Performances, Bursaries and Reviews

May 11, 2010

I’ve had a busy past month and lots of exciting things are happening. Here’s a quick run down of them all.

Secret Festival in Sweden

I’ve been invited to the Secret Music Festival on the island of Öland in Sweden at the end of June where I will spend a week collaborating and performng with musicians from Ireland, Sweden, Spain, Australia and Estonia. We will spend the first three days working together on a new collaborative composition which we will then perform in four concerts throughout the Island of Öland.

The musicians joining me will be Vyvienne Long and John Leo Carter from Ireland, Maria Rylander and Klas Ehnemark from Sweden, Nasrine Rahmani from Spain/Australia, Diego Guerrero from Spain and Juhan and Janne Suits from Estonia.

Further details of the festival can be found at this website

I’m really looking forward to working with all these great musicians

Africa Day performance and workshop with Niwel Tsumbu and Cion O’Callaghan

I’m delighted to be performing with the great Congolese guitarist, singer and composer Niwel Tsumbu and my good friend the percussionist Cion O’Callaghan at the Africa Day event at the Iveagh Gardens in Dublin this Sunday 16th May at 1.30 pm. We’ll be performing a 30 minute set of African influenced music with a bit of Irish music thrown in for good measure! Niwel and I will also be giving a workshop on African Guitar Styles in the Music Tent at 3.45.

see for more details

Arts Council of Ireland Bursary

Yesterday I received a letter from the Arts Council of Ireland informing me that I’ve been awarded a bursary from them to allow me to buy the time to concentrate on some new composition work for the rest of 2010. This work will include some new music for Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill to perform with orchestra. I’m excited to be embarking on this project with them. Speaking of Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill…..

US Premiere of ‘Music for the Departed’ in New York

Martin Hayes, Dennis Cahill, Gregory Harrington & Dave Flynn at the Irish Arts Center, New York

I recently returned from New York where Martin Hayes, Dennis Cahill and Gregory Harrington gave the US Premiere of my piece ‘Music for the Departed’ at three sold out performances in the Irish Arts Center. I’d a great time over there and wasn’t too disappointed that the Icelandic volcano ash kept me there for a few extra days! I’m grateful to the Irish Arts Center and Culture Ireland for their assistance in providing me with a travel grant to cover my travel expenses.

Another great review for Contemporary Traditional Irish Guitar

My album ‘Contemporary Traditional Irish Guitar’ recently received another great review. This time in Irish Music Magazine. Many thanks to Edel McLaughlin for taking the time to write such a lovely review!


Contemporary Traditional Irish Guitar
FRCD002, Frisbee records
15 tracks

This recording is quite striking and unique for a number of reasons. Firstly, Dave Flynn has made a full album comprising of melodic dance music played exclusively on nylon string guitar. Although the guitar is an instrument not normally associated with playing Irish dance music, Dave breathes new life into the music with a lovely melodic lilt and lift to each tune that has been carefully selected to feature on this recording. It is not your typical guitar album; the dexterity of finger movement and sheer delight in playing these melodies is quite apparent from start to finish on this album. He has made carved a niche to represent his own distinctive and personal style that shines through in many ways on this album. In the sleeve notes, Dave notes the paradox in the album’s title; however, this collection features many tunes that were composed relatively recently yet are known and played worldwide as part of the traditional music canon. Most of the music performed stems from the pen of Paddy Fahey – “a magical fiddle player and composer who is, to me and many others, one of the finest composers Ireland has ever produced.”

The album is worth the purchase alone for the pleasure of hearing so many Fahey tunes in one setting. Also, other notable composers’ tunes are included including those of Cavan-born Ed Reavy, Donegal master Tommy Peoples, Leitrim’s legend Charlie Lennon, and the great Irish-American fiddler Larry Redican. As Dave notes so importantly, “It is a special skill to be able to compose tunes that sound new, whilst still fitting seamlessly into the tradition.” Interestingly, all of the compositions on the album were originally fiddle tunes and so, Dave has fittingly tried to translate the fiddle style in terms of rhythm and phrasing onto his guitar by matching it to the tuning of the fiddle. It’s quite a pleasure to hear many of these tunes heard in different keys to the originals due to the use of a capo to create a brighter overall sound, as it gives the listener a fresh insight into these wonderful, melodic melodies. There are some lyrical introductions also to tunes that lure the listener into the tune – listen to track 7, for example. Finally, it’s beautiful to see hear “The Mahatma of the Glen” on this recording – a recent original composition, dedicated to a master Donegal fiddler, the late James Byrne who also made such a remarkable contribution to the world of Irish Music. To conclude, this is a must for anyone who enjoys contemporary traditional music at its best.
Edel McLaughlin


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