glór, with the support of the Arts Council, this week announced Nuala Kennedy as the awardee for its Traditional Artist Bursary 2023. The Traditional Artist Bursary will provide Clare based Kennedy budget, space and time to develop new work with her chosen collaborators, Tara Breen and Tony Byrne.
Nuala plans to spend the award in full time residence in glór, with Tony Byrne on guitar and Tara Breen on fiddle, working on music which examines the place of women in traditional song, and how women are traditionally represented. With her collaborators Nuala will re-imagine these songs, giving voice to the woman’s spirit and personality, whilst shining a light on the difficulties of the past. Nuala also plans to write new compositions inspired by the songs, enabling the music to expand outwards beyond the lyrics and flow naturally into the instrumental sonic world.
Dundalk native Nuala Kennedy is a critically acclaimed and award-winning touring and recording artist, known for her creative reworking and reimagining of traditional songs and for her unique Irish flute style. Nuala performs in The Alt alongside John Doyle and Eamon O’ Leary and is also a producer and composer.
Kennedy’s roots are first and foremost in Irish music, but she is ‘something of a genre bender’ (Living Tradition magazine). She trained as a classical pianist under Prof. John O’ Connor and has toured and recorded with Indie-Poet Will Oldham/Bonnie Prince Billie, with Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub), Euros Childs (Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci), and with cutting-edge Canadian composer, the late Oliver Schroer. Kennedy has a host of solo and group recordings to her name and was a featured artist on Janis Ian’s 2022 Grammy nominated release End of The Line.
Marie O’Byrne, glór Director, says, ‘We are delighted to be able to offer a bursary to a locally based traditional musician, thanks to the support of the Arts Council and Clare County Council. We very much look forward to welcoming Nuala and her chosen collaborators to glór later this year, and we are proud to support her in developing innovative new work celebrating women in traditional song.’
Tara Breen is a highly talented multi-instrumentalist from Clare, who has achieved All-Ireland titles on fiddle in every age category over the years, culminating with the All-Ireland Senior Fiddle Title in 2012. She was selected by Donal Lunny for the T.V. series, Lorg Lunny, afterward touring with the Galician piper Carlos Núñez. In 2014, she joined six-time Grammy award winning band, The Chieftains who performed for US President Joe Biden in 2023.
Tony Byrne is a Dublin guitarist who has been involved in music from a young age. Following family holidays in West Kerry, Tony developed an Interest in Irish traditional music and has been involved in the performance, recording and teaching of it since 1999. Past performances include concerts with acts such as Danú, Sharon Shannon, Michael McGoldrick, Gerry O’Connor, David Munnelly Band, Matt Molloy, Paul Brady, Julie Fowlis, Lúnasa and many more.