leitrim Music Residency CD

Leitrim Music Residency CD

The launch will take place in the Button Factory, Temple Bar on 24 November, and will be hosted by actor and Leitrim resident Adrian Dunbar, who features on the CD. Dervish will be joined by people who feature on the recording including Rosie Stewart, Eleanor Shanley, Fionnuala Maxwell, Ben Lennon, Mary McPartlan and Michael O’Brien.
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Taking up where Lúnasa left off in 2010, the second traditional music residency programme in County Leitrim was occupied by the band Dervish. The Leitrim Equation programme was devised by the County Council to promote and develop traditional music in Leitrim and to celebrate the music and song of the county.

The final event for Dervish’s residency is the launch next month of a recording, The Leitrim Equation 2, that reflects some of the work of the band during the eighteen-month residency. The CD features of a mixture of songs and music from Dervish and Leitrim musicians they met and worked with during their time in Leitrim.

The launch will take place in the Button Factory, Temple Bar on 24 November, and will be hosted by actor and Leitrim resident Adrian Dunbar, who features on the CD singing ‘My County Leitrim Queen’. Dervish will be joined by some of the people who feature on the recording including Rosie Stewart, Eleanor Shanley, Fionnuala Maxwell, Ben Lennon, Mary McPartlan and Michael O’Brien.

Speaking to The Journal of Music, Cathy Jordon of Dervish suggests the band got as much out of the programme as they gave. ‘It was fairly intense on the days we were there, but hugely enriching for us. We could have five schools visited by lunch time, another one after lunch, and then maybe an active age group or a retirement home. And there would be more music in the evening either in a pub or someone’s house.’

‘We had an open mind about how things would go. We’d play and chat, and if we created the right mood the people we were visiting might join in and sing a song or two themselves, and the magic might happen. It was very rewarding for us, the joy people would experience in the music and singing.’

Out of these encounters came the material for the recording. For instance, Drumshanbo teacher and local historian Eamon Delaney sang a song, which is included on the CD, about the narrow-gauge railway that used to serve Leitrim and Cavan. Not all tracks on the album feature Dervish, for instance Tom Mulvey sings ‘Navvy Boots’ unaccompanied, and Adrian Dunbar is joined by Andy Irvine, who lived for a time in Leitrim.

‘It’s a very rich place culturally and musically, in spite of going through some hard times,’ Jordon says of the county. ‘It has really been accepting of the many artists who have moved there and they have enriched the county in turn. We had some of the best times we’ve had in years there.’

On the night of the launch details of the third and final Leitrim Equation project will be announced. Over the course of the next two years, through Leitrim County Council and the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance a range of musicians will work and play with musicians in the county. There will also be professional development and mentoring opportunities over the course of the residency.

www.leitrimequation.ie

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Cathy Jordon, Johnny Brady (RIP) and Tom Morrow

Published on 20 October 2011

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