Tag Archives: music

Siege of Ennis world record attempt

On Sunday May 17th, Special Olympics Ireland are hoping to smash the world record for the largest ever ceili by calling everyone to Ennis to dance the ‘Siege of Ennis’ at the Fairgreen at 2pm. To raise funds, the ‘Siege DVD’ is up for grabs via local outlets or via the website at www.siegeofennis.com.

Here’s what you can do to help, in any order or combination you like:

The record attempt is part of the opening festivities for the Fleadh Nua 2009 festival, a fantastic festival of Irish traditional music, song and dance in the heartland of traditional & ceili music, Co.Clare. 

Tis me home county after all & I love nothing more than an excuse to get up and shake my tailfeather so I’ll be seeing you down there the weekend after next! Spread the word folks & get involved via the website, the Twitter account, Facebook or Bebo pages. And in case you’re worried about your dancing skills not being up to scratch don’t be – as my dad says, “sure any eejet can dance that”. Here’s what it should look like just in case the only time you’ve ever heard of it was at an Irish wedding reception around 2am:

Cork International Choral Festival: my thoughts

This festival first came to my attention somehow around this time last year right after the 2008 festival had just wrapped up in Cork. That in mind I was determined not to miss out this year so I headed for Cork on Saturday to sample some of the choral action to be had in the country’s fairest city. 

I went along to the Fleischmann Trophy competiton on Saturday, the major prize on offer at the festival. The calibre of performances from the choirs was amazing as was the range of people involved on stage. Personal highlights included ‘Ett liv for mig’ performed by Finnish group Chamber Choir Gallerie and ‘Elijah Rock’ by Irish choir Codetta. Gothenburg Youth Choir gave a fantastic energetic performance to end the evening including a finger-clicking version of ‘Chili Con Carne‘. For something a bit lighter and to satisfy my more jazzy & modern tendencies in all things choral I popped into the National Competition for Light, Jazz and Popular Music on Sunday afternoon where some delightful performances given. Highlights for me were ‘The Impossible Dream‘ by Portadown Male Voice Choir, ‘The Teddy Bears Picnic‘ by Moy Singers from Co.Mayo and ‘Unchained Melody‘ by City of Cork Male Voice Choir. The closing gala concert on Sunday gave many of the choirs who took part in the Fleischmann Trophy competition a chance to let their hair down & have some fun and that they did for a really awesome evening of music. Sadly the camera battery failed to hold out for long enough to capture them all. Probably the most bizarre performance of the festival for me was Warsaw School of Economics Choir with their take on ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit‘. Highlights for me were the Slovenia’s Ptuj Male Chamber Choir take on ‘Happy Together‘, Cois Claddaigh with ‘Loch Lomond‘, Codetta once again with ‘Elijah Rock‘, Cantilena Children’s Choir singing ‘Molly Malone‘, Fleischmann Trophy winners Kammerchor I Vocalisti with the hair-raising ‘Pseudo-Yoik‘ and finally Brigham Young University Singers (U.S.A.) with their jaw-dropping rendition of ‘Leonardo Dreams of His Flying Machine‘. I’m delighted to see they’re on tour in the UK & Ireland over the next 2 weeks. This is deserving of a blog post all by itself so watch this space :)

Overall, it was a fantastic experience in Cork, if too short. I’d love to have taken in more of the festival – there were so many different performances on offer over the 5 days and many of them free of charge too! At the risk of sounding cliched or corny, it really hit me how music can bring people from all walks of life & parts of the world together in a happy, warm, positive & supportive collective. There was such a buzz about City Hall for the performances, all the choirs cheering each other on & getting along famously & enjoying each others’ culture. 

I’ve got a bunch of videos from the Closing Gala Concert and the National Competition for Light, Jazz and Popular Music on YouTube – apologies for the awful quality of the camera work but it’s getting a taste of the sound that matters! I can’t wait for next year :)

Hypertext bento box

Handy icon set
Some icons from 'Handy' icon set

So here we are, 1st of May, first ‘proper’ bank holiday of the year already upon us. Anyone else scared/shocked at how quick the year is passing?

A businessman in the UK by the name of Mr.Hindley has bought the cottage featured in Withnail & I and promised to restore it for fans of the film – awesome!

‘Handy’ icon set free for personal & commercial use at Webdesigner Depot

If I haven’t spammed you already, X Communications are now Facebook-ing here.

Future of Web Design is currently on in London & the very talented Sabrina Dent was up yesterday giving her talk ‘Throwing Client Collaboration Out the Window: The Stalinist Web Design Model’. She’s back blogging again which is awesome & has a post up about her FOWD experience.

Some messing on Culch.ie yesterday has resulted in the launch of a new campaign site.

I’m off to Cork tomorrow to soak up the delights of the 55th Cork International Choral Festival. I’m planning to meet some of the organisers to find out more about the history of the festival & chat about getting the event out into the great wide interweb next year with blogging & all sorts of madness. If you’re about Cork over the next few days & are free for a coffee, drop me a tweet or an email or if you have my number that works too!

Song for the day is Did Ye Get Healed by Van Morrison, have a listen & get yer fingers clickin’: http://blip.fm/~5c2cu

Happy long weekend tout le monde :)

Lunchtime linkage

No.1 the day I was born
No.1 the day I was born
Oldie but goodie: what was #1 the day you were born? For me it’s ‘Band Aid: Do They Know It’s Christmas’. Can you top that? Leave yours in a comment & we’ll see :)

Stu’s ‘Songs Reimagined As Alert Boxes’ is currently at #3 in the Infectious chart & closing in on the #2 spot.

Cork boy Mark Hayes (brother to colleague Darren) is cracking me up with his blogging from L.A.

Tickets are on sale for the fabulous Gardiner Street Gospel Choir gig at The Helix, DCU on June 6th. Highly recommend going along, amazing bunch of singers & musicians – you’ll leave grinning ear to ear with a smile in your heart :)

And finally, I’m handing in my iPhone to be sent off to some foreign land to be hopefully fixed. In the meantime, Stu has kindly allowed me to borrow & unlock an N95 he had spare. I can’t get texts sending from it, everything else working fine so if you can shed any light on it I’ll buy you a pint or something suitably rewarding!