Percussionist and composer Éamonn Cagney created this musical and storytelling performance inspired by one of his favourite folktales: “Young Conall of Howth”. Éamonn and his drums will be joined by long-time collaborator, guitarist Niwel Tsumbu, and keyboard wizard Darragh O’Kelly, with sound provided by Eoin Murphy. Éamonn will lead the creation of a rhythm-based set of music, inspired by musically powerful parts of the story. Expect exciting drumming and rhythm, ethereal effects, spoken word and storytelling, virtuosic keyboard, guitar and djembe, and a humorous exploration of a heroic Irish tale with a difference.
This version of ‘Young Conall of Howth’ is derived from the English translation of an Irish language hero-tale ‘Conal Óg ó Bhinn Éadair’, collected by Seosamh Ó Dalaigh in 1946 from Muiris Shéain Connor in Baile Uí Bhoitín, Dingle Peninsula, Co. Kerry.
With over 80 versions of this story in the National Folklore Collection in UCD, it was a highly popular tale.
The original story ‘Eachtra Chonaill Ghulbain’ (‘Conall Gulban’s Adventure’) is based on the historical personage Conall Gulban, chieftain of Tír Chonaill (Donegal) and member of the 5th Century Ui Néill dynasty.
This tale is thought to have been originally composed in the 16th Century in Ulster, as Conall Gulban was considered an ancestor of numerous Donegal royal families.
In the many versions collected, Conall travels to many far flung places such as Scandanavia, Greece, Spain and to Turkey to battle giants, terrible warriors, hounds and fearsome cailleacha (hags) and to rescue his bride, Eithne.
This story brings Conall and Eithne to a familiar place in the imagination of the gaelic storyteller: The Eastern World – An Domhan Thoir.
Éamonn Cagney, Percussion, Narrative, Compositions –
Niwel Tsumbu Guitar, Percussion –
Darragh O’Kelly Keyboard, Synthesisers, Piano -
SOUND AND LIGHTING – Eoin Murphy
This performance is the result of Éamonn Cagney’s residency in the Lexicon studio Dún Laoghaire as part of the Dún Laoghaire Rathdown 2019 Musicians in Residence Scheme supported by Music Network.
Éamonn Cagney is an Irish percussionist, composer, performer and educator. He has established himself as one of Ireland's premiere musicians and as well as collaborating with many artists, ensembles, choreographers, composers and performers he also leads his own groups Treelan and RITHIM. He has performed worldwide over the last 20 years and his deep experience of world, jazz, Irish traditional, improvised and contemporary music inform his many projects and collaborations.
Congolese guitarist,composer and singer Niwel Tsumbu has emerged as an engaging and innovative musician in constant demand by his contemporaries- and gained many admirers along the way. He has been hailed as an "an exceptional guitar player" by Europe's biggest online Jazz magazine Allaboutjazz- and "enchanted" by the Irish Times 2014. Niwel has collaborated with many celebrated Irish musicians such as: Sinéad O'Connor Liam O'Maonlaí, Donal Lunny and Dónal Dineen.
Darragh O' Kelly
Darragh O’Kelly (b. 1980) is a Pianist/Composer based in Dublin, Ireland. His main work is in the area of free improvisation and contemporary jazz, but is also in demand as a touring and recording session player and producer across a wide variety of genres. A classically trained pianist, Darragh also holds a Masters Degree in Music and Media Technologies from Trinity College Dublin, and a Diploma in Jazz Performance from the Guildhall School of Music, London.
He has performed extensively both domestically and internationally with a diverse range of projects.
‘Éamonn is one of the most sought after percussionists working in Ireland today. Whether he is playing jazz, Irish traditional music, African music or any of the multiple fusions he thrives on, he marries virtuosity and sensitivity with ease in his playing’Mel Mercier, Professor of Music, University College Cork