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Postal Museum Realised

The Museum of Song began in April 2020 as a song collecting project delivered via the postal service and was a way of safely connecting with residents in Bantry, Castletownbere, Dunmanway, Schull and Skibbereen community hospitals in West Cork during the Covid 19 Pandemic. Since then, artists Tess Leak and Sharon Whooley have collected hundreds of songs and stories about singing from over 120 older people across West Cork; on the off-shore islands of Bere, Heir, Oileán Chléire and Sherkin, in the Coomhola, Borlin, Mealagh and Kealkil Valleys, in the communities of Drimoleague, Dunmanway and Skibbereen and on the Beara and Sheep’s Head Peninsulas.

For this year’s Drimoleague Singing Festival the artists have created a temporary museum in the heart of the town, housing the entire collection of songs and related artefacts. The Museum will also be hosting a visit from the Irish Traditional Music Archive on Saturday 25th September where you can find out about the largest and most comprehensive collection of Irish traditional music in existence.

To reconnect with the Community Hospitals Singer Seán Keane follows his closing concert at the Drimoleague Singing Festival with a special performance in St. Joseph’s Unit, Bantry General Hospital for Arts for Health participants, residents and staff, including songs from the Museum of Song Postal Project collection.

Drimoleague Singing Festival | Drimoleague | Cork is a celebration of the human voice in the heart of West Cork

Friday 24th 11 am – 5 pm
Saturday 25th 11 am – 7 pm
Sunday 26th 11 am – 5 pm
Parish Hall Drimoleague – Free

Museum of Song events:

Irish Traditional Music Archive Presentation and interview with Thomas McCarthy. Alan Woods will speak about and introduce a number of song-based collections held in ITMA. Alan will also be joined by Thomas McCarthy to discuss a collaborative field-recording project between Thomas and ITMA to collect songs, music and stories from the Irish Traveller community. Idir Dhá Sháile: Aran and Connemara in Song

Ocean waves divide the borders of the Aran Islands and Connemara, and yet these neighbouring Gaeltacht communities are united by a rich cultural heritage. Diving into a truly remarkable shared heritage of song, we hear an illustrated talk from author and musician Dr. Deirdre Ní Chonghaile on her work ‘Amhráin Árann – Aran Songs’. Deidre will share the stage with the renowned sean-nós singer Sarah Ghriallai.

This project is part of the Arts for Health Partnership Programme, West Cork and the museum is supported by Creative Ireland through Cork County Council and the National Lottery.