14 April 2011

"Sensitive and low-voiced – but still with huge dynamics and melodic beauty." 

Sune Liljevall, Arbetarbladet on Olov Johansson

“the playing of O’Beirne is superlative and subtle beyond words.”

The Sunday Times

Music Network presents some of the finest musicians on this country’s contemporary trad scene together with Swedish counterpart Olov Johansson. Johansson, the first world champion of the traditional Swedish nyckelharpa or “key harp” and a founder member of Grammy award-winning Swedish group Väsen will be joined by renowned singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Gerry O’Beirne, fiddler Tom Morrow (a member of supergroup Dervish) and flute player Conor Byrne who has also collaborated with some of the biggest names in Irish music. This exploration of old and new music from Ireland and Sweden has all the makings of a sensational tour. Music Network tours provide a wonderful opportunity to see some of the world’s foremost musicians at affordable prices in venues around Ireland, and are presented in association with RTÉ lyric fm.  Music Network is funded by the Arts Council.

Olov Johansson started playing the nyckelharpa in 1980 as a fourteen-year old, and was named a 'riksspelman' (master musician) in 1984. Regarded as one of Sweden's most prominent nyckelharpa players, he is an inspiration for numerous young performers on the instrument and teaches regularly at the Eric Sahlström Institutet. Apart from his association with Väsen, Olov has also played with groups such as Kronos Quartet, the Nyckelharpa Orchestra, as well as solo performances. He has also recorded and toured with the chart-topping Swedish rock group Nordman, and has played on the albums Early Music (with Kronos Quartet) and his 2010 solo CD, Storsvarten.

Dublin-born flute player Conor Byrne first explored traditional music through whistle lessons and soon moved on to flute lessons with Paul McGrattan, Cian O’Sullivan and the late Frankie Kennedy. In 1998, he released Wind Dancer, his debut solo album produced by Luka Bloom and featuring Máire Breathnach, Christy Moore, Cathy Jordan and Liam Ó Maonlaí. He has performed with musicians including Anuna, Christy Moore, Luka Bloom, Eimear Quinn, Paul Brady and Ronnie Drew. In 2003 Conor released critically acclaimed duo album 'Bavan' with Belfast fiddler Méabh O'Hare, which was followed by tours of Europe, Asia, and the US.

Born in Ennis, County Clare, along Ireland’s music-rich west coast, Gerry O’Beirne is a renowned singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist (6 and 12 string guitar, tiple, ukulele and slide guitar among others). Gerry grew up in Ireland and in Ghana in West Africa, and has since lived in England, California, and Mexico. His compositions blend the passion found in traditional music with the freshness of contemporary songs and many of his songs have been embraced by the contemporary folk community and recorded by artists such as Maura O’Connell, Mary Black, Cathie Ryan and Muireann Nic Amhloaibh. Gerry has toured the globe as a solo artist and with groups such as the Sharon Shannon Band and the Waterboys. He has performed at the White House, opened for the Grateful Dead, and played electric guitar with Marianne Faithfull. He composed and recorded the score to River of Dreams, an artistic response to the River Shannon commissioned by the Irish Department of Arts and Heritage, and he has written music for film and theatre.

Tom Morrow is the newest member of Dervish, joining the group in October 1998. A native of Carrigallen, Co. Leitrim, he began playing music at an early age with Tommy Maguire, and has played extensively local musicians including the Cornafean Group and Antoin McGabhann. Moving to Dublin via Limerick, Tom became a part of the local scene in both areas played with many groups including the Mick O Brien band and the Conor Byrne group He has won numerous awards including the All Ireland senior fiddle championship and has toured extensively in Europe, North America and Asia.

On Tour: Thursday 12th May FOTA ISLAND (Fota House, 8pm), Friday 13th May BAILE MHÚIRNE (Ionad Cultúrtha, 8.30pm), Saturday 14th May WATERVILLE (Tech Amergin, 8.30pm), Sunday 15th May LIMERICK (Belltable Arts Centre, 8pm), Tuesday 17th May DUBLIN (St. Audoen's Church, 8pm), Wednesday 18th May CLIFDEN (Station House Theatre, 8pm), Thursday 19th May, MANORHAMILTON (The Glens Centre, 8.30pm)

Further information here.