NCH Presents

Tradition Now

Sunday 8th October, 2023

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7.30pm Main Stage
Cormac Begley
8.30pm The Studio
Doireann Ní Ghlacáin
8.30pm Kevin Barry Recital Room
Brìghde Chaimbeul
10.00pm Main Stage
Hack-Poets Guild
8.30pm John Field Room 
The John Field Rooms Sessions

Acclaimed and award-winning concertina player Cormac Begley will headline NCH for the first time in this takeover by Ireland’s most exciting new folk and traditional artists.

"The musical gift that keeps on giving" - The Irish Times. [Cormac Begley]

Cormac Begley’s career has gone from strength to strength over the past year, winning Best Folk Instrumentalist 2022 at the RTÉ Folk Awards and Irish Times Album of the Year 2022, with his second solo album ‘B’. The album celebrates the bass concertina, a very rare instrument and on this album Cormac uses two Dipper-made Bass concertinas to record all 12 tracks. His bold choice to concentrate solely on the bass and baritone register, the first album of its kind in any musical genre, has not gone unnoticed for all the right reasons.

Cormac Begley hails from West Kerry, where his families’ roots are firmly cemented in traditional music. He plays thirteen concertinas that range from bass to piccolo register. Cormac’s daring and soul stirring approach to the playing of the concertina has opened up the instrument to a broader audience; garnering attention from renowned choreographer and director Michael Keegan Dolan. Dolan’s award winning, sell out show ‘Mám’ heavily features Cormac’s playing and music and led to a documentary film based on the show, ‘The Dance’ (IFTA nominated 2022) directed by Pat Collins.

Immerse yourself in the heart of traditional Irish music with "Say a Song”, Doireann Ní Ghlacáin’s innovative multimedia project, combining the worlds of music, literature, and technology to breathe new life into the sean nós tradition. As Gaeilge you're asked to 'abair amhrán', Say a Song. But what do the songs say of life in Ireland in 2023? Leading Irish writers and visual artists are invited to interpret filíocht bhéil na Gaeilge (also known as sean nós songs) and provide modern English and visual translations that reflect the rich tapestry of the modern Irish experience. Join us on a journey of discovery, as we celebrate the beauty and power of traditional Irish music.

Hack-Poets Guild is the brand-new collaboration between three of UK folk’s most unique and prestigious voices; Marry Waterson, Lisa Knapp and Nathaniel Mann. The Album ‘Blackletter Garland’ boasts twelve fascinating interpretations and original compositions that tell intricate tales of birth, love, conflict and death, with all the imagination of the folklore from which they’re based.

Scottish smallpipes player Brìghde Chaimbeul is a leading purveyor of experimental Celtic music. She’s brought her instrument to a global stage, and has worked with a range of other artists - currently she can be heard on Caroline Polachek's new single "Blood and Butter". With her second album 'Carry Them With Us’, Chaimbeul has taken it beyond folk music, discovering a place where tradition and minimalism meet, offering her the freedom to experiment in sound and create something completely her own. 'Carry Them With Us' is an exhilarating weave of rich textural drones, trance atmospheres and instrumental folk traditions. She was joined on this album by acclaimed Canadian sound explorer and saxophonist Colin Stetson (Arcade Fire, Bon Iver), who also co-produced the album.

Tradition Now is an initiative of the National Concert Hall & Arts Council & supported by The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.