Colm Mac Con Iomaire performed as part of the ‘Courage’ live concert series from Other Voices in Ireland
Irish fiddle player Colm Mac Con Iomaire performed live on May 19, as part of the ‘Courage’ live concert series from Other Voices in Ireland - you can watch back on his beautiful performance right here on IrishCentral.
About Colm Mac Con Iomaire
Almost twenty years ago, Colm Mac Con Iomaire was struggling to describe his early attempts at composition and made a distinction between ‘tunes’ and ‘music.’ Much of his playing life up to that point had been in the Irish traditional world of ‘tunes. With school friends, he started the contemporary trad band Kíla. Freedom to experiment was at the heart of Kíla. It was a cultural call to arms and the timing was crucial for a young musician on the threshold of adult life. Playing in Kíla was accompanied by a long spell busking with band members in Dublin streets.
A friendship with another busker Glen Hansard was followed by a leap into the professional mainstream and a new role, playing fiddle with the wildly popular Frames whose live gigs were and are the stuff of fan lore legend.
In the late nineties, the Irish language television broadcaster TG4 offered opportunities to write scores for film. The compositions he made for these productions came from an interior place whose deep roots lay in traditional Irish music but also in an older way of life and thought, consciously mediated through his personal life lived out in the contemporary space. So it was not surprising that the title for Colm’s first solo album ‘The Hare’s Corner / Cúinne an Ghiorria’ signified not only an acknowledgment of the importance of that old culture but also an urgent plea for “the hare’s corner” in contemporary culture... a still place where space and time are set aside for something beautiful for its own sake. Hares live in a precarious world protected but also hunted and endangered.
His work in film and theatre has allowed him to progress and mature as an orchestrator of his own compositions. ‘And Now the Weather / Agus Anois An Aimsir’ was critically acclaimed and he toured in Australia and USA with the band.
His latest record is titled “The River Holds Its Breath / Tost Ar An Abhainn” and was produced by Bill Whelan. Bill also accompanies Colm on piano. It was recorded in the old-way – playing live to a reel to reel tape-machine. Colm has toured Ireland and the UK with his band on this record.
‘Courage’ is a new project in Ireland that delivers uplifting, inspiring performances from brilliant artists to the public during the COVID-19 crisis. 'Courage' will beam these performances directly into homes across the nation, from a number of iconic cultural locations.
'Courage' has been curated by the team that produce Other Voices and is funded by Ireland's Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and by Intel.
‘Courage’ live streams have so far featured performances from Ye Vagabonds, Sorcha Richardson, Caoimhín Ó’Raghallaigh, Rhiannon Giddens, Francesco Turrisi, Lisa Hannigan, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Steve Cooney, and Denise Chaila. The project has gone from strength to strength, with nearly 774,000 tuning in worldwide to date.
Organizers say: "Our goal is to provide essential cultural output during this period. Music collapses distance in this time of isolation, it gives us courage, consolation, and brings us together. Performances will take place on Tuesday and Thursday nights and will be made available worldwide, free of charge, thanks to the support of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Intel, and RTÉ.”
Speaking of the project Minister Madigan said: “We know culture plays a hugely positive role in our collective wellbeing. The performances that will take place during the Courage program are sure to raise plenty of spirits and can be enjoyed as people stay at home. It is in addition to the support that the Government is already providing to artists and those working in the arts and cultural sectors.”
The performances will be filmed in strictly controlled locations. Because of public health regulations, there can be no live audience in the locations where we film the artists, and the only people in the locations will be artists and strictly essential crew.
For the duration of the series, artists will be asking the viewer to donate what they can to a charity of their choice.