PICK OF THE WEEK
actor and the timing of a comedian. With Irish jazz legends, pianist Jim Doherty and bassist Dave Fleming, she has been excavating the Great American Songbook for the past decade, including last year’s excellent Skylark CD. Here she adds the Delmaine String Quartet for an afternoon of classic songs. MUSIC Federico Albanese and Michael Price Italian composer Federico Albanese, who moves from classical fare to pop and psychedelia, shares a bill with pianist Michael Price, who has a film and TV credit list that includes Casino Royale, Sherlock and, eh, X Men. Expect a heavy emotional payload and much swooning in the aisles.
THE LEITRIM EQUATION The Leitrim Equation is a celebration of about 300 years of music from the county, which resulted from an 18-month research project. In it, poet Vincent Woods and former De Danann vocalist Eleanor Shanley are collaborating with musicians Donal Lunny, John McCartin (guitarist and Fine Gael chairman of Leitrim county council), Dave Sheridan, Padraig McGovern, sean-nós dancer Edwina Guckian (above) and film-maker Johnny Gogan .
After trawling through archives, manuscripts and old recordings, including several made in New York in the 1920s , the group pay tribute to a diverse cast, ranging from blind harper Turlough O’Carolan to Nan Fitzpatrick, who was born in Aughavas, Co Leitrim, in 1909. After emigrating to New York as a 19-year-old, she became one of the first women to record there.
“I interviewed Nan shortly before she died in 1989,” says Eleanor Shanley, who grew up in Keshcarrigan, a few miles from Nan’s birthplace. “She was a big star in New York but then she came home for the Eucharistic Congress in 1932. She met a man in Ballinamore so she married and never went back.”
Nan Fitzpatrick told Eleanor that no one at home knew she could sing. But some of her children will be at the Leitrim Equation show tonight in the Samuel Beckett Theatre in Trinity College Dublin, which will feature a crackly old recording of Nan singing The Faerie Child, a song about a mother losing a child.
Fr John Quinn, the parish priest of Gortletteragh, gave the team access to his collection of music dating back to the 1600s. They found O’Carolan tunes such as Si Beag Si Mor written in 1693, when the composer was just 21, and Planxty Reynolds, a tribute to his patron George Reynolds, which has not been performed in public for 200 years.
The Leitrim Equation is at Samuel Beckett Theatre, TCD tonight and the Dock Arts Centre, Carrick on Shannon, on February 17th and 18th.