On April 30, 2022 award winning instrumentalist and composer Alannah Thornburgh, and All-Ireland winners,The Walls Sisters, take to the stage at the Séamus Ennis Arts Centre.
Ardán is as an exciting series of concert performances featuring emerging female Irish Traditional musicians.
Curated and hosted by renowned Irish traditional musician, Louise Mulcahy, the concert series will feature both solo and group performances to a live and streamed audience. The Séamus Ennis Arts Centre is committed to develop the newest generation of traditional artists. In line with this Louise will work closely with the artists to deliver a special concert programme.
Alannah Thornburgh is an award-winning instrumentalist and composer from the wild west of Ireland with a focus on traditional Irish harp. Alannah’s music explores her family heritage, reimagining ancient airs and tunes from the Irish harping, American Appalachian and jazz traditions. This cross-genre interaction and juxtaposition of old melodies with contemporary harmonies and technique is interwoven throughout her music, creating an innovative style described as ‘mind-blowing magic’ by The Bluegrass Situation (USA).
Alannah’s debut solo single ‘The Front’, a homage to the late minimalist composer Conor Walsh, was premiered on Seattle’s KEXP to great critical acclaim. She was nominated for two awards at the 2021 RTE Folk Awards – Best Emerging Artist and Best Folk Instrumentalist. Alannah is also a recipient of the Arts Council’s Next Generation Award 21/22. She is a founding member of Alfi, a trio who combine traditional Irish and Appalachian music and song, winners of the 2020 US Embassy Creative Minds Award. She is currently working on her debut solo album, as well as an album with Alfi, both due for release in 2022.
The Walls Sisters, Molly, Jane and Cara, hail from Toomebridge in County Antrim and are winners of many Antrim, Ulster and All-Ireland titles on Fiddle, Harp and Uilleann Pipes. They have performed all over Ireland in various venues including the National Concert Hall in Dublin ,the Waterfront Hall in Belfast and Vicar Street . The Sisters have also featured on BBC Trad Ar Fad, Susan Calman’s Grand Days Out on Channel 5, TG4 Gradam Ceoil and Siar Chuig an bhFleadh. Individually they have been part of performances with The National Folk Orchestra, Uachtarán na hÉireann and the Imbolc Orchestra.
Louise Mulcahy is an internationally renowned performer on both uilleann pipes, flute and whistle. Louise is a member of the highly acclaimed Mulcahy Family and no musical family today is more impressive in upholding the best principles of the tradition than the Mulcahy’s of Abbeyfeale, West Limerick. Alongside four album releases with father, Mick, and sister Michelle, Louise also appeared a number of years ago on Na Píobairí Uilleann’s compilation of young uilleann pipers entitled ‘A New Dawn’. Louise released her highly acclaimed début solo album titled ‘Tuning the Road’ in 2014. ‘A complete wonder of an album from a truly brilliant musician’ – Bill Margeson. Louise has toured extensively throughout the world including performances in Asia, New Zealand, Australia, Europe, America and Canada. Most recently, Louise was presented with The Arts Council’s prestigious Markievicz Award by Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin TDRead more about Louise
Louise is a highly respected researcher in Irish traditional music and recently presented and researched a landmark documentary on women in uilleann piping for TG4 titled, Mná na bPíób. In 2020, Louise presented and curated a special half hour programme for ITMA titled, Drawing from the Well: The Liam O’ Flynn Collection. Louise was made custodian of Liam O’ Flynn’s B pipes by Na Píobairí Uilleann and contributed to the documentary on master piper Liam O’ Flynn titled, ‘Píobaire’.
Louise is a regular performer and contributor on television and radio. In February ’21, Louise performed on the Late Late Show traditional music celebration on RTÉ and also on the Late Late Show St. Patrick’s Day Special. Louise has featured on the TG4 Séamus Ennis Centenary Commemoration, presenting information on Séamus Ennis and performing material from his repertoire on the uilleann pipes. Louise featured on the television documentary titled ‘The Green Fields of Vietnam’ which aired on RTÉ in 2014. This documentary followed her travels to Vietnam with Professor of Irish Studies at NYU, Dr. Mick Moloney and her sister, Dr. Michelle Mulcahy. On this trip Louise collaborated with traditional Vietnamese musicians, promoted Irish Culture and explored the role of Irish Aid in Vietnam. Louise featured on the award-winning series Port for BBC Alba and TG4, where she collaborated with traditional Scottish musicians on the trip. Louise has also appeared on Fleadh TV in 2016, 2017 and 2018 as guest performer on the IFTA winning programme. Louise was a key contributor to the Uilleann Pipes UNESCO Heritage Bid short film submitted by the Department of Arts and Culture in 2016. On this video Louise presented spoken material and performed on the uilleann pipes. She also contributed to the TG4 series titled ‘Mná an Cheoil’ in 2016 and has performed on numerous occasions on the prestigious Gradaim Ceoil TG4. Louise performed on ‘Hup’ the Irish traditional music series for TG4 and has featured many times on Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann television series for RTÉ. Louise presented the traditional Irish Music series ‘Geantraí’ for the Irish language television station TG4. In March 2019, Louise featured on an hour-long radio documentary for The Rolling Wave on RTÉ Radio 1 where she presented her research on women in uilleann piping.
Louise has performed for such dignitaries as An t-Uachtarán Míchael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina and the Irish Ambassador of Ireland to Vietnam. During the 1916 commemorations, Louise co-produced, performed and researched the production titled ‘The Call of the Piper- Ceannt An Píobaire, 1916 Leader and Founder of Cumann na bPíobaire’. This project involved researching the repertoire and historical facts relating to the piping of Éamonn Ceannt and his involvement with Cumann na bPíobairí. This production was presented at the Arts in Action series at NUI Galway – 2016, Áras an Uachtaráin in April 2016 and Liberty Hall in April as part of the 1916 commemorations.
Louise has won many awards including Female Musician of the Year at the Live Ireland Awards 2017, jointly with her sister Michelle and previously in 2015 and 2005. Louise, alongside her father Mick, and sister Michelle, were recently awarded ‘Tradconnect Traditional Album of the Year’ for their latest album titled ‘The Reel Note’. Louise is a multi All Ireland Champion on the uilleann pipes, flute and whistle and won four Senior All Ireland titles on the same day at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann. Louise was named as one of the Stars of 2018 by the Irish times Culture Review. Louise graduated with her Masters degree from Trinity College Dublin in 2014 and was awarded the 2016 Doctoral Fellowship in Irish Music Studies at NUI Galway. Louise is currently researching the unique story of women in uilleann piping and has guest lectured at many Irish music festivals in Ireland, Scotland and the United States of America. Louise is bridging the gender divide “aided in no small measure by her ground breaking musicianship” – The Irish Times.
“ Louise is one of the finest musicians of her generation”. – Matt Molloy
“A gracious and brilliant talent.” – Fintan Vallely
“Mulcahy’s repertoire is as broad, welcoming and discerning as her instrumental virtuosity.” – Siobhán Long – The Irish Times
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