Every Friday night we smooth our way into the weekend with music, the universal language. These selections demonstrate that despite what is being passed off as art today, there is plenty of really good music available. Come along and enjoy.
Is it ever too early to start celebrating St. Patrick’s Day? Of course not!
To open, St. Patrick’s Festival in 2021 presented Orchestra of Light, a film featuring a fleet of 500 drones dancing across Dublin’s night sky. Created by St. Patrick’s Festival, Tourism Ireland and Dublin City Council and delivered in collaboration with Intel and Actavo Events, the film featured a dazzling performance by Intel® Drone Light Shows, Intel’s first ever Drone Light Show in Ireland.
Quite a show, considering many St. Patrick’s Day public celebrations in Ireland and around the world did not take place last year.
Each drone weighs just 340 grams (less than ¾ of 1lb) and is purpose-built for use in drone light shows. Ultra-safe in their design, they feature a lightweight, soft-plastic construction and encased propellers.
The following ensemble was formed in the late 1980s and is made up of over sixty of the finest young traditional and classical musicians from 20 different counties in Ireland and from the U.K.
Not all of Irish music is themed after beer or whiskey drinking. This is stunningly beautiful.
The orchestra came to fruition thanks to the direction of flautist Michael O’ hAlmhain. And you heard some flute playing in the previous work.
“Playing a flute is like writing a book. You’re telling what’s in your heart… It’s easier to play if it’s right from your heart. You get the tone and the fingers will follow.”
Irish musician Eddie Cahill
“You have to be one hundred per cent with it for the flute because the sound is coming from the pit of your stomach. You are putting what’s keeping you alive into an instrument and by doing that you’re making a sound. There’s nothing between you and the instrument – it actually becomes part of you.”
Irish musician Martin Doyle
Think about that the next time you hear James Galway or the Chieftains.
This next group debuted in 2005 and has become a global musical sensation, celebrating Ireland’s rich musical and cultural heritage by fusing traditional Irish music and contemporary song that reflect the vibrant spirit of Ireland today.
They’ve sold more than ten million CDs and DVDs, and were named Billboard’s #1 World Music Artist of the Year six times.
Celtic Woman performs all over the world, and has racked up cumulative ticket sales of more than four million during shows n 23 countries on six continents. They’ll be at the Rosemont Theatre in Rosemont, Illinois, on April 7, and at the Crystal Grand Music Theatre in WI Dells on April 15.
Born in Australia, Percy Grainger began a career as a concert pianist at the age of 19. In 1902 he arranged Irish Tune from County Derry for wordless mixed chorus.
Then in 1904 famed composer Edvard Grieg heard and was shown Irish Tune from County Derry by a mutual friend of Grainger, and the aging composer was so impressed by it that when he visited London two years later, the only composer he wished to meet was Grainger.
Irish Tune from County Derry became a “hit.” In 1913 Grainger adapted his early choral arrangement for piano and it turned into a popular standard for orchestras.
Arguably the most famous Irish composition, it’s performed here by a US military group. From their website:
“The President’s Own” United States Marine Band’s mission is to perform for the President of the United States and the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Founded in 1798 by an Act of Congress, the Marine Band is America’s oldest continuously active professional musical organization. Today, “The President’s Own” is celebrated for its role at the White House and its dynamic public performances, which total more than 500 annually.
No other musical organization can claim the heritage or historic precedence of the United States Marine Band. Since the Marine Band made its White House debut in 1801, it has functioned as “The President’s Own” band. As such, the Marine Band is the band of the President and serves the office of the presidency in a non-partisan fashion.
I think you’ll recognize…
British lawyer Frederic Weatherly wrote the lyrics to “Danny Boy” in 1910, years after Grainger wrote the music. But it wasn’t until 1913 that Wembley modified his lyrics to fit the tune of Irish Tune from County Derry after his Irish-born sister-in-law sent him a copy of the music.
But when ye come, and all the flowers are dying,
If I am dead, as dead I well may be,
Ye’ll come and find the place where I am lying,
And kneel and say an Avè there for me.
And I shall hear, though soft you tread above me,
And all my grave will warmer, sweeter be,
For you will bend and tell me that you love me,
And I shall sleep in peace until you come to me!
That’s it for this week.
Have a great weekend in anticipation of St. Patrick’s Day!
We’ve been pretty mild so far. Time to end on a rollicking note with Irish rock band The Stunning.