glór is delighted to have been awarded two Commission Awards under the Arts Council traditional arts project awards 2020. Under the scheme glór will commission two artists – Niall de Búrca and Nuala Kennedy – to develop new work to create performances which will premier in glór in 2021.
The traditional arts Commission award supports initiatives in the field of traditional music, song, dance, and the oral arts, supporting stand-alone projects which enrich the traditional arts by creating partnerships between commissioners and artists to develop creative, ambitious, and high-quality projects for audiences.
In a storytelling project entitled Wild Atlantic Tales, storyteller, and performer Niall de Búrca will travel along the western seaboard researching the lives of traditional storytellers, reflecting on regional differences in storytelling and producing an archive of audio and visual recordings and photographs. He will create two live shows of traditional and original stories combining his artistic journey and the tales he collects. These performances, premiering in glór in 2021, will be performed bi-lingually by Niall for children and for teens and adults, using his trademark energetic and engaging style to re-interpret our heritage and folklore.
Nuala Kennedy will compose “Shoreline 2 Skyline” a suite of music for quartet reflecting on our beautiful bilingual song traditions and creatively exploring the musical possibilities between two traditional flute players. She will collaborate with award-winning traditional singer and musician Muireann NicAmhlaoibh along with guitarist and traditional singer Tony Byrne and multi-instrumentalist Patrick Daly to create the piece which will premiere at glór and also at The Irish Arts Centre in New York.
Both exciting commissions offer significant opportunities for further development including possible national tours of the performances as well as publication and recording prospects.
glór Director, Orla Flanagan says ‘I am so thrilled that these two projects have been selected by The Arts Council for development particularly as glór is so keen to continue to forge a role as a generator and instigator of new work in Clare. I am passionate about both unique projects – and look forward to the journey ahead from research to composition to performance, collaborating with and supporting Nuala and Niall as lead artists in their creations. Both artists are at the top of their game in their particular fields, and I know they will make something remarkable and electric for our and many audiences. Now more than ever, artists need to be supported to create and make work, and I am thankful to the Arts Council for investing in these exciting projects and talent.’
Niall de Búrca was raised in the West of Ireland. He emigrated at a young age, working in many countries before settling in a Maori community in New Zealand for 12 years. His performance career took off in NZ the early 1990’s. In the years since he has performed on six continents in venues as diverse as the European Parliament in Bruxelles and State Prisons in Hawai’i. Niall is presently based in Dublin.
His natural affinity toward children and young people, and the universal appeal of his stories is recognised by his extensive involvement in festivals, cultural institutions and in school programmes worldwide.
Niall’s ability to articulate observations of the modern human condition and transplant them among universal themes creates a dynamic platform for the audience to identify, imagine and embody the narrative. His delivery is an energetic, emotive, and visceral experience.
From Dundalk to The Yukon, Cape Cod to California, Nuala Kennedy is a musical adventurer who is known world-wide as a superlative performer of Irish traditional music. She has graced the cover of Irish Music Magazine, Sing Out! and regularly appears on the main stage of major folk festivals around the world including Rudolstadt, (GER); Celtic Connections, (UK); Milwaukee Irish Festival, (USA); Dublin Ohio, (USA) and Celtic Colors (CAN). In 2019 Nuala performed at the United Nations in New York as well as for Mayor Bill De Blasio at Gracie Mansion. Nuala has collaborated with lots of musicians from different genres, most recently in traditional music with John Doyle and Eamon O’ Leary as part of The Alt, and in indie-pop land with Will Oldham on ‘Best Troubadour’ (Drag City). She was commissioned by Celtic Connections Festival to write an hour-long piece in 2006, as part of their ‘New Voices’ series in 2007