RTÉ announces a new documentary season featuring some of Ireland’s best creative talent and audio makers, starting 13 September.
Broadcast Sundays 6pm on RTÉ lyric fm and available to stream or podcast from the RTÉ Radio Player and from Apple Podcasts, Spotify and other major podcast platforms.
In a time where our opportunities to come together and experience artistic performances have been diminished, RTÉ lyric fm has continued to commission and make new programmes in collaboration with some of Ireland’s best creative talent and most imaginative audio makers.
Beginning on 13 September with a beautifully crafted radio ballad by Brían Mac Gloinn of the folk duo Ye Vagabonds, who swept the boards at last year’s RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards, ‘The Rescue of the Stolwijk’ tells the story of a daring sea rescue of 18 Dutch sailors whose cargo ship the SS Stolwijk was wrecked off the Donegal coast in 1940. Mac Gloinn has written and performed new songs and woven these together with the testimony of Andrew Early, the last living islander who remembers the day, and with the accounts of the descendants of both the lifeboat crew and the rescued sailors. The result is a fitting celebration of the courage of the lifeboatmen and the human ability to deal with adversity by working together.
On 20 September performance takes centre stage with a recording of Theo Dorgan’s epic poem ‘Sappho’s Daughter’ by two of our finest actors Olwen Fouéré and Barry McGovern all set to a haunting evocative score by one of the most original developers of Irish traditional music Colm Mac Con Iomaire. Written by Dorgan after what he describes as a visitation on the island of Lesvos where Sappho was born, it’s a tale which is by turns pastoral, dramatic and erotic, a tonic for the many of us who have resisted the urge to travel in recent times.
Themes of travel and the sea re-emerge in later programmes in the series. The award-winning novelist Sara Baume takes Regan Hutchins to Cape Clear to seek out birds that have taken a wrong turn in their migratory paths in ‘The Vagrant Birds of Cape Clear’. Pat Boran, who lives near Bull Island, takes listeners on a poetic exploration of the place in ‘Bull Island Haiku’.
J.J. O’Shea and guests including Paula Meehan and Paddy Bushe are in Ballinskelligs to discuss what is claimed to be the first ever Irish poem, ‘The Song of Amergin’. Legend says this mysterious poem was spontaneously recited by the Milesian poet-prince Amergin as he placed his right foot on the shore of Ireland for the very first time. In ‘Over Nine Waves’ original music and song composed for the programme is woven around discussion of the poem. The songs are ‘My Love Was a River’ composed by J.J. O`Shea and Marc Eagleton and sung by Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, ‘Birds on the Same Tree’ composed by Michel Meiffren and sung by Emma Langford, and a new setting of ‘The Song of Amergin’ composed by J.J. O’Shea and sung by Charlie O`Brien.
Meanwhile Eco Eye’s Anja Murray takes in the broader sweep of our island in ‘Wild’. With an original score by Margie Jean Lewis, Anja and guests go back to our hunter-gatherer past and the impact of successive waves of human activity on our landscape, and map out a future where we can live in harmony and sympathy with our wild island.
For more information see https://www.rte.ie/culture/
For images or information, please contact Eoin O Kelly, firstname.lastname@example.org