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Rediscover Northern Ireland Events 2008

Co-sponsored by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland
and the American Folklife Center

All events are free and open to the public.

October 9, 2008, 12:00 noon – 1:00 pm

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Moya, Tommy, and  Fionán Sands
Tommy Sands with his daughter Moya (left) and son Fionán (right).
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Tommy Sands with Moya and Fionán Sands, County Down, Northern Ireland

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View the webcast of this presentation Running time: 01:14:00

An internationally celebrated singer, songwriter, storyteller, and social activist, Sands was raised with traditional music in County Down, Northern Ireland. As a member of the influential Sands Family folk ensemble, he introduced international audiences to Irish music during the 1960s and laid the groundwork for its current worldwide popularity. Author of such classic songs as "There Were Roses," "Daughters and Sons," and "Come on Home to the County Down," he has seen his works translated into many languages and recorded by such artists as Joan Baez, Kathy Mattea, and Dolores Keane. Over the decades, his artistic integrity, engaging style, and commitment to peace and dialog between peoples of different backgrounds have contributed to his worldwide renown.

November 6, 2008, 12:00 noon – 1:00 pm

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Len Graham
Len Graham
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“It's Of My Rambles...” A Journey in the Song Tradition of Ulster
Presented by Len Graham

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View the webcast of this presentation Running time: 59:03

Traditional singer and song collector Len Graham, from County Antrim in Northern Ireland, explores the folk song tradition of his native Ulster. He provides examples with live performances of songs in English on many themes, including early classic ballads, broadside ballads, and songs of love, politics, emigration and many other topics

Len Graham has been a professional traditional singer since 1982 and he has received many awards for his work as a singer and collector. In 1993 he received the Sean O'Boyle Cultural Traditions Award for his book and field recordings entitled 'It's Of My Rambles….' In 2002 he was the first recipient of the Irish television TG4 National Music Award for Traditional Singer of the Year, and in 2008 he received the Tommy Makem Keeper of the Tradition Award. Here I Am Amongst You, his book on the songs, music and traditions of Joe Holmes (1906-78) is due for publication by Queen's University, Belfast in late 2008.

December 4, 2008, 12:00 noon – 1:00 pm

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Maurice Leyden
Maurice Leyden
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"I Am a Wee Weaver": Weaving and Singing in Northern Ireland
Presented by Maurice Leyden

Read the event flyer essay

View the webcast of this presentation Running time 01:03:30

Handloom weaving was dominated by men in 19th century Ireland. The Industrial Revolution changed that, enabling women to take the dominant role in the factory production of linen. In this talk, Maurice Leyden discusses the reasons for this historical shift, and the impact of this change on the traditions of singing and songwriting among weavers. To illustrate his lecture, Leyden sings songs composed by linen weavers between the 18th and 20th centuries, setting the songs in their historical context and discussing folklore and customs associated with the weavers.

Maurice Leyden has been collecting traditional songs since the early 1980s. He has published two books: Belfast, City of Song and Boys and Girls Come Out to Play, each of which was accompanied by a cassette of songs. He is currently finishing a social history of the linen industry in Ulster, in the north of Ireland, narrated through the songs of the workers; this book will be accompanied by a CD. In addition to his scholarly work and his singing, Leyden is a renowned broadcaster, who produced and presented a radio program of traditional music for over a decade.

Related Links

Arts Council of Northern Ireland External Link
Department of Culture, Arts, and Leisure Northern Ireland External Link

 

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