Ancient Music Ireland
Simon O’Dwyer & Maria O’Dwyer
Sat 16 May, 12pm – 4pm
Sun 17 May, 12pm – 3pm
Talk & Demonstration:
Sat 16 May, 2.30pm – 4pm
Connacht Print Works
A celebration, exhibition and performance of the great Irish instruments of the first millennium BC. The perfect balance between musical accuracy and visual perfection.
Instruments will be presented in an exhibition so that spectators may have a hands on approach and even attempt to play.
Instruments will include – reproduction pairs of horns from Northern, Central and Southern Ireland. Examples of the Bronze Age instrument family 1,000 – 600 BC.
A pair of parade/ceremonial trumpets like those which were played in the time of Queen Medb and Cú Chulainn , 100 BC
Especially featuring the newly completed Ard Brin trumpa reproduction – the most beautiful musical instrument ever made – the golden trumpa.
ANCIENT MUSIC IRELAND
Ancient Music Ireland was established in the late 1980s, when an experimental reconstruction of a Bronze Age horn led to the establishment of the worlds first institution dedicated to the study, reproduction and exploration of prehistoric musical instruments. Initially Ancient Music Ireland concentrated on the great family of cast horns from the Irish Late Bronze Age. It was important to develop the skills required to allow the casting of new examples of these fine complex instruments. In the early 1990s, Ancient Music Ireland in collaboration with the Dublin Art Foundry succeeded in making accurate reproductions of a number of horns from around Ireland. Techniques were developed which allowed for horns to be made at commercially viable rates which made possible the first proliferation of Irish bronze horns in 3,000 years. Through the ‘90s, Ancient Music Ireland continued to expand the research and development of instruments. Recordings were made of original horns which are in the Museums of Dublin and Belfast.
A unique collaboration began which brought together the sound and rhythms of horns and bodhrán with the Australian didgeridoo to form the music of the band ‘Reconciliation’. In 1996 the first web site dedicated to prehistoric music was launched from North Galway under the name ‘prehistoricmusic.com’. At the same time investigations were begun to explore the feasibility of attempting the first reproduction of the great Celtic war trumpa known as the ‘Loughnashade’. Two years later in 1998 the new instrument was completed by John Creed of Glasgow. In the same year Ancient Music Ireland were invited to present the Irish bronze horns at the World Conference of Music Archaeology in Germany. In subsequent years, Ancient Music Ireland attended the next three conferences held and added an important contribution to music archaeology.
Ancient Music Ireland’s ongoing research has led to a blossoming of understanding of a variety of previously silent instruments ranging from wooden pipes, bronze horns, bone whistles, war trumpas and early reed horns. Continuing experiments with playing methods have revealed a hidden world of sound and vision. Creations that are made possible in a recording studio such as multiple horn sounds or overtone generation hint at future musical composition which will become possible as more players become proficient.