day 2 – celebrating the launch of cultural roadmapp’s *free* ‘ireland’s wild atlantic way: county clare’ audio tour app!
‘willie week’ series, part 2: teaching and learning
It’s the first full week of July, which means musicians, singers, dancers, and music lovers of all ages are making their way to a small seaside town on the coast of County Clare, converging in a cacophony of sound, laughter, song, and chat. If there was anything like a global family reunion for Irish musicians and dancers, this would be it.
Today’s audio excerpt from the “Miltown Malbay” stop on our hands-free app for motorists tells the story of Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy, or, the Willie Clancy Summer School, a week-long celebration of Irish traditional music and dance. The school was founded in honor of—you guessed it—Willie Clancy, a master of the uilleann pipes, a type of bagpipe featuring a bellows pumped by the elbow, and the national pipe of Ireland.
Students typically learn the musical repertoire by ear. Most of it is part of a centuries-old canon including hundreds of thousands of tunes and songs. But today, while online music libraries, video tutorials, apps, and even Skype lessons have made Irish music more accessible than ever before (favorites include www.thesession.org, the Tune Pal app, The Online Irish Music Academy, and even YouTube!), all this remote learning makes physical gatherings like Willie Week all the more precious and vital.
Today’s excerpt features Jack Talty, concertina player, composer, and a teacher at Willie Week, and Harry Hughes, a founder of the summer school. Narrators are award-winning actor Iarlaith O’Conaire and actress Geraldine Hughes, with audio production by Audissey Media.