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Irish Music Stories Podcast

Music Podcasts

The show about traditional music, and the bigger stories behind it. Host Shannon Heaton talks to musicians, dancers, and scholars about where Irish music has been, where it's going, and what it means to so many people around the globe. Whether you already play fiddle or know dance steps, or you don't know anything about traditional music, the emphasis of this show is creativity, community, and heritage.

The show about traditional music, and the bigger stories behind it. Host Shannon Heaton talks to musicians, dancers, and scholars about where Irish music has been, where it's going, and what it means to so many people around the globe. Whether you already play fiddle or know dance steps, or you don't know anything about traditional music, the emphasis of this show is creativity, community, and heritage.

Location:

United States

Description:

The show about traditional music, and the bigger stories behind it. Host Shannon Heaton talks to musicians, dancers, and scholars about where Irish music has been, where it's going, and what it means to so many people around the globe. Whether you already play fiddle or know dance steps, or you don't know anything about traditional music, the emphasis of this show is creativity, community, and heritage.

Language:

English


Episodes

Episode 50-Framing the Stories

2/9/2021
How much power does a backdrop have? As the Irish Music Stories production team works to assemble episodes and bonus materials, Shannon explores the wooded hills of Medford, Massachusetts to find visual and organizational surrounds that look and feel like time-worn jigs, and ballads, and nights of music and dance. * * * * * * * Thank you to everybody for listening. And a special thank you to this month’s underwriters: Joel DeLashmit, Lynn Hayes, Paul Grajciar, Suezen Brown, Paul DeCamp,...

Duration:00:05:50

Episode 49-The Naming of Birds

1/12/2021
After a horrific week of social unrest in the U.S., and as Irish Music Stories begins a major overhaul, host Shannon Heaton offers a meditation on how cataloging and organizing can soothe the soul. There’s also plenty of music in this episode. Full playlist below. And for Japanese speakers who want to get started with Irish Music Stories, the first episode has been translated fully (transcript) by Ryoko Murakami (with Tomoaki Hatekeyama) HERE * * * * * * * Thanks to everybody for...

Duration:00:06:50

Episode 48 Trailer

12/8/2020
Trailer for the December 2020 episode of Irish Music Stories.

Duration:00:02:04

Episode 48-Between the Tunes

12/8/2020
What’s up with stage banter? And why all the joking around between tunes in a session? Explore the on- and offstage chat that surrounds traditional music with Máirtín de Cógáin, Paddy League, Joanie Madden, Rus Bradburd, Liz Carroll, and Jean-Michel Veillon. There’s also plenty of music in this episode. Full playlist below. And for Japanese speakers who want to get started with Irish Music Stories, the first episode has been translated fully (transcript) by Ryoko Murakami (with Tomoaki...

Duration:00:42:50

Episode 47-The Myth of Tragedy

11/10/2020
How do new traditional Irish and Scottish tunes come together? How do composers conjure melodies? Composers Liz Carroll, Dáithí Sproule, and Katie McNally share thoughts on creativity, the tune writing process, and the myths behind the music. There’s also plenty of music in this episode. Full playlist below. And for Japanese speakers who want to get started with Irish Music Stories, the first episode has been translated fully (transcript) by Ryoko Murakami (with Tomoaki Hatekeyama)...

Duration:00:53:50

Episode 46-Ancient Tongues, Modern Times

10/13/2020
Learning just a few words in Gaelic is mannerly when visiting Ireland and Scotland. And it can be a way IN to cultural values and humor. Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, Séamus Ó Flatharta, Ciarán Bolger, Michael Coult, Julie Fowlis, Mary Jane Lamond, and Brian Ó hAirt help me understand connections between language and music. And how songs in Irish and Scottish Gaelic transmit emotion, carry history, and lift people up. There’s also plenty of music in this episode. Full playlist below. And for...

Duration:00:59:50

Episode 45-Trad in the Classroom

9/8/2020
There’s no definitive Irish or Scottish music method book. A lot of seasoned practitioners learned their music in kitchens and pubs. So how do they bring that immersive, social learning approach into the classroom? In this episode, June McCormack, Michael Rooney, Alasdair White, Caroline Keane, and Tom Delany share ideas about teaching and learning traditional music. There’s also plenty of music in this episode. Full playlist below. And for Japanese speakers who want to get started with...

Duration:00:52:50

Episode 44-Not Easy Playing Green

8/11/2020
The topic of sustainable travel for touring musicians has been reframed, as Covid-19 has cancelled most music live music events for an unforeseeable amount of time. But as activity kicks up again, conversations about responsible, viable, grateful travel—and conservation—remain vital. In this episode, I’ll revisit earlier chats with Liz about her environmental advocacy; Dana Lyn and Kyle Sanna about their musical show that pays tribute (and donates profits) to coral reef ecosystems; and...

Duration:00:44:50

Episode 43-From the Fringe to the Fore

7/14/2020
The role of instruments in Celtic traditions can be fickle: newer voices (like the tenor banjo) are increasingly popular on festival stages; while ancient ones (like the harp) still hang on the outskirts when it comes to modern group projects. Find out how the banjo came into common acceptance in Irish circles from Daniel Neely, Enda Scahill, and Martin Howley… and learn about joys and challenges of outsider status from harpist Maeve Gilchrist, cellist Natalie Haas, and saxophone players...

Duration:00:51:50

Episode 42 Trailer

6/9/2020
Trailer for the June 2020 episode of Irish Music Stories

Duration:00:01:42

Episode 42-The Long Arm of the Irish Tradition

6/9/2020
Persistent infections like Covid-19 … and social injustice.. and racism… loom large. And still, these little Irish jigs and reels are forming bridges across oceans. What happens when people fall in love with a foreign music culture and pull themselves out of their comfort zones to travel and learn to play? Learn about the perspective Irish music has offered Guillermo Del Val Rodriguez, Santiago Molina, Gregor Brinkschulte, Alasdair Fraser, Rolf Wagels, Kerstin Otten, Brent Cassidy, Andy...

Duration:00:57:50

Episode 41- Transplanting Tradition in the Land of the Trees

5/12/2020
What do rampant evictions, military ship collisions, and Christmas trees have to do with jigs and reels? Learn how Gaelic culture resonated in Canada’s “New Scotland,” and down in the Boston States, from singer Mary Jane Lamond and fiddle players Troy MacGillivray, Andrea Beaton, Alasdair Fraser, Katie McNally, and Lee Cremo. Plenty of music here, too. Full playlist below. * * * * * * * Thanks to everybody for listening. And a special thank you to this month’s underwriters: Peter Lee,...

Duration:00:50:50

Episode 40-Irish Tunes in the Key of C-19

4/14/2020
How are traditional musicians and dancers continuing creative careers and group music events during the Covid-19 pandemic? How is social distancing affecting the jigs and reels? In this unexpected open of Season Four of Irish Music Stories, musicians from Ireland, England, Belgium, Sweden, and the U.S. address on and offline strategies… from a safe distance. Plenty of music here, too. Full playlist below. * * * * * * * Thanks to everybody for listening. And a special thank you to this...

Duration:00:54:50

Episode 39-Tune Tale with Eileen Ivers

3/10/2020
What’s a soccer ball, a school uniform, and a wedding dress have in common? New York-based fiddle player Eileen Ivers helps jar memories and connections, with a jig she wrote for her granny, in this month’s off season installment. Plenty of music here, too. Full playlist below. * * * * * * * Thanks to everybody for listening. And a special thank you to Charlie Durfee, Desmond O'Hagan, Pat Wilcox, Paul Grajciar, Peter Crimmin, Susan Walsh, David Vaughan, Brian Benscoter, Joe Garrett, Gerry...

Duration:00:05:50

Episode 38-Tune Tale with Jimmy Keane

2/11/2020
Are all traditional tunes created equally? And if they aren’t, what happens to the, um, lesser tunes? Do they end up like lost dryer socks? Chicago-based accordion player Jimmy Keane reflects on the room of bad tunes, and shares one of his loveliest compositions in this month’s off season installment. Plenty of music here, too. Full playlist below. * * * * * * * Thanks to everybody for listening. And a special thank you to John Ploch, Finn Agenbroad, David Vaughan, Brian Benscoter, Joe...

Duration:00:07:50

Episode 37-Tune Tale with Helen Kisiel

1/14/2020
What do you do when language just can’t capture how hilarious—and important—an encounter in Ennis, County Clare was? Write a tune about it. That’s what Brendan Tonra did. Pianist Helen Kisiel recounted one of those tune memories in this month’s off season installment. Plenty of music here, too. Full playlist below. * * * * * * * Thanks to everybody for listening. And a special thank you to James Supplee, Brian Murchison, Michael Todd, Robert Levelle, Mike O'Malley, Parker Abercrombie,...

Duration:00:05:50

Episode 36-Tune Tale with Billy McComiskey

12/10/2019
Where do the tunes come from? When does inspiration hit? Shannon learns that it's all about timing, in this short story about a jig by accordion player Billy McComiskey. Plenty of music here, too. Full playlist below. * * * * * * * Thanks to everybody for listening. And a special thank you to Chris Murphy, Naka Ishii, David Vaughan, Brian Benscoter, Joe Garrett, Gerry Corr, and one anonymous donor for underwriting this episode. Please CLICK HERE if you can kick in to support this...

Duration:00:05:50

Episode 35- Last Night’s Food

11/12/2019
What’s up with the endless cups of Irish tea? Is there something genuinely nourishing about a pile of french fries and melted cheese? Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, Matthew Olwell, Jamie McClennan, and Matt Heaton help me digest the meaning behind the menu. And I’ve also got tasty tales from Kevin Doyle, Liz Carroll, John Williams, and Kathleen Conneely. Plenty of music here, too. Full playlist below. * * * * * * * Thanks to everybody for listening. And a special thank you to Mark Johnson, Lynn...

Duration:00:33:50

Episode 34-Fairy Forts and Changelings

10/8/2019
Are Irish fairies REAL? And if so, could there be Sí folk living in New England?? Fiddle player Martin Hayes, singer Emily Smith, and storyteller Máirtín de Cógáin help me and this month’s co-producer Nigel Heaton investigate songs, stories, and possible gateways to the Otherworld. Plenty of music here, too. Full playlist below. * * * * * * * Thanks to everybody for listening. And a special thank you to Jonathan Duvick, Mark Haynes, Chris Murphy, David Vaughan, Brian Benscoter, Joe...

Duration:00:52:50

Episode 33-The Irish Woodshed

9/10/2019
What do the Irish music and dance worlds think about practicing? Fiddle players Fergal Scahill, Finn Magill, and Rose Flanagan; banjo player Martin Howley; cellist Natalie Haas; flute player Nicole Rabata; and dancer Kieran Jordan share thoughts about woodshedding in the trad world. Plenty of music here, too. Full playlist below. * * * * * * * Thanks to everybody for listening. And a special thank you to, George McAvoy, Michael Craine, David Vaughan, Brian Benscoter. Joe Garrett, Gerry...

Duration:00:45:50