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DkIT Composer Included in New Tunes Collection

30 March 2023

Dundalk Institute of Technology are extremely proud to report that Dr Adèle Commins, Head of Department of Creative Arts, Media and Music, had her work recently selected for inclusion in a new book of traditional music compositions published by Faber.


On International Women’s Day, Faber Music proudly announced a tune book like no other. ‘Folk Tunes from the Women’, which is to be released on 5 May 2023 and is a bumper book of over 150 contemporary tunes from 100 female composers from Britain and Ireland, brought together all from different areas, traditions and backgrounds.

‘Folk Tunes from the Women’ has been curated by Northumbrian piper and fiddle player Kathryn Tickell. Tickell put a call out for tunes, and the composers came in their droves. From successful professional musicians with many compositions to their name, to those who may have only written one tune. All these composers answered the call to submit material for ‘Folk Tunes from the Women’. They all felt passionately that there was a real need for the book to exist, not only to make their own tunes more visible and accessible, but also to make it easier to learn and champion tunes from other women tune-writers.

Featuring a wide selection of Jigs, Hornpipes, Reels, Airs, Marches, Polkas, Waltzes, Mazurkas, the book also includes many tunes which don’t fall into a natural category.

Curator Kathryn Tickell explains

“Although this material is presented collectively, I hope people will get a sense of the women involved and the processes and motivations behind our music. Some of these tunes were written in the darkest depths of grief, others are expressions of pure joy. There are stress-relievers, protests, distractions, memorials and meditations. Many tunes were written in gratitude – for life, for health, for friends and family. Some are professional commissions; others were given freely as gifts. Some are for dancing, some for listening. They are for births, deaths and everything between and beyond.”

The tunes are presented as melody lines with chord symbols, to make it the most useful book for teachers and players alike.

Musicologist Dr Adèle Commins, grew up in Louth, Adèle developed a deep love of local heritage and of traditional music under the influence of her teacher Rory Kennedy. Playing both piano and piano accordion, she began composing at a young age, with many of her tunes inspired by the people and places around her, as well as her experiences of playing in local céilí bands.

Her main research interests focus on nineteenth and twentieth century English and Irish music. She also holds an ALCM and LGSMD in piano performance, is Musical Director of two local church choirs, and a director of the Oriel Traditional Orchestra. As a performer she has toured internationally and has released an album of compositions entitled A Louth Lilt (2017) along with Dr Daithí Kearney. Her recent publications include contributions to An Píobaire (2022), Journal of Music, Health and Wellbeing (2021), AISHE-J (2021), How Popular Culture Travels: Cultural Exchanges Between Ireland and the USA, (2019), Éire-Ireland, the Journal of Irish Studies (2019) and the Journal of Music, Technology and Education (2019).

Adèle will perform at a variety of events this summer including an appearance at the Celtic music festival Speyfest in Scotland, where she will also facilitate workshops. Two other Louth composers are included amongst the 100 international women composers, fiddle players Zoe Conway and Róisín Ward Morrow.


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