In 2020, The Rolling Wave with support from the Irish Traditional Music Archive (ITMA) launched a composition project called Faoiseamh. The idea grew from a desire to connect with musicians at a time when all gigs and performances were cancelled and things felt very, very quiet. Ten composers were asked to write a piece of music for the programme and we ended up with a fantastic selection of tunes. Listen back to the music written for Faoiseamh 2020 here.

The response from both musicians and listeners to those new compositions was extremely positive and we decided to run a second year of Faoiseamh. This time out, the featured composers are Caitlín Nic Gabhann, Carl Hession, Bríd Harper, David Munnelly, Joanie Madden, Fintan Vallely, Máire Breatnach, Connie O'Connell, Úna Ní Fhlanagáin and Damien McGeehan.

Late last year, the new compositions accompanied by interviews with each musician were broadcast - you can listen back to those programmes here and here.

The brief for this project was very open. The composers, all of whom are brilliant traditional musicians themselves- were asked to write a piece of music and the only restriction was that it shouldn’t be more than five minutes in duration. It has been a fascinating process watching the music come in and seeing how different people approached the challenge.

The final collection features jigs, hornpipes, reels, waltzes, a march and a slow piece or two played on harp, fiddle, accordion, whistle, flute and concertina and there’s looping and layering and all kinds of other interesting techniques and ideas in there too. Not surprisingly many of the titles reference the Covid experience – cocooning, coping from day to day, the two metre rule, the day the world stopped, faoiseamh and a tune for those who died during the pandemic. All of that is there and more. The final playlist feels like a good snapshot of how varied and rich and ever changing the landscape of traditional music is and it also presents a very relevant picture of traditional music and how it fits in with our day to day experiences and lives.

The Rolling Wave is very proud to have played a small role in bringing these 10 pieces - 17 new tunes - to life. Enjoy them below.

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Úna Ní Fhlannagáin - Breithlá Bill agus Válsa an Ghrianstad

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Connie O'Connell (with Jack Talty) - The Two Metre Hornpipe

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Caitlín NIc Gabhann - An tUasal Ó Floinn and Port Odhráin

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David Munnelly (with Shane McGowan) - Day to Day

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Bríd Harper - Faoiseamh/ In Ómós do na hÉisteoirí Dílis

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Fintan Vallely (with Caoimhín Vallely) - The Cocoonery/The Chateau

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Máire Breatnach - Spaisteoireacht

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Carl Hession (with Tara Breen) - The Bridge Mills, Nun's Island and University Road

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Joanie Madden (with Gabriel Donohue)- When the World Stopped

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Damien McGeehan - Tigry's March/The Kicking Rascal

For transcriptions and further information on all of the new tunes, go here, and listen to more from The Rolling Wave here.