We have just finished day 7 of the filming, 1300 km of driving the car, mostly in the northern part of Ireland and Northern Ireland, 14 hours of video material, 120 still images, and 6 short nights of sleep. We are just over half way through with 6 more days to go, all in the southern part of Ireland.
We have met some extraordinary people on the way who have been talking to us about one or another of the airs we are researching and who have been performing for us and with Ilse. Traditional irish harper Siohban Armstrong talked about Aisling An Oighfir and played it beautifully on her harp, the McCleans family from Bangor gathered together for a session in their house and in particular performed Carrickfergus, Dr. Lillis Ó Laoire from the National University of Ireland, Galway, gave us valuable insight into several airs and also sang them for us with a beautiful voice. Yesterday we met with Matt Cranitch, traditional fiddle-player, teacher, lecturer and author, whose “The Irish Fiddle Book” was part of the inspiration for Ilse to arrange the airs she did.
He gave interesting insight into the air “Song of the Books” and he and Ilse played it together. Then we met with Marja Gaynor, who plays the baroque violin. She talked about the air Fanny Power and played it together with Ilse.
And we are very gratuful for the many people on the road who have hosted us, fed us and helped us out in all sorts of ways.
We have also been visiting some amazing sites with spectacular landscapes, where Ilse has performed the airs live in the open and Maarten has filmed her doing so. Thursday we filmed the air A Stor mo Chroí near the Ben Bulben, a suggestion by Lillis Ó Laoire made the day before. And the weather has been very collaborative, with dynamic skies and wonderful light.
We also found the very site of the house of the Power family, whose daughter Frances, or Fanny, refers the air Fanny Power, to. It is now in the middle of a field, and virtually nothing is left, but it was very special to be there and play that very air there where it must have been heard for the very first time in the early 1700s.
Today we are off to Clear Island for a session in the pub and to film the air Cape Clear on sunday. If the weather forecast is right, sunday will be a most beautiful day!
We keep you posted!