Other Voices, based in Ireland, hosted a virtual concert from the National Gallery of Ireland on May 12, and you can tune into it right here on IrishCentral.

Sean Nós singer Iarla Ó Lionáird and virtuoso guitarist Steve Cooney performed live on Tuesday, May 12 - you can watch back on a portion of their performance hosted by Other Voices here on IrishCentral as part of our ongoing IrishCentral Happy Hour series:

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About Iarla Ó Lionáird and Steve Cooney

Iarla Ó Lionáird and Steve Cooney have forged a unique musical partnership over many years and now look forward to recording their first album together in 2020. Their interpretations of songs from the sean-nós tradition have set a new standard of artistic integrity and creative innovation within the traditional structures of the Gaelic song tradition.

They have explored their own individual paths in their careers – Iarla has performed with such renowned groups as the Afro Celt Sound System and The Gloaming and collaborated with classical ensembles, opera, and film performances, while Steve has performed in many Irish traditional instrumental ensembles and contributed to more than 250 CDs as a guitarist, bass player, and producer. His recently released solo album Ceol Arsa Clairsi is a glorious celebration of a heritage that stretches back a millennium has been called the most important record of Iris music released in the last decade 

The duo long shared an empathetic link that has grown out of their love of the melodic and poetic art forms created during the time when Gaelic culture was in its full flowering. Iarla grew up immersed in this culture in Cúil Aodha, Co. Cork; Steve grew up in Australia and brings an imaginative perspective to the accompaniment of the songs, based on the traditions of the harpers.

You can check out the duo performing on RTÉ's The Tommy Tiernan Show back in February here:

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About 'Courage'

‘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 and Lisa Hannigan. The project has gone from strength to strength, with over 500,000 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. 

You can learn more about Other Voices on their website and Facebook.

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