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Scoil Gheimhridh Ghaoth Dobhair had harp classes for the first time this year, fair play to them! We had a great class and I did a solo concert before the mighty ‘Lynched’ band played on the 30th Dec.

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Sean Hillen was there and reviewed the overall festival week.

“Mayo-based, three-solo-album harpist and social activist, Laoise Kelly, wooed her audience Friday night at local tavern-cum-restaurant-cum-hotel, Teac Jack, a place featuring strongly in new suspense-novel-soon-to-be-blockbuster-movie, ‘Pretty Ugly.’ Such is Kelly’s versatility, her renditions ranged from airs from the Cape Breton Islands of Nova Scotia to those by fellow Irish musicians, Donegal-born fiddler Tommy Peoples, multi-instrumentalist, Brendan Ring and 18th century folk-music collector, Edward Bunting. The friendly musician also played a series of what are best termed ‘Kelly melodies,’ which she had researched for a clan gathering of people sharing the same surname.

Intriguingly, the Westport-born musician’s repertoire also included a number of what she termed ‘faery tunes,’ tunes gifted by what are often termed, ‘the little people.’ During a post-concert conversation at An Chuirt Hotel, discussion focused on whether there are actual faeries that some open and creatively-minded people are able to communicate with. Or whether the term ‘faeries’ is a metaphor for Mother Nature and, as such, how tunes arrive to the ready-listener via universal energies, through for example, a babbling stream or a mountain breeze.”

Sean Hillen @worlditinerary

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Photos © Colin Gillen/