‘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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11th October, 2017  ·  

Submarines, American Sailors, and the Underwater War in Irish Waters, 1917-1918
by Dr John Borgonovo in The Parish Centre, Clonakilty
on Thursday Oct 26 2017 at 8.30 pm

In 1917, unrestricted submarine warfare by German U-boats brought the United States into WWI and created a crisis in Britain. To defeat the submarine menace, an American naval fleet was dispatched to County Cork, bringing about 10,000 sailors with it. This talk will explain the circumstances of this extraordinary event, and how Cork residents dealt with their unexpected American guests.

Dr John Borgonovo is a lecturer in the School of History at UCC. His publications include Spies, Informers, and the 'Anti-Sinn Féin' Society: The Intelligence War in Cork City, 1920-1921; The Dynamics of War and Revolution: Cork City, 1916-1918; Exercising a close vigilance over their daughters: Cork women, American sailors, and Catholic vigilantes, 1917-18; Something in the Nature of a Massacre: The Bandon Valley Killings Revisited (with Andy Bielenberg). His latest publication (with co-authors John Crowley, Donal Ó Drisceoil and Mike Murphy) is the highly acclaimed and magnificient Atlas of the Irish Revolution. In July of this year, he organised a very successful conference on Winning the Western Approaches - Unrestricted Submarine Warfare and the US Navy in Ireland 1917-1918.
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11th October, 2017  ·  

Apple Juicing Day in Clonakilty next Sunday Sept 30th. All welcome to bring their apples from 2-6pm to the Clonakilty Community Garden (on entrance road to Clonakilty Lodge).

Building on the success of its inaugural 2016 event, local voluntary environmental organisation Sustainable Clonakilty invites people to bring along their apples and press them to extract their own juice to take home, using the group's Apple Press.

Volunteers will be at hand to assist in the procedure. Bring along your apples washed; clean containers to freeze your juice (milk/juice bottles or cartons, plastic bottles with caps); clean, sterilised glass bottles to pasteurise with swing caps or suitable for 26 mm diameter metal cap.

A limited number of new 3 litres juice bags that are suitable for freezing and pasteurising, can be purchased for a nominal fee on the day also.

This is a free community event and donations will be welcome to cover costs.

For further information, please contact Xavier at xavierdubuisson@gmail.com or text at 086/0476124.
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26th September, 2017  ·  

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