A rousing piece of music, part of Martin Tourish’s and the Inishowen Traditional Music Project’s Inishowen suite could become a new anthem for Inishowen.
Adapted from Carraig Chaoin, Dinny McLaughlin’s beautiful lullaby, the song forms the finale of the Inishowen suite arranged and developed by Martin Tourish and the Inishowen Traditional Music Project.
Inishowen’s powerful, yet beautiful, traditional music had been brought together by Martin and the project. The suite, in seven parts, lasts over 70 minutes
According to Martin, Dinny’s tune and its adaptation formed a fitting climax to the suite.
“Inishowen doesn’t seem to have an anthem the same way you do for other areas,” he said when interviewed by RTE for a feature on the project.
“We decided to set new lyrics to it (Carraig Chaoin) celebrating the local landscape. During this process it became a sort of anthem for Inishowen.
“It is really the most wonderful finale to the whole piece.”
Martin found the variety of tunes made available through the project remarkable.
“Music here goes back over a millennium. The opportunity to be able to arrange them and bring them back to life in the place that they are from was amazing,” he said.
The Inishowen suite is the product of research carried out since 1999 into the musical tradition in Inishowen.
Moving from an account of the Prince of Aileach’s tour of Ireland, to church music from Máel-Ísu Ua Brolcháin, a monk from 10th century Culdaff, to the contemporary music of Dinny McLaughlin, the composition confirms Inishowen’s unique musical heritage.
Along the way, a collection of 18th century Inishowen tunes collected by Honoria Galwey and published as ‘Old Irish Croonauns’ in 1910 was discovered in an archive in Dublin.
Also the music of Paddy Byrne, Tom Byrne, the Clonmany Ceili Band and Seamus Grant formed inspiration for the project.
The full suite was performed by the Inishowen Traditional Orchestra and Choir in April this year at Feile na hInse in Buncrana.
Hear more about it and see the Inishowen Orchestra and Choir and beautiful Inishowen on RTE Player here .