New Time Ensemble | A Year in Ireland

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Folk: Celtic Folk Folk: Irish Traditional Moods: Type: Acoustic
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A Year in Ireland

by New Time Ensemble

Traditional Irish dance tunes woven into an articulate new tapestry—the product of a year long collaboration at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance by a quartet from the U.S., France, and Scotland.
Genre: Folk: Celtic Folk
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Miller's Maggot + Creel of Turf
5:24 $0.99
2. Scolding Wife + Touch Me If You Dare + More Power to Your Elbow
3:56 $0.99
3. Da Trowie Burn
4:19 $0.99
4. The King's Shilling
5:05 $0.99
5. Come In From the Rain
4:17 $0.99
6. Doherty's + Roscommon Reel
5:22 $0.99
7. Drowsy Man's Hornpipe
5:00 $0.99
8. Road to Taynuilt
5:27 $0.99
9. Fig for a Kiss + Come Upstairs with Me
4:22 $0.99
10. Humors of Lissadell + McGlennon’s + Pigtown Fling
3:42 $0.99
11. Blackthorn Stick
4:09 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

Simultaneously traditional and innovative, New Time Ensemble weaves an articulate tapestry from the rugged threads of Irish dance tunes.

Formed in Ireland while its members pursued advanced music degrees at the University of Limerick, New Time Ensemble emerged from a shared passion for animating old tunes in new ways. The result is a tantalizing blend.

“For starters, we aren’t Irish,” says Kay Vickers, who learned to play the fiddle in her native Scotland and who has performed in céilís all over Europe. “But we all adore Irish music and enjoy infusing it with our own national and personal styles.”

Cellist Liz Davis Maxfield, a graduate of Berklee College of Music and a Fulbright grantee, notes that the Ensemble’s instrumentation sets it apart. “There really aren’t any cellos in the Irish tradition, but we have adapted the genre to the instrument, which allows us to create new and beautiful sounds.”

While completing a master’s degree in flute performance at NYU, Leslie Anne Harrison began bridging the classical and Irish traditional worlds. “New Time gives me the opportunity to apply extended classical techniques to Irish tunes,” says Leslie, “and to transport aspects of the music from the pub to the concert hall.”

Guitarist Frédéric Pouille—who hails from France and happens to hold a PhD in neuroscience—contributes an unconventional, world music-informed accompaniment as well as fingerpicking melodies.

“New Time” suggests giving old melodies new legs in a new era. Audiences in Ireland and abroad have welcomed the sound and seem to agree that New Time Ensemble comes just in time.

Imagine leaving your day-to-day concerns and worries at home as you embark on a year abroad—a year in Ireland.

You might imagine the sounds of clinking glasses in a musty pub, or perhaps the smell of a mixture of coal and turf sizzling and spitting in the fireplace as yet another rainstorm batters the windows. You might also imagine the sound of music emanating from the corner. A fiddler, a flutist, a box player, a whistle player, all caught up in a mesmerizing flurry called “turning tunes.”

The musicians who would eventually make up the New Time Ensemble came to Ireland in an effort to harness just a bit of the magic of Irish traditional music. The forum for their collaboration was the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick, situated on the banks of the River Shannon in County Clare (and, across the river, County Limerick). At the Academy the group studied with many of the greats of Irish music such as Siobhan Peoples, Frankie Gavin, Eileen O’Brien, Caoimhin ÓRaghallaigh, John Carty, Alec Finn, Gerry (fiddle) O’Connor, Aidan O’Donnell, Karen Tweed, Donnal Lunny, Andy Irvine, Catherine McEvoy, Tony Linnane, Brian Finnegan, Aaron Jones, Clive Carroll, Niall Keegan—as well as emerging players such as Trish Clark, Tommy Fitzharris, and more. Beyond the Academy, of course, the Ensemble often played sessions at pubs—including noteworthy venues such as Pepper’s Pub in Feakle, Co. Clare.

The New Time Ensemble emerged naturally from the players’ shared passion for Irish music. Yet, because of their diverse national and musical backgrounds, Liz, Leslie, Kay, and Fred ultimately gravitated towards creating a crossover group—a recipe based on “trad,” but embroidered with unconventional arrangements and harmonies.

“A Year in Ireland” is the culmination of a year of experimentation and collaboration in a foreign but beautiful place. The Ensemble recorded the album live in two days in the Drum Theatre of the newly completed (2010) Irish World Academy building. The recording sessions were engineered and mastered by Matt Purcell, who has worked with many of the great Irish musicians including Martin Hayes.



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