Fri 7th - Thur 13th | July 2023

Player Sessions

From Eleanor Plunkett to Madam Kiel: A new reconstruction (for voice and harp) of Carolan’s famous harp song (4 of 4)

Eibhlís Ní Ríordáin

60 mins

Level: Intermediate/advanced

Tuesday July 11th

16:00 - 17:00 GMT +1

Event Overview

 In 4 classes, students will learn Eibhlís’s new reconstruction of Turlough Carolan’s harp song, Eleanor Plunkett. Eibhlis’s is the first ever reconstructed setting that uses all of Carolan’s Irish lyrics, rather than a truncated version of the lyrics as has been the case up to now. She has been able to successfully create this reconstruction by using the longer harp tune Madam Keil, collected by Edward Bunting from Denis O’ Hamspey. Madam Cahill / Eileanór Bean Uí Chathail, was Eleanor Plunkett’s married name. As Ann Heymann noted: “they are the same tune, and the titles refer to the same person”!

In session 4 you will continue to work on the harp setting, focussing on the second half of Madam Keil (the longer length of its phrases allowing us to sing all of Carolan’s lyrics as he intended). We will sing the song (or at least some of it) to our own harp accompaniment. Students who have done some preparatory work before Scoil will have an opportunity to sing and/or play the song and receive Eibhlís’s feedback on their performance. 

NB, It will be taken that you have attended class 1, 2 and 3.

Source facsimiles, lyrics, lyrics recording, and Eibhlís’s reconstructed setting. This will allow you to prepare, and also to have authoritative, and practical, source material for your own subsequent work.

Eibhlís would like to acknowledge the recent scholarship of Ann Heymann, Simon Chadwick, Sylvia Crawford and Dr Siobhán Armstrong, all of which has greatly helped Eibhlís in her efforts to reconstruct the harp song Eleanor Plunkett.

Eibhlís would like to gratefully acknowledge Éamonn Ó Bróithe's kind assistance with textual matters for this song.

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