PIPE DREAM?Castlebar musician Emer Mayock has received a prestigious TG4 Gradam Cheoil award,
Mayock’s role in mining music heritage honoured
Traditional musician Emer Mayock from Castlebar has received the TG4 Gradam Comharcheoil (Musical Collaboration) Award at a ceremony and concert that took place at University Concert Hall, Limerick, on Saturday last, April 12.
The prestigious award was presented to Emer Mayock (flute), Mick O’Brien (uilleann pipes) and Aoife Ní Bhriain (fiddle) to celebrate their collaboration which led to the recording of the CD ‘Tunes from the Goodman Manuscripts’.
This is the first time that TG4 Gradam Cheoil has honoured a musical collaboration and marks the significance of this important and innovative CD, which explores the music collected by Canon James Goodman in his native Munster in the 1860s.
The manuscripts, which since Canon Goodman’s death, have been held in Trinity College Library, provide unique insights into the evolution of Irish traditional music and are of great significance, as they preserve much of the traditional music of the south of Ireland as it was sung and played in the years before traditional culture there was devastated by the Great Famine of the 1840s.
From these manuscripts, Mick, Emer and Aoife chose music ranging from unusual versions of tunes in the modern repertoire to those apparently unique to the collection.
Emer Mayock has also recently been appointed Traditional Arts Adviser to the Arts Council. From her traditional roots, the multi-instrumentalist and composer has turned her impressive talents to everything from jazz and classical to world music from as far away as China and India.
Music runs deep in the Mayock family, and Emer began to play traditional music during her childhood on a range of instruments including the flute, low whistles, fiddle and uilleann pipes. Two albums, ‘Merry Bits of Timber’ and ‘Playground’, showcased Emer’s musicianship, and over the years there have been a host of high-profile and eclectic collaborations with everyone from Donal Lunny, Paddy Glackin and singer Damien Dempsey, to jazz musician Michael Buckley, Breton harpist Alan Stivell, The Irish Chamber Choir, Italian baroque ensemble il Giardino Armonico (with whom she recorded a CD of Vivaldi’s music), Greek singer Eleftheria Arvanitaki, Grammy nominated Afro Celts, British musician Nitin Sawhney, the Dhoad Gypsies of Rajasthan and contemporary Chinese composer Jia Daqun.
Mayock continues to travel widely as a performer, but her talents also range widely beyond performance. She has written and recorded arrangements for traditional and jazz musicians for RTÉ Radio 1’s ‘Translations’, and herself presented the music series ‘The Wider Embrace’ on Radio 1. She has also composed the music for Winter Pictures, a successful touring play for children, and featured on RTÉ Lyric FM’s Masters of Tradition double CD among some of Ireland’s finest Traditional musicians recorded live in concert.
A host of traditional musicians and singers performed at the TG4 Gradam Cheoil ceremony, which will be broadcast on Easter Sunday, April 20, on TG4 at 9.30pm.