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Harp, Poetry and Pipes: An evening of poetry and music

Emmett Gill
Harp, Poetry and Pipes: An evening of poetry and music


Harp, Poetry and Pipes: An evening of poetry and music.

Kathleeen Loughnane – harp

Cormac Cannon – uilleann pipes, flute and whistle

Catriona Cannon – harp

Moya Cannon – poet

3 October 2017


We are delighted to present our evening of music and poetry, reflecting the ancient tradition of harper and reciter at the National Library of Ireland.

Our repertoire this evening will feature the music of the harper composers of the 17th and 18th centuries such as the Connellan brothers and Turlough O’Carolan but the programme will primarily be made up of newly arranged music from the manuscripts of Patrick O’Neill of Owning , Co Kilkenny (1765-1832), which were purchased by the NLI in 2008.

Kathleen was the recipient of Arts Council Deis Award funding for research into this collection, which represents O’Neill’s rich efforts to preserve what could still be saved from the gradual erosion of an Irish way of being. His vast collection gives a window on musical and cultural life in Kathleen’s native south Tipperary in the late 18th Century.

Poet, Moya Cannon, will read a number of poems which reflect her love of music, particularly traditional Irish music.  (She agrees with Boris Pasternak that every poet is a failed musician!) These poems explore why music is so important to us as human beings, as it nourishes our souls, marks the seasons of the heart and keeps the dance of life going.

The Patrick O’Neill Collection consists of 7 manuscripts and a printed book containing music from several different European musical traditions. This widespread musical influence in itself is indicative of the cultural and social changes of the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

Patrick’s manuscripts are particularly interesting as they come from a playing musician and practitioner of the native musical tradition, as opposed to many of the other important collectors such as Petrie and Bunting. Concerned with the severity with which Gaelic culture had been suppressed in the previous centuries, they focused more on preserving the endangered native Irish music. Patrick’s manuscripts reflect, in addition, the music that was popular and current in his day.