Ethnomusicologist, geographer and performer Dr Daithí Kearney is a graduate of University College Cork and a lecturer in music and co-director of the Centre for Creative Arts Research at Dundalk Institute of Technology. His research is primarily focused on Irish traditional music but extends to include performance studies, community music, music education and the connection between music and place. His PhD concentrates on the construction of geographies and regional identities in Irish traditional music and his research interests include the negotiation, mediation and construction of identities through music and the relationship between music and place.
Daithí has toured regularly as a musician, singer and dancer with a number of groups including Siamsa Tíre, The National Folk Theatre of Ireland and was Artistic Director of the The Cork International Folk Dance Festival 2005. An All-Ireland champion musician, he has recorded with a number of ensembles including the band Nuada and performed for President Obama in The White House in 2009. In 2012 he released an album with Cork accordion player John Cronin entitled Midleton Rare,which is related to a wider research project on the music and musicians of the Sliabh Luachra region. He continues to tour regularly and in 2013 performed with Southbound at the National Folk Festival of Australia and in 2014 toured North and South America with the DkIT Ceol Oirghialla Traditional Music Ensemble. In 2016 he toured Scotland with the Ensemble and in 2017 they participated in the Rauland Winter Music Festival in Norway.
Recent publications include contributions to the Companion to Irish Traditional Music (ed. Vallely, 2012), Ancestral Imprints (Ed. Smith, 2012), the Encyclopaedia of Music in Ireland (ed. White and Boydell, 2013), Spacing Ireland (Crowley and Linehan, 2013) and New Crops Old Fields (ed. Caldwell and Byers, 2016). He has also contributed to the Journal of the Society for Musicology in Ireland, Ethnomusicology Ireland, Sonss, Musicology Review, The Yearbook for Traditional Music, Popular Music and Estudios Irlandeses.
Daithí is formerly chair of ICTM Ireland and a committee member of the Society for Music Education in Ireland.
Bringing together undergraduate and postgraduate students, the DkIT Ceol Oirghialla Traditional Music Ensemble draws inspiration from a variety of Irish traditional music groups, exploring possibilities of arrangement and inspiration with respect for both tradition and possibility. The Traditional Ensemble provides numerous opportunities for students to hone their stagecraft and performance skills in diverse contexts. In partnership with the Irish traditional music society at DkIT, the Traditional Ensemble brings Irish traditional music to the heart of college life.
This interdisciplinary initiative aims to develop a new Irish/Northern Irish research cluster on youth work and music education. The project will:
The research project establishes an Irish and Northern Irish platform for youth work/music research. Two networking events with research partners and youth sector organisations are proposed, with the intention of consolidating partnerships and developing a research model and strategy. A second key outcome of the project will be a conference on youth work and music education and the publication of articles based upon conference papers in international peer-reviewed journals. This will enable us to strategically position DkIT and partner institutions as both leaders/Principle Investigators and collaborators in large international research proposals. UCC will act as lead in this research initiative, involving staff members from the School of Applied Social Studies, the School of Music and the ISS21 Children and Young People cluster. Our partner Irish/N.Irish-based institutions, which provide both youth work professional training and music education programmes, are: • NUI, Maynooth and University of Ulster.
The project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council in the UK for the Transforming Musicology Scheme is a collaboration with a team comprising of researchers from Birmingham City University and University of Birmingham. While `tunes' in Irish traditional music are usually of simple and regular structure, the tradition allows for and applauds the creativity of the individual musician. The perceived skill, creativityand musicality of musicians in the Irish tradition are often related to the use of ornamentation, variation, phrasing, and articulation in performance. The ability to accurately represent and analyse stylistic features such as ornaments allow for the development of discourse related to several key ethnomusicological questions surrounding music making, musical heritage and cultural change.
In this project, we aim to develop computational framework that will contribute towards addressing some of the above questions. We will focus on understanding of individual stylistic dierences through the use of ornamentation as it is a decisive stylistic determinant in Irish traditional music. The developed framework can be extended, in a future larger-scale project, to analysis of regional stylistic dierences and change over time.
Part of Music Generation Cork City Summer Programme in association with Club Ceoil, Ballyphehane, TradCamp is a week-long Irish traditional music summer camp for students from 6 to 12 years of age who are learning or interested in starting to learn Irish traditional music. In 2014, additional programmes for Early Years (3-5 year olds) and a Youth Project (13-18 year olds) will also take place. The camps and projects include live music performances, group music-,aking activities, creative tune making and arrangement, song and dance workshops and performance. See more at: http://www.tradcampcork.com/
On-going research projects include research into the musical cultural of the Oriel region including archival research and arrangements of songs and melodies from a variety of sources. Much of the research to date has informed performances by the DkIT Ceol Oirghialla Traditional Music Ensemble.
On-going research examines various aspects of the development of and performances by Siamsa Tíre, The National Folk Theatre of Ireland.
Seán McElwain Opening up the canon of Irish Traditional music – the music of the Sliabh Beagh region (co-supervised with Dr Helen Lawlor, DkIT)
Conor Ward The Fiddle Tradition of Thomas Kernan: An Analysis of the Transmission of a Fiddle Style in Oral and Written Tradition in Longford and South Leitrim (co-supervised with Dr Eibhlís Farrell, DkIT)
MA by Research
Brian Casley The Role of the Mandolin in Irish Traditional Music (co-supervised with Dr Eibhlís Farrell, DkIT)
Ciara Moley Féile Oriel and its Impact on Music, Place and Identity (co-supervised with Paul McGettrick, DkIT)
Dundalk Institute of Technology
Phone: +353 (0)42 9370200
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