Film by DkIT Researchers to Feature in An Táin Programme of Events

29 April 2020

A film, ‘Finding Fochabers’, created by researchers in the Creative Arts Research Centre at Dundalk Institute of Technology, has been selected for a screening as part of an initiative by An Táin Arts Centre to the Covid-19 pandemic.

An Táin Arts Centre has created a new off-site based programme to run during this unprecedented time. Director Paul Hayes noted

We might not have a building, but we have a wealth of local talented performers, artists, musicians, and creators who we will connect with the wider community'.

Directed by Xian Wei Desmond Ooi, a graduate of the BA (Hons) Film and TV Production programme, and Dr Daithí Kearney, co-director of the Creative Arts Research Centre, 'Finding Fochabers' follows composer and performer Daithí Kearney to the North East of Scotland where he participates at the Celtic music festival Speyfest with colleagues and students from the Department of Creative Arts, Media and Music at DkIT. The short film reflects on his engagement as a researcher over a number of fieldtrips with the history and culture of the area and his response through creative arts practice. It also features performances by students from the BA (Hons) Music programme led by Daithí and Head of Department Dr Adèle Commins.

'Finding Fochabers' highlights the legacy of a Speyside musician and teacher, James Alexander and older fiddle traditions of composer William Marshall, who is buried near Fochabers and includes new instrumental and vocal compositions by Kearney. The documentary film provides a medium through which a creative artist can present new composition in context, engaging with ethnomusicology in a digital sphere by creating new possibilities for performance and composition and develops the concept of 'Performance as Research.' For the filmmaker, the project presents an opportunity for creative collaborative development and, in this instance, Desmond Ooi fulfils many of the production roles including camera and audio recording and editing, with the support of the Research Office at Dundalk Institute of Technology.

From Malaysia, Xian Wei Desmond Ooi is a recent graduate of the BA (Hons) Film and TV Production at Dundalk Institute of Technology. For the past four years, he has worked on various projects in many roles, ranging from producing and shooting a documentary in Scotland, to creating motion graphics videos for a creative web development company, to editing introductory videos featured in a live musical performance. Since completing his degree, Desmond is working freelance in Ireland and seeking opportunities to produce visual content.

Ethnomusicologist, geographer and performer Dr Daithí Kearney is a lecturer in Music and co-director of the Creative Arts Research Centre at Dundalk Institute of Technology. His research is primarily focused on Irish traditional music but extends to include performance studies, community music and music education. Daithí has toured regularly as a musician, singer and dancer with a number of groups including Siamsa Tíre, The National Folk Theatre of Ireland. In 2012 he released an album with Cork accordion player John Cronin entitled Midleton Rare and in 2017 he released an album of new compositions with Dr Adèle Commins entitled A Louth Lilt.

‘Finding Fochabers’ was conceived as a Summer Undergraduate Research Project supported by the Research Office at Dundalk Institute of Technology and benefited from further support from Culture Ireland, IMRO and Speyfest.

An Táin have selected 'Finding Fochabers' for a screening on 7 May 2020 at 8pm.




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