‘May’ be spoilt for choice

Posted on: 10th May, 2016

Category: Music

Contributor: Mark Holland

Hunky Dory stocks a huge range of instruments, accessories, CDs and vinyl. Contact Mark on 023 8834982 or pop in to have a listen.

Perhaps the musical instrument most evocative of China is the Erhu, known in the West as the Chinese violin, an instrument beautiful in its simplicity and detail, most likely introduced to China around a thousand years ago.  The bow and the instrument are the same length, around 0.8 of a metre. Unlike the Western violin, it has just two strings, as opposed to four, between which the bow is threaded and moved to create a continuous sound, or alternatively the strings can be plucked.

Its long stick like neck has no fingerboard and the different notes are made by the fingertips touching the strings. The neck is attached to a small resonator, sound box, that is made of dense hardwood, often from an old piece of furniture, and traditionally ‘topped’ with python snakeskin.

Signing up to UN conventions to protect endangered species, these python skins can now only be from certified farmed snakes so there is a limit to how many instruments a person can take out of China — two — but in the last few years they have developed a synthetic alternative.

Emerging from the back rows of the orchestra it began to take its place as a lead and solo instrument at the beginning of the 20th century, and as it was advocated by composers both lofty and street performers, its sound became more prominent.  As a versatile instrument it is used in traditional and modern music and has made its way beyond the Chinese borders to be employed by experimental outfits like Canadian USS (Ubiquitous Synergy Seekers) and Nine Inch Nails use on their track ‘Disappointed’.

This Saturday, May 7, at 3pm, Ling Peng, a child prodigy and internationally renowned player of the Erhu will be playing at the Baltimore Fiddle Fair — what a privilege for our small and remote community, again punching so far above its weight.  Declan McCarthy and his backroom crew have been working tirelessly over the last twelve months to bring us the best of the best to inspire and leave us in awe of the little beast in all its shapes and forms, opening on Thursday night with Caoimhin O’Raghallaigh playing a 10-string fiddle accompanied by Mick O’Brien on uilleann pipes.

Friday in Baltimore has three master fiddle players from Scandinavia bringing something else in the form of Fru Skaggerak followed by Frankie Gavin, Noel Hill and Arty McGlyn, who’s name I just love!  And the weekend goes on and on, what a line-up, top shelf, such a treat. I know there are others involved but, as Declan is the one who drops the posters around to my place, I have to take my (imaginary) hat off to him.

Elsewhere, Connolly’s of Leap will be hosting Fish Go South for a ‘House’ night on May 14 after their sell-out show a few months ago, along with a pretty packed-out month from the intimate to the very very loud! Sam’s recommending that, “the Lisa O’Neill gig on the 15th will be stunning”.

De Barra’s in Clon have a month’s line up of local sessions, Irish, including John Spillane and Ger Wolfe, a Noel Redding weekend in the middle of it all, but of particular interest Oh Pep from Melbourne on May 4 and Treelan on May 26.

We are truly spoiled.

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Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition 23 February 2018

The inaugural Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition will take place in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen this Friday 23rd February. As part of Engineers Week 2018, leaders and members of Ballineen Foróige Club have organised an exhibition which will showcase a diverse and exciting range of engineering projects that have been undertaken by members of the club over the last few weeks, with the aid of leaders and a number of local engineers.

With the aid of local pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, along with the support of STEAM Education, a UCC based company focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths subjects in primary schools, Ballineen Foróige has been engaging members and leaders in all things engineering over the last six weeks. From researching, designing, and prototyping a project based on local problems, to participating in various workshops on coding and careers in engineering, Ballineen Foróige have been extremely busy in preparation for the exhibition this coming Friday night.

On the night itself, Michael Loftus, Head of Engineering at CIT, Fintan Goold, Manager at Eli Lilly and All-Ireland Cork winning Footballer, along with Geraldine Coughlan of GCA Architects & Designers, a local business, will act as judges on the night, evaluating the different engineering projects and offering some advice to the members of the club. Also in attendance will be the CEO of Foróige Seán Campbell, along with a number of local councillors, TD’s and Senators.

Leading the team of Ballineen Foróige leaders organising the event, is Rebecca Dwyer, a bioprocess engineer at Eli Lilly. Rebecca recently became a leader in the club and says that Ballineen Foróige Young Engineer Exhibition 2018 “promises to be a fun, challenging and rewarding experience for all involved and we look forward to welcoming parents, relatives, friends and members of the public to the exhibition and film screening on the evening of Friday 23rd February.” Overall, there are twelve projects entered in the exhibition. One project, led by Cian Kennefick and Charlie Nolan, members of the starting out club, examines the possibility of installing speed ramps on the road near local primary school. Fourteen-year-old Charlie says he got involved in the project as it was something to do and it gets you thinking. Cian says the most exciting part of the project was the building of the prototypes.

Both Cian and Charlie, along with thirty other members of the club will display their projects this coming Friday 23 February in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen. Doors open at 8pm and the event runs until 10pm. All are welcome to attend, and admission is free. Catering, including tea and coffee, will be provided on the night.
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Check out this new upbeat indie-folk track Edges, released today from Inni-K with a video by Myles O'Reilly. Inni-K will be performing at Levis’, Ballydehob on Saturday 24th February, with support from Sam Clague.

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16th February, 2018  ·  

Vikings talk in Clonakilty!

“The Viking Gold and Silver Hoards from County Cork” is the topic of the next Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage lecture on Thursday 22nd at the Parish Centre starting at 8pm.

It will be delivered by John Sheehan, senior lecturer in the Archaeology Department, UCC and a former member of the Heritage Council and the Board of the National Museum of Ireland.

The Vikings were an important presence in Ireland for over two centuries. As well as inflicting great terror they were also responsible for introducing urbanism and new economic systems to the country.

In this talk the focus will be on the economy, looking at the gold and silver hoards that were buried in Co. Cork. It will also explore how these hoards were discovered, what happened to them, and where they are now!
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15th February, 2018  ·  

Bandon Toastmasters is a club that helps people overcome Glossophobia, a fear of public speaking. The club is holding a night of inspirational and motivational speakers on February 22 that is a must for anybody wishing to overcome this phobia.
Tickets can be purchased either on the club's facebook page or through eventbrite.

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