Musical craft and craftsmen captured in new collection

A NEW book by a West Limerick photographer has captured the energy and creativity which has kept traditional music at the forefront of Irish culture.

A NEW book by a West Limerick photographer has captured the energy and creativity which has kept traditional music at the forefront of Irish culture.

‘Traditional Notes – a celebration of Irish music and musicians’ has been compiled by Ardagh’s Stephen Power and includes striking pictures of famous performers and renowned instrument makers.

Mr Power has coupled each image with a written note about the person, place and process he has captured.

He spent six months travelling around Ireland and abroad compiling material for the book, which will be officially launched at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick next Wednesday, November 16.

Mr Power said that he wanted to photograph musicians on stage, at home and in the studio: “I wanted to show it as a traditional art in a modern setting. It’s an old art, but it’s still alive and thriving in today’s world”.

Among the musicians and singers profiled in the book are Martin Hayes, Dennis Cahill, Alec Finn, Noel Hill, Paul Brady, Joe Burke, John Spillane and Micheál Ó Súilleabhain. Traditional groups De Dannan and Lúnasa are also featured.

The book also captures the work of traditional instrument makers, including accordion maker Paddy Clancy, bodhrán maker Malachy Kearns and uileann pipes maker Michael Vignoles.

The foreword in the book has been written by Ellen Cranitch, presenter of ‘Grace Notes’ on RTE Lyric FM. She said that Mr Power’s pictures capture “the meeting of craft and art, the joy and intensity of playing music, the spell cast by fingers deft as a conjurer. Put this book up to your ear, see what you can hear”.

The 250-page book will be available at Eason’s and other bookstores later this month for €19.95, or can be bought directly from the publisher, The Liffey Press, at www.theliffeypress.com.

Mr Power will hold a pre-launch book signing at The Irish Shop on Lower Market Street in Ennis on Saturday November 12 at 2pm. The book will be launched at 5.30pm at the Irish World Academy on November 16.