The first programme in a new music series Cuan an Cheoil, presented by Liam Ó Maonlaí, will be broadcast on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta on Thursday 22 September at 7 pm as part of the station’s new autumn schedule.
Each week, Liam will be joined by a musical guest or guests for a chat and an informal music session, over an hour and a half. The guestlist for the series includes some of the top names in traditional music, including Aoife Ní Bhriain; Cormac Begley & Eoin Ó Beaglaoich; Nollaig & Mairéad Casey; Charlie & Éilís Lennon; Nell Ní Chróinín; Eoghan Ó Ceannabháin & Saileog Ní Cheannabháin; Edel Fox & Caoimhín Ó Fearghail; Muitir Uí Chasaide – Odhrán, Seathrún & Sibéal Ní Chasaide; Caitlín Nic Gabhann & Antóin Mac Gabhann; and Paddy Glackin & Dónal Lunny.
The series was recorded in Stiúideo Cuan, a new creative arts and music centre looking out over the sea in An Spidéal, Co. Galway. The location, far from the madding crowds, imbues the series with an informal and unhurried atmosphere, allowing for spontaneity, improvisation and unexpected turns of conversation, and resulting in a disarming openness at times from the musicians as they chat with Liam Ó Maolaí.
Talented fiddler and violinist Aoife Ní Bhriain is the guest for the first programme on Thursday 22 September at 7 pm. Born in Dublin to a family of musicians, Aoife has collaborated and performed with musicians such as pianist Eliso Virsaladze, fiddle player Martin Hayes, Welsh harpist Catrin Finch, jazz guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel and Oscar winning actor Tim Robbins. She is a member of the avant garde string quintet Wooden Elephant as well as the Goodman Trio.
Liam Ó Maonlaí said: “I was really inspired by the company of the musicians who joined me in this series, and every single programme brought us down a slightly different path because of the people involved. I know a lot of these musicians, and we might meet each other in airports or at gigs and say that we must sit down together some time and Cuan an Cheoil gave us that opportunity… to sit down and talk and play music, with no pressure and I thoroughly enjoyed it.”
Series Producer Darach Mac Con Iomaire said: “My vision for this series was to create a new platform for artists in this country to connect with the public. It was brilliant to be working with such phenomenal musicians for the series, and of course the maestro himself Liam Ó Maonlaí, as together, they deep dived into the world of music.”
“Augmented by beautifully-shot footage of the entire recording process, this series gives audiences a unique opportunity to hear the best of traditional music on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, or to watch it live online, which is made possible by BAI Digital First funding.”
Cuan an Cheoil will be broadcast every Thursday from 7 pm – 8.30 pm on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta. A visual stream of the programme will be available on the station’s Youtube and Facebook accounts, as well as on rte.ie/gaeilge and rte.ie/culture.
Cuan an Cheoil is a Stiúideo Cuan production, funded by the BAI with the Television Licence Fee.