FolkWords Reviews

‘Visionaries 1916’ - Lorcán Mac Mathúna - a work of theatrical narrative

(November 11, 2016)

The facts state The Easter Rising, was an armed uprising that took place in Ireland during Easter Week, April 1916. The stated objective was to end British rule in Ireland and establish an independent Irish Republic. There’s another essential truth that’s often forgotten ... that declaration of an Irish Republic was not the work of visionaries album coverviolent unthinking men, it was led by artists and visionaries, and included poets, authors, musicians, and trade unionists; men who together were responsible for a prolific literary output. Their songs and music are the subject of ‘Visionaries 1916’, fromLorcán Mac Mathúna,an album thathonours the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising through a creative musical use of their words.

The album is a work of theatrical narrative deeply seated in the essence of those men that fought long and hard, and gave so much for their vision. Although, death, imprisonment, execution was the reward some gained for their ideals ... their legacy was ultimately far more enduring. ‘Visionaries 1916’ explores some of their writings as Lorcán Mac Mathúna takes his influence from blending their words into songs to interpret their vision and legacy. The album includes the spoken word, tunes of old Ireland by Éamonn Ceannt, seven songs in the Irish language and English created from poetry from the Proclamation Signatories – Pearse, Connolly and Plunkett set to original music, and an epitaph by the WWI poet Francis Ledwidge.

Lorcán Mac Mathúna states the album is not a contemporary revision of The Rising, but a musical inspiration from the vision of its leaders recorded in their time, in their words, from their pens: “So it’s not all songs of freedom and rebellion, although that theme does feature of course, but it also deals with the great passions of these men; the sort of things that any ordinary person might write about -unreturned love, language and music, hope and disappointment.”

The performers are: Lorcán Mac Mathúna (voice) Íde Nic Mathúna (voice) Daire Braken (fiddle, guitar) Martin Tourish (accordion) Éamonn Galldubh (pipes, flute, saxophone, bodhran) and Elaine O Dea (spoken word).

 Website: www.1916visionaries.ie

Review: Tim Carroll

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