Compánach is a concert of Traditional music, song & dance played against a changing backdrop of 800 photo-images of musicians and scenery. A documentary concert, it has melodies of all types from each of the 32 counties on the island and from its home and émigré regions.
These are performed ensemble and in duets and trios by fiddle-player Gerry O’Connor, uilleann piper Tiarnán Ó Duinnchín, flute-player Fintan Vallely, sean-nós step dancer and flute-player Sibéal Davitt, and sean-nós singer and fiddle-player Roisín Chambers. It features photos by Jacques Nutan, whose images are also the core of two music books – the 2011 ‘Ben Lennon – The Tailor’s Twist’, and the 1998 ‘The Blooming Meadows’.
A unique event, Compánach draws on the A-Z format of the encyclopedia Companion to Irish Traditional Music, literally turning its text back into music. But this is as far from flat pages as you can get, for the visual narrative is instantly-appreciable on a large-scale, rear-projected, backdrop screen – a documentary flow of historical images and contemporary photos. These are lifted by the superb music into a real-time display of people, places and events related to the tunes which demonstrates Irish music’s hallmark variety, repertoires and styles.
For Traditional music lovers and aficianados this is an exceptionally vibrant presentation of solo and group playing, sean-nós step-dance and singing. For students of the music and of Irish culture it is a wonderful, highly-informative visual and melodic interplay.
Video sample of Compánach as performed in Belfast, 2015
Video of Compáanch at Dún Laoghaire, March 2015: You-tube
Venue information – technical and stage requirements