After the enormous success of #ChoralMarch and #AprilCountry, #MarianMay did not perhaps set the Internet on fire, but I did enjoy exploring the wide range of Marian-inspired music, with a good representation from contemporary, living composers. Aside from some sean nos and Frank Patterson I stuck pretty much to the choral tradition.
Joe Heaney was a sean-nos singer born just over one hundred years ago near Carna in Connemara. He sang in both Irish and English, and would contribute to John Cage’s Joycean work Roaratorio.
This is one of his most famous pieces , a song he brought to wider popularity. More on the song here:
It seems to have been the case that singing this lament was, for Joe’s grandmother and other women in the community, not so much a performance as a very personal, painful, emotional experience. Angela Partridge, recording the song in 1975 from a near neighbour of Joe’s in Aird Thoir, Máire a’ Ghabha (Máire Bean Uí Cheannabháin), describes how the singer broke down in tears in the middle of the song and was unable to continue, saying ‘Tá mé goite chomh fada ansin is tá mé in ann… mar léifidh tú scéal ar ‘chuile mháthair, mar nach mbeidh ‘chuile mháthair mar sin lena mac féin? Gortaíonn Caoineadh na Páise mé an-mhór.’ (I’ve gone as far as I can… for you know it’s the story of every mother, for wouldn’t every mother be like that with her own son? Caoineadh na Páise really hurts me.)
It is Real Bread Week. As I am sure you knew. The Real Bread Campaign is encouraging people to bake their own, or to buy additive free locally made loaves. This TripAdvisor review captures it well:
It seems appropriate to celebrate a local bakery which is somewhat atypical of Ireland. The Auld Mill in Grangemockler, which is on the N76 Clonmel-Kilkenny road, has the air of a boulangerie in a French village:
Stopped at this bakery out of sheer curiosity and had a toasted sandwich and tea. The bread was freshly baked and was delicious. It was a spelt bread, light yet hearthy, not dense and heavy like other spelt breads I have tried. The quality of the bread was very, very good. The baker sells fresh loaves of bread also and can slice them for you.
We took home a currant loaf, kind of like and old-fashioned Maderia cake but with raisins. It was moist, not too sweet, and it was hard not to have a second (um, er, third) slice with a cuppa.
We also got a cream coffee slice and just, wow, did not expect light, airy, flaky, perfectly baked puff pastry, but that’s what we got. Normally cream cakes look nicer than they are, you bite into them only to get a waxy, flat pastry and a greasy bite of cream, but not here. The icing, pastry, and cream on this coffee slice were all spot on.
I bake at home, and while I am an amateur I know when something is done right. The Auld Mill does it right. Will be back again, and again. Highly recommend.
Recently I came across Butler House, the former dower house of Kilkenny Castle. In its topiaried gardens I came across this:
Not sure how legible that is. I recall Nelson’s Head being exhibited in the Dublin Civic Museum so I am not quite sure if the remains were really so “unwanted” as all that.
Here are some.pictures of the lettering:
A little difficult to see in this photo, on the other side of the confessional from Padre Pio we see a relief of Christ:
A rather difficult to see plaque commemorating its 2018 dedication:
Via the everfascinating Pilgrimage in Medical Ireland blog here is a post on pilgrimage to St Declan’s Holy Well, Ardmore, Waterford featuring footage from 1910
The footage is from the IFI Archive, and was taken by the Horgan Brothers – other fascinating films by the three brothers can be viewed on the IFI Player. :
The Horgan Brothers’ films (1910- 1920) are some of the earliest moving images made in Ireland. Brothers George, James and Thomas Horgan began their careers in the late 19th century in Youghal, Co. Cork as shoemakers and photographers. They ran magic lantern shows in Youghal and in the surrounding villages and townlands. From 1900, following the success of their photographic studio and magic lantern shows, James Horgan began to use a motion picture camera to capture current events and their local community. In 1917 the brothers opened the purpose-built 600-seat cinema The Horgan Picture Theatre in Youghal, where they screened The Youghal Gazette – their local topical newsreel featuring events of local interest – along with contemporary international feature films. This practise was not uncommon among early cinema owners – who would frequently film events (such as fairs, processions etc) which were well-attended by locals thereby guaranteeing a full house of people keen to see themselves on the big screen . The Horgans experimented with photography and models and the collection includes the earliest surviving Irish animation which dates from about 1910. It features the Youghal Town Hall Clock standing on its head and pirouetting in place.