The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - THE TICKET SEVEN DAYS - SL Lau­rence Mackin

De­clan McCarthy’s Bal­ti­more Fid­dle Fair is the shini­est bou­tique fes­ti­val in the land. Founded on the self-ef­fac­ing fid­dle, this week­end gath­er­ing wel­comes a wealth of other in­stru­ments into its fold. This year’s high­lights in­clude Cape Bre­ton duo Troy McGil­livray and Shane Cook, and He­bridean singer and whis­tle player Julie Fowlis, as well as the girdleloos­en­ing Foghorn String­band. The venues host­ing the fes­ti­val share billing with the mu­si­cians, so if you’re any­where within a four-wheeled ve­hi­cle’s tank from Bal­ti­more, head for the Glebe Gar­den Am­phithe­atre: the ideal space in which to hold this mu­sic cap­tive. FOLK POP Pierce Turner

HOME\SICK Oh the sto­ries The Ticket could tell about our home. There are the count­less late-night jam ses­sions with the great and the good of mu­sic (and yes belt­ing out I Have Noth­ing at 2am with no ac­com­pa­ni­ment counts). Barely a day goes by with­out some ac­tor on the make giv­ing us a so­lil­o­quy in the good sa­lon (in-be­tween their clean­ing shifts); and the con­ser­va­tory is where we like to re­tire for brandy and cigars of an evening, and, no, that’s not a stupid name for the gar­den shed.

The Science Gallery has other ideas though. In its lat­est show, cu­ra­tors in­clud­ing Anne En­right, Ali Gre­han and Anna R Davies imag­ine how our gaffs might be reimag­ined as “cen­tres of com­mu­ni­ca­tion”, and how they might pro­duce food and en­ergy rather than just con­sume it (the wind power from our Whit­ney bursts alone could en­er­gise a small vil­lage).

Artist Fer­gal McCarthy has built a replica of Dublin’s North­bank Light­house. Sci­ene Gallery staff will also hap­pily swab your belly but­ton to find out what’s living in you (tests for the spirit of Whit­ney have so far proved in­con­clu­sive). Diego Tru­jillo Pisanty’s With Ro­bots looks at how our homes could be re­designed to ac­com­mo­date our new best friends: ro­bots. And WashLab in­vites vis­i­tors to pull back the shower cur­tain and join a col­lab­o­ra­tive re­search project that looks at your wash­ing habits and ex­plores how chang­ing th­ese could re­duce wa­ter con­sump­tion while still keep­ing you box-fresh.

All of which puts our down­stairs disco loo in per­spec­tive. But we did get a great deal on it when in­stalled the wa­ter bed and jacuzzi.

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