Irish Trad: Traditional Irish Music on Internet Radio

Photo taken while visiting Kevin Donleavy in December 2012, during my Fulbright Fellowship to Ireland, but visiting Virginia for Christmas. 

A friend of mine in Virginia delivers a radio program of traditional Irish music. Tune in 3-5 pm Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) on Saturday, March 2. That’s 10-12 EST to hear Kevin Donleavy’s show!

Learn more about Kevin and how I met him here, about a past show here, and about our dear, departed friend Jerry Crilly here.

A chairde and pals, howreya,

Yes,  time for Irish traditional music on-line again.  The date is this Saturday, March 2,  and the program will be broadcast from 10 am till 12 noon as always. Or 3-5 pm that day in Ireland.  You need visit WTJU.net on the Web,  and then click on the Launch button. Your host, Kevin Donleavy of the O’Neill-Malcom branch of Comhaltas.  So do mark your calendar.
Here are some highlights from the upcoming show :  A couple of selections from the Sweets of May collection of music from South Armagh.  Liam Weldon singing the tremendously touching song, ” Where Is Our James Connolly ?”
Tunes from such fiddlers as Ciaran Tourish and Oisin MacDiarmada and the powerful Mick Conneely.  Lovely uilleann piping from Christopher McMullan’s new compact disc. Two songs from the woman’s band Girsa: “I Courted a Wee Girl,”  and “Mary and the Soldier.”  Cuts from the traditional groups Danu and Teada.  A political song or two, of course.  A seldom played reel called “The Nine Points of Roguery,”  played by the fine Sean Norman Ceili Band.  And more ….
This Saturday, time to wet the tea, roll back the carpet,  and get cracking!  Mi daza!
Kevin

Culture Night Dublin with Fulbright-ing Friends

Culture Night Dublin 2105 1Dublin Culture Night happens once a year, offering a glimpse into many cultural treasures this city has to offer. This year, I got to attend the event with my friends Amanda Wagstaff and Frank Daly.

Amanda recently moved to Dublin as a Fulbright student for the 2015-16 academic year. She and I actually graduated from the College of William and Mary on the very same day in 2010–she with a Bachelor of Arts and I with a PhD in Higher Ed. Amanda is a studio artist who is using the archives at the Chester Beatty Library to generate inspiration for her own contemporary artwork. You can see Amanda’s past work on her website, Traipse.

Frank’s art and photography is viable on his website and his many Google+ photo albums.

The there of us kicked off our Culture Night explorations at Christchurch Cathedral, not far from my Smithfield residence, and then proceeded eastward to see several more sights. We took in dinner at the Queen of Tarts, Dublin’s stately Customs House, and a guitar concert at the Unitarian Church on St. Stephen’s Green.

Culture Night is just one of many ways to learn history in Dublin. I’ve included photos in the gallery below of several cultural events that happened around the same time:

  • a lecture on the Irish Civil War (hosted by the Smithfield-Stoneybatter People’s History club and held at in the backroom of the Cobblestone Pub)
  • a man in Smithfield preparing his horses and carriage for the All Ireland football match
  • the best places I know to sit and read about history (my friends seem to enjoy reading in these places, too!)

Architects’ Pot Luck

These days, wild, crazy fun among architects involves Pecha Kucha style presentations.  This is a high-speed format for sharing images and ideas.  With Pecha Kucha, each presenter selects/provides 20 images.  At the Pecha Kucha event, the slides are projected on a large screen in sequence for 20 seconds each.  The presenter talks, and the slides move on wether or not the speaker is ready.  It’s entertaining — in part because it’s actually quite difficult for the speaker to stick to the 20 second window.

This format keeps the speaker from droning on too long and it leaves time for more people to present.  It’s pot luck: everyone brings something to share and you can almost always find something you hadn’t expected but quite enjoy.

An architect from Williamsburg, Dale Weiss, organized a Pecha Kucha event at ArchExchange East last November and he has uploaded the representations to his (very elegant) website.

You can view my Pecha Kucha presentation, of urban reflections from Ireland, by clicking here.

Shannon’s American Wake

On my last night in Dublin, my friends came together at the Cobblestone for my “American wake”.

Sheila Whelan (Fergus’ wife) originally suggested the idea.  She told me that when someone leaves Ireland for the US, the Irish traditionally hold a wake for them. In older days when people, like my great-grand mother, set sail for the States, a wake was held since the person wasn’t expected to return. Thankfully, flying has made the return trip much easier!

When I explained I wanted to return, Sheila said, “no worries!”  Evidently, my return  will give us a reason for a welcome back party!  I’m hoping for one of those on my November visit.

The Cobblestone pub in broad daylight.

The Cobblestone pub in broad daylight.

Irish wakes are typically held when someone dies, and they celebrate the deceased person’s life. There’s lots of drinking, craic/merry-making, and music. They are similar to America wakes, which are held for the living. As explained on Wikipedia, the term American wake:

refers to a gathering in an Irish home the night before a family member emigrated to America, in which friends and family would say goodbye to the emigrant for what was probably the last time.

In addition:

American Wake is the first full-length solo album by Patrick Clifford, released in 2010.

Thanks to my many friends who came to the wake, and to others who sent well-wishes from their summer vacation destinations.

Purchasing a Reflection

Circa 1835, Dublin, Ireland, March 2011

Circa 1835, Dublin, Ireland, March 2011

I’m posting the images from my photography show, for all of you who didn’t get to attend the opening and take a catalogue home. The title of the show is “Inter-Changes: Reflections from Dublin and Beyond” and it is on display at the O’Connell House at from 9-5 weekdays at 58 Merrion Square, in Dublin 2, from May 8-31, 2013.  I’ll be there next Monday, May 27 from 12-2 for one last “Meet the Artist” session.

If you’d like to purchase one of the works, please contact me via email at shannonchance (at) verizon (dot) net.  The images are currently selling for 80 Euros or 100 dollars each, plus shipping and handling.

The copyright for these images belongs to Shannon Chance.  If you want to use them for commercial purposes, please contact me. You may use them for personal or educational purposes as long as you cite me as the author.

My most sincere thanks to all who attended the launch of this exhibition.  You have helped make my time in Ireland memorable and worthwhile!  Thanks for reflecting on Ireland with me….

Worth the Long Wait at Muckross House

Kitty Lee, Patty, Shannon, and Tony at the lovely Muckross castle/house.

Bundled up and ready to tour Muckross House!

Muckross house is located near the town of Kilarney in southwestern Ireland.  We went there — twice — last week.  We had to work hard to see inside of the house, but I knew my three traveling companions would enjoy seeing the place.  Dave and I had been there in 2003 and had a splendid time and other friends of ours mentioned this as a highlight.

So we scurried there after seeing the Ring of Kerry, checking the official website for opening times. It indicated the house was open 9-5:30, seven days a week, in winter.  But although we arrived at about 4:20, the place was shut tight.  There was absolutely no sign of life inside the ticket booth or house and there were no signs posted with the tour times of opening hours.

However, the restrooms and grounds were still open and the park ranger assured us the house would reopen at 9 the next morning.  So we headed back to Cork for the night — an 1.5 hour drive — and hurried to the house again early the next morning.  We attempted to phone the Muckross office starting at 9 AM, but no one would answer the phone.  When we arrived at 9:30, the two ticketing agents told our host, Tony Duggan, that the first tour would be given at 11:30.  They said to visit the grounds until the tour started.  He let them know we already had!

Fortunately for us, the man is a CEO and knows how to get things done.  After all, we had other sites to see on our last day to the region. He managed to finagle a tour at around 10.  We experienced a fairly curt delivery of information with little opportunity to ask questions, but nevertheless, we enjoyed seeing the house.

I hope when you go to visit this fine building and learn its interesting history (it was last owned by an American family who gave it to the Irish people) you have better luck with scheduling than we had!

Good Laughs from “Only in Ireland”

The Only in Ireland Facebook page is a hoot.  These two pics are sure to make you smile.  They are relevant and true!

Irish life in the city. (Photo from Only in Ireland.)

Irish life in the city. (Photo from Only in Ireland.)

Irish life in the country. (Photo from Only in Ireland.)

Irish life in the country. (Photo from Only in Ireland.)

Merry Christmas, World!

Thanks for tuning in!  It gives me reason to share stories of Ireland and home….

Map of Views 2012-12-26 at 5.08.24 PM

Always Learning to Teach

I love teaching students to design!  I’m also fascinated by theories about how students learn.  At the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) , I’m going to be researching:

  • How students’ ideas about “knowledge” and “knowing” mature over time.
  • How DIT professors are helping students become more flexible problem-solvers.
  • How DIT’s faculty has transformed its electrical engineering curriculum using a hands-on approach to education known as “student-centered, problem-based learning.”

I’m happy to report that these topics are of interest to the engineering education community… DIT’s Gavin Duffy and I have already been invited to present our work in Greece this September and to publish an article in the Journal of Engineering Education.

You can read more about the Fulbright in press releases by William and Mary and Hampton University.

Electrical Engineering students prepare to compete in the mid-semester round of “Robo Sumo,” March 2012.

What is it?

Can you tell what this is?  What clues does the image give you about life today in Dublin?

Dublin, Ireland. (Copyright Shannon Chance, March 2011)