CONTACT (author): Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin
“Flowing Tides–History and Memory in an Irish Soundscape traces the musical ebbs and flows of our own people,” says author Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin. “With each wave of emigrants who leave our shores, Ireland pours our culture, language, music and dance traditions out into the world. In turn, we absorb the influences of every immigrant group that flows in on the tide.”
More than just a tune name, Flowing Tides is a metaphor for the Irish experience. From long before the Great Famine until the Celtic Tiger, Clare musicians have been uniquely resilient against the pounding waves of social and political events.
Flowing Tides is a fascinating journey spent in the company of musicians, dance masters, and tradition bearers. The book is dedicated to Kilmaley master musician Peadar O’Loughlin, life long musical mentor to Ó hAllmhuráin. Most notably, Flowing Tides gives voice to women musicians frequently written out of history. “Gearóid connects the small place with the big picture,” says noted folklorist Henry Glassie.
Flowing Tides traces the musical ‘routes and roots’ of Clare, through the Great Famine, poignant Fenian and seán nós songs, fife and drum temperance bands, quadrilles to the fleadh cheoil movement, jazz and dance hall days of the Roarin’ Twenties to Riverdance. Ó hAllmhuráin contextualizes the legacies of Seán Reid, Willie Clancy, the Kilfenora and Tulla céilí bands. The book features detailed maps of Clare’s musical topography, regional dialects, céilí bands and key families who kept the traditions alive for all time.
Ennis native Professor Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin is an award-winning Irish concertina player and piper and former member of the Kilfenora Céilí Band. Author of A Pocket History of Irish Traditional Music (O’Brien Press, Dublin, 1998), he currently holds the bilingual Johnson Chair in Québec and Canadian Irish Studies at Concordia University in Montréal.