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Mary Mc Partlan Schedule
Thursday April 3- 7 New York – research NYU
Monday April 7 -11 Berea Kentucky Research and lectures at Berea College
Schenectady Upstate New York
Friday 11th April
6.30pm: Lecture: "A History of Irish Traditional Women Singers and Song from the 1900s to the 1970s"
Staying in Stockade Inn, Schenectady.
Saturday 12th April:
discussion with Irish Studies students at Union College
Sunday 13th April:
Monday 14th April:
12:20-1:15 pm visit Prof. Stephen Cope's Irish Literature class and give lecture on “Contemporary Irish Playwrights"
1:15-2:30 lunch with students
4:30-6:00 pm Mary's talk for public: "A History of Irish Traditional Women Singers and Songs since the 1900s."
6:00-7:30 Dinner at the home of HWS President Mark Gearan
Tuesday 15th April:
7pm lecture at St John Fisher College.
Wednesday 16th April:
1:00 Meets with Modern and Contemporary Irish Literature students
2:30 or 3:00 (time has not been finalized) Take part in Daemen Musicale
6.00: Reception for Mary and invited guests
7:00 Mary's talk for public: "Irish Traditional Music, Song and Dance from the 1900’s to the dawn of Riverdance".
Thursday, April 17th:
Return to New York and Ireland
Bertha Hope legendary Jazz pianist from New York and Mary now working on a new Folk and Jazz music project
update, December 2012**
SINGER MARY MCPARTLAN RECEIVES A FULBRIGHT SCHOLARSHIP
TO LEHMAN COLLEGE CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK
celebrated Irish Traditional Singer Mary McPartlan
who is also a member of staff at NUI Galway has
been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to City University
of New York and to coincide with the prestigious
award two new recordings Victor Jara (see below) and
the video (see above) When I was a Young Girl
is available for download this December 2012.
pays tribute to the late poet Pearse Hutchinson
in a song just released and remembers
the great Chilean singer Victor Jara (see above) in a song and poem recorded with President Michael
D Higgins. Both video and songs are timed to announce
the prestigious Fulbright Award which was awarded
to Mary during the year and begins at the end
of January 2013 for four months at Lehman College
CUNY. Details of the video and song are as follows:
'When I was a Young Girl' (see video) is a version
of the ballad 'St James's Hospital', a blues lament
recorded at Pearse Hutchinson's family home in
Rathgar in Dublin. The song was a favourite of
the late poet's, and a version of it ('The Locke
Hospital') was recorded by Christy Moore on his
album 'Prosperous'. It will feature on Mary's
new album which she plans to begin recording in
New York early next year. Mary had shared a stage
with Pearse Hutchinson and Michael Hartnett and
sang at Hutchinson's funeral in January of this
year. Mary recorded 'Victor Jara', a ballad written
by English poet Adrian Mitchell on her last album
'Petticoat Loose'; and recorded a new version
of it on tour last summer when she was joined
by Michael D. Higgins, later elected President
of Ireland. Michael D read his poem 'The Wall',
a tribute to the late Chilean singer and political
campaigner Victor Jara. President Higgins read
the poem on his recent visit to Santiago in Chile
where he met Victor's widow Joan Jara.
performance with Michael D Higgins, recorded at
the Mermaid Theatre in Bray, Co Wicklow, can also
be heard on Mary's website. Speaking at the launch
of the video 'When I was a Young Girl', Dr. Lillis
Ó Laoire, Head of School, Languages, Literatures,
and Cultures at NUI Galway said "For nearly a
decade Mary has been changing the course of Irish
Traditional Music, with her special interpretations
of Irish Songs, her extraordinary support for
Irish culture and her extensive development of
the Creative Arts in Academic modules at NUI Galway.
No doubt her creative work for the traditional
arts in New York is certain to be as ground breaking
as ever." The Fulbright Awards are presented on
an annual basis to Irish Students, scholars, and
professionals to undertake postgraduate study
and research at higher education, cultural, and
related institutions in the United States.
part of her Fulbright Scholarship Mary will teach
a module on Irish Traditional Women Singers' and
songs since the 1950's and also give a series
of lectures on Irish contemporary Playwrights
and plays. She also plans to give performances
at University of Notre Dame, Boston College, the
Irish Arts Centre in New York and she will give
a concert at Glucksman Ireland House on March
1 2013 Apart from her existing repertoire, Mary
will include and perform some of the songs of
Irish legendary singer Margaret Barry while in
the US. She is working with writer and broadcaster
Vincent Woods to create a theatre and music piece
based on the life of Margaret Barry.
tour 2011 with the artists from Dark Horse on
the Wind Touring Experiment
Mary McPartlan and multi-instrumentalist Rick
Epping will be embarking on their annual summer
tour to festivals and arts centres in many parts
of Ireland, during June and July.
Mary and Rick will be the acclaimed guitarist
Aiden Brennan on some of the tour dates with Garry
O'Briain making up the trio for the concerts later
in the tour in July. There will be two very special
guests, writer and RTÉ broadcaster Vincent
Woods appearing with the trio at the Seamus Ennis
arts centre in The Naul and the politician and
writer M D Higgins joining the band for concerts
in the Balor Theatre in Ballybofey, the Mermaid
Arts Centre in Bray and Teach Amergin in County
annual summer tour is the organic continuation
of the Touring Experiment originally funded by
the Arts Council and the Rural Arts Network touring
project, both of which had a specific focus to
support and promote performances in remote rural
and marginalized communities and arts centres
throughout the South of Ireland.
positive outcomes that emanated from this type
of commitment and focus has been excellent and
further encouragement to research, develop and
continue to pursue this particular style of touring
for traditional artists, audience development
and the traditional arts. Tour
Arts Network Presents Mary McPartlan National
gloriously earthy mix of trad, folk and the blues
to visit local communities across the country.
This inspiring ten-date tour is made possible
with financial support from the Arts Council and
a special feature of it, are the six voluntary
and community groups in Carlow, Waterford, Galway,
Tipperary, Westmeath and Wicklow which are hosting
concerts as part of the tour.
Leitrim born singer is joining forces with multi-instrumentalist
and singer Rick Epping, guitarist Aidan Brennan
and the arts and community development organisation
Rural Arts Network for the tour which will include
a mix of arts centres and rural/community venues.
The imaginative line-up incorporates the best
of traditional music and song mixed with American
folk and blues. The trio performed at this year's
Temple Bar Trad Fest in February where they were
acclaimed by Irish Times trad critic Siobhan Long,
who stated that "McPartlans belly-deep voice is
growing richer with the years, and her reading
of Shane MacGowan's Rainy Night In Soho was a
pinprick evocation of love and regret" while "Epping's
concertina and harmonica-driven swing from Bob
Dylan to The Rolling Stones by way of Willie Clancy
was a master class in musical magpie-ism, undertaken
with verve and delight."
concerts will also provide a platform for local
emerging artists to perform in a supporting role
thus contributing to their professional development
and promoting local culture and it should all
serve to highlight the contribution that voluntary
promoters can make in promoting the arts in local
second CD, entitled Petticoat Loose, was
officially launched on February 21, 2008 in the
Liberty Hall Theatre, Dublin.
new review from the Irish Post, May 2010
latest offering from Mary McPartlan, Petticoat
Loose, was launched on February 21 in the
Liberty Hall Theatre, Dublin.
has been a developmental idea over a period of
two years. The essence of the album is a series
of collaborations where the material now represents
50% of the work. It represents my close associations
with many high profile artists in the traditional
music world, my work in the National University
of Ireland Galway, my lifelong friendship with
Vincent Woods and my ongoing musical collaboration
with Seamie O'Dowd.
songs written by poet, playwright and broadcaster
Vincent Woods are testament and fact to our shared
history growing up in Leitrim:
Sanctuary tells of the childhood growing
up in the townland of Comhalth. The only employment
at a certain time was in the mines of Arigna and
the vision of my father and young brother heading
off on dark winter mornings.
Kiss the Moon is a very personal song,
deeply moving based on a true story of my mother's
lonliness living on the top of a mountain, when
one night when I was three years old I asked her
to lift me up to kiss the moon.
Ultimately Vincent's writing is the language of
beauty and hope. Vincent's third song and the
title track of the CD Petticoat Loose comes
from a book entitled The Blessed and the Damned
by Dr Anne O'Connor. Dr O'Connor, in her book
introduces Petticoat Loose as a very wild woman
who gets up to some dastardly deeds in the region
of Tipperary and Waterford. She was sometimes
presented terrifyingly in children's folklore.
I was specifically attracted to a story of Petticoat
Loose because she represents a whole series of
ghostly tales one of which was about a woman called
Mary Hannigan. It is said Mary Hannigan was a
strong-willed woman who preferred dancing and
drinking and the company of a travelling fiddler
to the company of her husband. When her husband
drowned mysteriously she opened a Sibín and continued
to dance and drink while the people of the town
went to mass. Unconventional that she was she
was despised by the priests and church and was
given to much drinking and dancing so much so
that her petticoat would fall down hence the name
'Petticoat Loose'. There is a great folklore around
Tipperary, Waterford and Limerick attached to
the stories of Petticoat Loose and thus the inspiration
behind the song and title.
There is also a piping tune called Petticoat
Loose which was given to me by the great piper
This CD also contains two very special pieces
of collected song from the area of Drumkeerin,
where I grew up. These songs were researched and
collected in a Masters dissertation completed
by Stiofán Ó'Cheilleachair in 1950. He collected
any remaining Irish from the area and gathered
a great deal of music including songs, stories
and sayings from Aodh Mac Conshnámha.
I chose two pieces, which depicted a devastated
region in famine times in Ireland with a local
dialect. The songs were a means of bringing me
closer to my ancestors, with the help of new beautiful
melodies especially written by Brendan O'Regan.
Another original piece on the CD is a song called
Cúmha (Translated means Parting Sorrow),
written with words and lyrics by Pádraig Ó hÁoláin.
Cúmha is an extraordinary, vivid and heartfelt
song depicting a history of immigration in Connemara
in the 1970s and 1980s,which was also a wider
expression of immigration in the West of Ireland
at this time. The song tells the story of the
departure from the sea, the land and life as they
knew it and into the dark factories where life
stopped for them and finally exit from Ireland.
Impeccably translated into English by Tim Dennehy
from County Kerry, Cúmha tells the story of a
situation which affected a large number of families
in most households in the West of Ireland though
its central theme has a universal impact for many
people. Other tracks on the CD are deeply personal
in their lyrics and are autobiographical, representing
my life up to the present day in their poetic
and political expression.
of the songs include Barbara Allen (dedicated
to the memory of Tom Munnelly), Victor Yara
The Crafting and development of the songs musically
comes from my collaborations with ConTempo (the
Romanian string quartet at NUIG), the Orbsen Choir
(NUIG), with great musicians and friends Mairtín
O'Connor, Brendan O'Regan, Gary O'Briain, Frankie
Gavin, Cathal Hayden, Eddie Lynch and ultimately
with my musical director Seamie O'Dowd (multi-instrumentalist).
The voices of the women who sing with me whether
it is on Barbara Allen or The Sisters of Mercy
are warm and full of empathy for the songs not
to mention their beautiful voices in harmony on
both of these two songs. I gratefully acknowledge
the Deis award from the Arts Council and thank
them for their support.
tracks on the CD are:
Síos faoi braoch, Loch Aileann, Generous
lover, Kiss the Moon, Barbara Allen, Wild Mountain
Side, Cúmha (a parting sorrow), Sisters
of Mercy, Caoine Sheáin Mhic Searraigh,
Petticoat Loose, Lumé Lumé (Romania),
Victor Yara Lowlands Away.
section for the Petticoat Loose press release
and CD cover image.
Holland Handkerchief, the album, has been
warmly welcomed by critics and public alike, both
in Ireland and in Britain and is distributed by
the prestigious labels RMG in Ireland and Proper
in the UK. It is available from all good record
shops as well as online through the Dervish
Holland Handkerchief was nominated in
the Irish Meteor Awards in the Traditional Folk
section. Other nominees in the category are Planxty
and Kila. The Meteor Awards take place in the
Point Depot on February 24th 2005 and Televised
by RTE. Other nominees include Bell x, EMINEM
and Bic Runga. A British tour will take place
in the summer 2005.
Holland Handkerchief was voted #1 Folk album in
MOJO magazine. It continues to get airplay all
around the UK.
Mary McPartlan is one of the most talented
singers to come out of the Irish scene in recent
years. Born in Drumkeeran, Co. Leitrim and now
living in Galway, she started singing in the early
70s but it wasn't until 2003 that she decided
to make music her full time career.
She has been working for the last 12 years in
the arts and entertainment industry, having been
producer and director of many music and theatre
projects. She developed the concept of the TG4
National Traditional Music Awards, and was co-producer
of the award-winning music series FLOSC, also
for TG4. She is founding member and the producer
of the Galway-based theatre company Skehana. Mary,
however, didn't come out of the shadows until
January 2004 when she released the critically-acclaimed
The release of her new single Rainy Night in
Soho on July 15 2004 coincided with the launch
of her new website www.marymcpartlan.com.
in Galway... Mary McPartlan with Shane MacGowan.
Mary's new single Rainy night in Soho
was written by MacGowan.
pic: Mike Shaughnessy
single Rainy Night in Soho, written by
Shane MacGowan, receives a superb treatment. Mary
produces here a radical transformation of this
song about life, love and moving on and makes
of it one of the most surprising covers of modern
music in recent times. It has received widespread
critical acclaim both in Ireland and Great Britain.
The dramatic poem and title track of the album
'The Holland Handkerchief' is also included in
Mary appeared at the Galway
Arts Festival on Monday the 19th 2004 at The
Warwick Hotel which was also the official launch
of both her new single Rainy Night in Soho
and her web site. In Galway, Mary was accompanied
on stage by a hugely talented bunch of musicians
who took part in the recording of the album 'The
Holland Handkerchief'. The line up included
Seamie O'Dowd, Liam Kelly and Tom Morrow (members
of Dervish), Eddie Lynch and Danny Byrt and featured
the legendary accordionist Mairtín
O'Connor as a special guest.
with her band... Mary McPartlan with Eddie
Lynch and Seamie O'Dowd.
Seamus Ennis Centre, The Naul
Saturday, June 25
The Balor Arts Centre, Ballybofey
Friday, July 1
Cloughjordan Arts Festival
Saturday, July 2
Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray
Friday, July 8
Teach Amergin, Waterville
Sunday, July 10
Kinsale Arts Festival.
You can contact Mary directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tel: +353 (91) 591456 or +353 (0) 87 2206629 or
Mary's London publicist, Alan O'Leary (Copperplate)
at +00 44 2075850357.