Various Artists | Ireland: Crossroads of Art and Design, 1690 - 1840 The Music

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Liz Carroll, Catriona McKay Liz Knowles , Kieran O'Hare, Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill

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World: Celtic Folk: Irish Traditional Moods: Instrumental
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Ireland: Crossroads of Art and Design, 1690 - 1840 The Music

by Various Artists

This CD was crafted as a companion to the historic art exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago entitled IRELAND: Crossroads of Art and Design, 1690-1840 and it features a mixture of period pieces of music as well as original compositions by Liz Carroll.
Genre: World: Celtic
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Carolan's Concerto
Catriona McKay
2:56 $0.99
2. Portraiture and Theater: Blind Daniel the Piper / Crow Street (March / Reel)
Kieran O'Hare, Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill, Catriona McKay, Liz Carroll, Liz Knowles & Jackie Moran
6:01 $0.99
3. Lady Gordon's Minuet (Minuet)
Liz Knowles, Liz Carroll, Kieran O'Hare, Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill & Catriona McKay
2:23 $0.99
4. Dublin and Bookbindings: A View from the North (Air)
Catriona McKay, Liz Carroll, Kieran O'Hare, Liz Knowles & Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill
5:02 $0.99
5. Soft Mild Morning (Slow Piece)
Marty Fahey
2:39 $0.99
6. Religion, Metalwork and Ceramics: The Lough Derg Cross / A Tale of a Tub / The Potter's Wheel (Air, Reel, Reel)
Liz Carroll, Liz Knowles, Catriona McKay, Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill, Kieran O'Hare & Jackie Moran
5:43 $0.99
7. The Droning Old-Aged Woman / Byrn's March (Jig, March)
Liz Knowles, Catriona McKay, Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill, Kieran O'Hare, Liz Carroll & Jackie Moran
5:12 $0.99
8. Textiles, Glass, Musical Instruments and Fancy Work: Planxty Charles Bunworth / Rose and Kathleen's Slip Jig (Planxty, Slip Jig)
Liz Carroll, Catriona McKay, Kieran O'Hare, Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill, Liz Knowles & Trevor Hutchinson
6:20 $0.99
9. The Dark Slender Boy (Air)
Kieran O'Hare
1:45 $0.99
10. Furniture: The Plane of the Plank / The Knight of Glin's Jig (Hornpipe, Jig)
Liz Carroll, Catriona McKay, Kieran O'Hare, Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill, Liz Knowles & Jackie Moran
3:42 $0.99
11. Sir Ulick Burke (Lament)
Liz Knowles
3:10 $0.99
12. Landscapes and Tourism: Irishtown (March)
Kieran O'Hare, Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill, Catriona McKay, Liz Carroll, Liz Knowles & Jackie Moran
3:41 $0.99
13. (It Was) A Magic Mist That Came Over Me One Night and Put Me Astray
Mick O'Brien, Emer Mayock & Aoife Ní Bhriain
3:07 $0.99
14. The Irish Country House: The True Love of My Heart (Slow Piece)
Liz Knowles, Catriona McKay & Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill
4:17 $0.99
15. Carolan's Farewell to Music
Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill
3:31 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
IRELAND: Crossroads of Art and Design, was a wonderfully descriptive and appropriate title for the ambitious exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago. While it aptly described the intersection of artistic talent, both native and non-native, in the Ireland of the Golden Era of the 18th century, it also echoed the important social position that crossroads themselves held within Irish culture and, indeed, it reflects the very nature of this musical project.

In the Ireland of centuries past, the crossroads was a meeting place, a place of frequent and vital social interactions. Neighbors met at the local crossroads, not only by chance, but by design. Village dances (céilís), political speeches, sporting standoffs, and meetings large and small were held there: these small but crucial spots of land functioned for centuries as de facto open-air community centers.

The creation of this companion CD of Irish music for the exhibition was itself a modern-day crossroads experience. A diverse, inspired, and dedicated group of benefactors, musicians, sound engineers, scholars, photographers, graphic designers, and publishing professionals, along with a host of well-wishers, came together for a noble purpose: to illuminate and celebrate the musical influences at work in the period of 1690-1840 in Ireland, and to sponsor the composition of new musical masterpieces inspired by the themes of this historic exhibition.

What follows is an hour of music, some from the ancient harp tradition, some carefully curated from the distant past by Liz Knowles, and some especially composed by Chicago’s own Liz Carroll. The enclosed 22 pg. booklet features selected images from the exhibition, brief notes and insights into the melodies themselves, and an insightful short essay on the role of the Country House in Ireland. Taken together, it is our hope that these ingredients will help you to experience the beauty of the exhibition, while also serving to deepen your appreciation both for Ireland’s boundless supply of musical, artistic, and cultural treasures and the people who create, collect, and care for them.

Please enjoy this moment at the crossroads with us.

Marty Fahey
O’Brien International


Although I’ve not been... to see it, I have heard its companion album, “Ireland: Crossroads Of Art And Design, 1690-1840 – The Music,” which was made specially for the exhibition. It is a breathtaking companion piece and it’s my great pleasure to write about it here this week.

The CD is a blend of old and new intended to reflect the exhibition’s themes as well as the period it covers. The musicians charged with making this album happen were the great fiddler Liz Knowles (, who curated a number of compositions from period manuscript collections, and the legendary Liz Carroll (, who contributed a number of specially commissioned original compositions. Both have exquisite taste and throughout the album create a sense of majesty that I feel successfully evokes the spirit of the time.

Joining them in this endeavor is a powerful lineup of musicians, including harpist Catriona McKay, keyboardist Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill (Bothy Band), flute player / uilleann piper Kieran O’Hare (who, like Knowles, is a member of Open the Door For Three), pianist Martin Fahey (who, like Knowles and Carroll, was involved in the album’s production), bassist Trevor Hutchinson (Lúnasa), and percussionist Jackie Moran (Ensemble Galilei). These musicians appear in various solo and group combinations throughout the album and deliver brilliantly.

As one might imagine for an exhibit that explores eighteenth century Ireland, the music of Turlough Carolan figures prominently. McKay’s take on “Carolan’s Concerto” is graceful and captivating, Ní Dhomhnaill version of “Carolan’s Farewell to Music” is deeply compelling and Knowles’s work on the lament “Sir Ulick Burke” is utterly beautiful. Although each of these tracks is thoroughly enjoyable on its own, together they indeed tell a compelling story in music about eighteenth century Ireland that surely fulfills the exhibition’s aims.

The album’s ensemble tracks complement these solo features well. Tracks like “The Lough Derg Cross / A Tale Of A Tub / The Potter’s Wheel,” “Irishtown” and “Planxty Charles Bunworth / Rose And Kathleen’s Slip Jig” (all Carroll originals, btw) all have great energy, are smartly arranged and do an excellent job of expressing the values and sentiment of the time. They are well done and wonderful to listen to.

One of the album’s most hauntingly beautiful tracks is “[It Was] A Magic Mist That Came Over Me One Night And Put Me Astray,” performed by Emer Mayock (flute), Aoife Ní Bhriain (fiddle) and Mick O’Brien (uilleann pipes). This piece appeared on that trio’s 2013 album “Tunes from the Goodman Manuscripts” as “Ceó Draoigheachta Sheól Oidhche chum Fághain mé,” although this version (if I’ve understood correctly) was recorded for TG4’s 2014 Gradam Ceoil broadcast. It has a slightly different feel, but rivals the other recording in terms of quality.

The CD comes with a wonderfully informative booklet. Most of it was written by Fahey, although Knowles, Carroll and O’Hare contribute tune notes for select tracks, Nancy Hurrell and Ann Heymann offer short statements about harps in the exhibition and Karol Mullaney-Dignam provides an interesting essay about the Irish country house. Included in the booklet are beautiful photographs of objects in the collection, arranged to match their place in the exhibition. (Incidentally, Fahey told me that the use of sound in this exhibit was first at the Art Institute and that all the feedback on the role of the music thus far has been overwhelmingly positive.)

This is a spectacular album. It features a beautiful mixture of old and new music from one of the most elite gatherings of musicians you’re likely to find. While this album easily stands alone on its own musical merits, it’s a wonderful thing that an album of this incredibly high standard was produced for a museum exhibit – it sets an important example.

I highly recommend this album.

Daniel Neely is the Echo’s traditional music correspondent.



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