Journey Into Ireland’s Past and Present Through Music
Ireland’s past is filled with the work of poets and musicians. So too is its present. Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin, Mike Scott, Luka Bloom, and Cathie Ryan lead journeys into past and present through their music.
Songs of the Scribe
Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin knew that Ireland’s first personal poetry, writings in Old Irish found as notes on the margins of medieval manuscripts, had inspired modern day Irish poets Seamus Heaney and Ciaran Carson. She found they were inspiring her to create as well. Songs of the Scribe includes songs she created from her original translations into English of the medieval poetry as well as her settings of pieces by Heaney and Carson. The scribes of older times mused on love, loss, faith, the flight of a blackbird, the antics of a playful cat, and the possibility of Viking attack. In Pádraigín Ní Uallachain’s clear voice, backed by harp from Helen Davies, and spare arrangements of drones and bells, this older Ireland comes alive.
Appointment with Mr. Yeats
Mike Scott first met the work of Irish poet William Butler Yeats through his mother, who taught literature at university. As he grew into his own career as a musician, he heard music in Yeats’ words. Scott is the founder of The Waterboys, a group which you could with some justice call a rock band, although across the years Scott has led them into punk, pop, world music, folk rock, and other styles as well. All of those musical ideas have their influences on the band’s album Appointment With Mr Yeats