Wednesday 15 November

From a Forest to a Fiddle with Zoë Conway and Guests

RTÉ Concert Orchestra

Time 8:00pm
National Concert Hall Dublin

Tickets: Tickets from €15


RTÉ Concert Orchestra
Stephen Bell conductor
Zoë Conway fiddle/vocals
With special guests John Mc Intyre guitar/vocals, Dónal Lunny bouzouki and Louise Mulcahy uilleann pipes

Fiddle player, singer and composer Zoë Conway is an extraordinary talent and a central figure in Irish traditional music. After many enriching collaborations with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, tonight marks an exciting milestone as she makes her first appearance as the orchestra’s new Associate Artist.

In a world first, a magical film From a Forest to a Fiddle captures master craftsman Jim Mc Killop making a fiddle in his rural workshop in the Cooley Mountains. This artistic, meditative timelapse will be accompanied by live performance of Zoë’s own score, with Zoë on fiddle, John Mc Intyre on guitar, both on vocals. Zoë and John are described by the BBC as  ‘one of the best folk duos on the planet’!

Jim Mc Killop, who studied in Cremona and  whose violins are played in orchestras and sessions throughout Europe, has stopped making instruments but was persuaded by Zoë – who buys all her fiddles from him – to make just one more so his process could be captured. The score features 11 original pieces and songs inspired by the ancient ogham Irish alphabet, where each letter represents a native Irish tree, as well as a new Irish translation of a poem by renowned Dubliners fiddler John Sheahan. This is a celebration of tradition, of craft and of nature as over the course of 40 minutes we follow the months of painstaking work and witness the alchemy that sees a rough piece of sycamore in the hands of a master become a fiddle.   

Then we move into a very different tempo as guests including Dónal Lunny join Zoë, John and the RTÉ CO for a feast of traditional music old and new, including Bill Whelan’s Riverdance, Zoë’s own Desert Storm/Rounding Malin Head, Dónal’s Waking the Hare and the song Faoiseamh a Gheobhadsa. The music and the atmosphere promise to set the National Concert Hall alight as some of the country’s finest traditional musicians join the RTÉ CO and Principal Guest Conductor Stephen Bell to welcome Zoë to her new role with the orchestra and to mark this very special night!