Compánach is a concert of Traditional music, song & dance played against a changing backdrop of a thousand photo-images of musicians and scenery. A documentary show, it has old and new melodies of all types from each of the 32 counties on the island.
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 solo, duet and ensemble music, song and dance 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
Karan Casey singing in Compánach at Cork Folk Festival, Oct. 1st, 2016
Síomha Ní Aonghusa singing in Compánach at Ennis Tradfest, Nov. 13th, 2016
The core group of players has Gerry O’Connor on fiddle, Tiarnán Ó Duinnchín on uilleann pipes; Fintan Vallely on flute, Sibéal Davitt with sean-nós step dance and flute; and Roisín Chambers; with sean-nós song and fiddle. Other leading musicians join the cast from time to time. The show is anchored contextually by music and scenic photos by Jacques Nutan, with supplementary landscapes by Gareth McCormack.
Performers Winter 2016 – Spring 2017.
Playing on these tours are Fintan Vallely and Tiarnán Ó Duinnchin. Performing with them on various dates will be Liz Doherty and Maggie Maguire (fiddle); Suzanne Leahy and Arlene McCarroll (dance); Roisín White, Máire Ní Choilm and Síomha Ní Aonghusa (song).