Tag: Ireland

The Wild Atlantic Way of Max Malloy

Saturday, 5 August, 2017 0 Comments

“I am Ireland-based photographer with a background in arts, who came to Ireland 13 years back, had a crush on Irish landscapes and haven’t left ever since.” So say Max Malloy, who was born in Latvia and spent his childhood beside the Baltic. He moved to Ireland 13 years ago “to be closer to the ocean and to the never ending green fields.” A constant theme in his work is what is called the Wild Atlantic Way: “i enjoy every frame that highlights the beauty of the ocean, the grandness of the cliffs.”

Max Malloy cliffs

Max Malloy landscape

Max Malloy Atlantic


Gin of the week: Dingle

Wednesday, 26 July, 2017 0 Comments

Remember the real estate mantra? Location, location, location. And when it comes to location, the town of Dingle has it tripled. Perched on the edge of the Atlantic in Ireland’s southwest, picturesque Dingle looks out across the water to the Blasket Islands and further beyond, America. Geography is destiny and the locals know how to make full use of their good luck. By the way, although Dingle is one of Ireland’s largest Gaeltacht towns, its people voted to retain the name Dingle rather than the officially sanctioned — and signposted — Gaelige of “An Daingean”. Branding is destiny, too.

Would all those Dingle tourists like to take away a bottle of gin infused with wild Kerry flowers and hints of rugged Kingdom heather? Liam La Hart and Oliver Hughes, founders of the hugely successful Porterhouse Brewery chain, thought so and thus was Dingle Gin initiated and distilled. The juniper element is pure London Dry and the Irish botanicals include rowan berries, fuchsia and hawthorn. Present, too, are angelica and coriander. In every sense, this is a glocal gin.

Jette Virdi, who describes herself as “a food stylist, workshop host and a mentor for big hearted creatives”, drinks her Dingle Gin with thyme and tonic. Sláinte!

Note: Dingle is the third in a gin series that began with Blackwater No. 5 and continued with Friedrichs.


Fionn Regan meets Thomas Moore in Wicklow

Saturday, 15 July, 2017 0 Comments

Inspired by a visit to the Vale of Avoca in County Wicklow some 200 years ago, the bard Thomas Moore wrote a song called The Meeting of the Waters. Snippet:

“Sweet vale of Avoca! How calm could I rest
In thy bosom of shade, with the friends I love best
Where the storms that we feel in this cold world should cease
And our hearts, like thy waters, be mingled in peace.”

The Irish singer-songwriter Fionn Regan was born and raised in Wicklow and he released his debut album, The End of History, in 2006. Now, more than a decade later, he’s back with The Meetings of the Waters and the video is enhanced with the sculpted features of the actor Cillian Murphy of Peaky Blinders fame.


Two Corants for Lyra Viol by Alfonso

Saturday, 1 July, 2017 0 Comments

On the face of it, a blog entry with the title “Two Corants for Lyra Viol by Alfonso” has a touch of the perplexing about it. What’s a “corant”, and why two of them? And then there’s the “lyra viol”. Not just a viol, mind you, but a lyra viol. Topping if all of, we have “Alfonso”. If people had to pick an Alfonso, most would opt for Alfonso Cuarón, the film director, whose works include Children of Men and Gravity. In this case, however, we’re talking about Alfonso Fontanelli (1557 – 1622).

Alfonso Fontanelli was an Italian composer, diplomat and courtier. He was one of the earliest composers in the seconda pratica style during the transition to the Baroque era but his career was interrupted in November 1601, when he discovered that his wife had been having an affair. He murdered her lover, but spared her life, unlike his musical acquaintance Gesualdo who, in similar circumstances murdered both his wife and her lover. As punishment for the crime, Alfonso was stripped of all his possessions. Still, he found refuge in the opulent Roman household of Cardinal Alessandro d’Este, and was thus saved from indignity. Alfonso Fontanelli became a priest in 1621, and died in early 1622 from an insect bite while in the Oratorio della Chiesa.

The lyra viol is a small bass viol, used primarily in the 17th century, while a corant was a type of dance popular in the late Renaissance and Baroque era.

Bringing it all together now: The Irish viola de gamba player, Liam Byrne, is part of the Icelandic collective Bedroom Community and he features with violist Nadia Sirota on Tessellatum, their upcoming album and film. That’s all a long way from the Renaissance world of Alfonso Fontanelli, but everything’s connected.


In the year of his first cigarette

Saturday, 24 June, 2017 0 Comments

In the year that the great Galty smoked his first cigarette, The Wizard of Oz, starring Judy Garland, premiered in Hollywood; Francisco Franco assumed power in Spain; Flann O’Brien’s metafiction At Swim-Two-Birds was published in London; Princess Fawzia Fuad of Egypt married Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi of Iran; Billie Holiday recorded Strange Fruit; Italy seized Albania and King Zog fled; an Irish Republican Army bomb exploded in the centre of Coventry, killing five people; John Steinbeck’s novel The Grapes of Wrath was published; Batman made his first appearance in Detective Comics No. 27; nylon stockings went on sale in Wilmington, Delaware, and LaGuardia Airport opened in New York City.

Oh, and the opening shots of World War II were fired when Germany invaded Poland.

Galty


The Queen who dare not speak her name

Friday, 16 June, 2017 0 Comments

British Queens arrive on the shelves just after the first early potatoes, so they are often referred to as “second early” potatoes. Floury and delicious, they are suitable for steaming, boiling, roasting and chipping and are said to be one of the best for mashing.

The British Queen was created by Archibald Findlay (1841 – 1921), a prolific potato breeder, who also created the Majestic and Up-to-Date varieties. Findlay was a Scot who moved to potato-growing country in Lincolnshire in England to follow his passion. In Ireland, his British Queens are marketed as “Queens”, due to the absurd nationalism that has corroded language and corrupted thinking.

Northern spuds

“Potatoes are one of the last things to disappear, in times of war, which is probably why they should not be forgotten in times of peace.” — M.F.K. Fisher, How to Cook a Wolf


Loah in the Cave

Friday, 26 May, 2017 0 Comments

According to her Twitter bio, Loah is an “Irish / Sierra Leonean ArtSoul musician.” On 7 July, she’ll be performing in Mitchelstown Cave along with Peter Broderick, an American composer from Carlton, Oregon. In their publicity material, the organizers note: “The Cave is a half mile walk underground after a steep incline to the performance space. The temperature in the Cave is 12 degrees. Please wear flat shoes and bring a coat.”


Diving can be a leap of faith

Saturday, 13 May, 2017 0 Comments

“Do not think to swim below. The ocean is already pushing into ears, sinuses, temples, the softness of eyes, and the harpsichord strings behind the kneecaps.” — J.M. Ledgard

No Diving


Aeroplane of unrequited love

Friday, 5 May, 2017 0 Comments

He describes himself as “an electronic music producer obsessed by the culture of Ireland.” He’s Daithi. She describes herself as “Singer-songwriter-human, from Co. Kildare, Ireland.” She’s Sinéad White and the two of them wrote Aeroplane.

According to Daithi and Sinéad, the song was inspired by old Irish TV dramas from the 1980s and ’90s. “True to the people of Ireland at the time, the characters in these shows all seem to have a hard time expressing their feelings, and we wanted to write a song that imagined what was going on in their heads, while they stumbled through talking to their love interest. The video for the song uses footage from a short film that was shot in my home town Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare, in the 1990s.”


For sale: mannequin, one-armed recently.

Tuesday, 25 April, 2017 0 Comments

The famous six-word novel attributed to Ernest Hemingway reads like this: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” The Hemingwayesque mannequin shown here was spotted at the Castletownroche Car Boot Sale in County Cork, Ireland.

Castletownroche Car Boot Sale


Irish food truck

Thursday, 20 April, 2017 0 Comments

Irish food truck

Basics: fish and chips = iasc agus sceallóga

Example: “We ordered fish and chips to go.” (D’ordaíomar iasc agus sceallóga le tabhairt linn.)