To celebrate Heritage Week 2023, and mark the generous support we have received from the Heritage Council this year, ITSC will host two screenings of our new documentary IT'S A FINE THING TO SING: SONGS AND SINGERS OF THE INISHOWEN PENINSULA.
The screenings will take place in Clonmany's iconic 19th century Market House on Wednesday 16 August at 11:15 am and again at 2:15 pm. Members of the ITSC will be on hand to share news about this project and our other events and activities.
Since its formation in 1988 ITSC has championed the recording of singers and songs from Inishowen, and visiting singers to the annual Inishowen International Folk Song and Ballad Seminar. These amazing recordings are a store house and unique picture of the wealth of the song tradition in the Peninsula since the 1980s.
ITSC works with the Irish Traditional Music Archive in Dublin to preserve these recordings for future generations through digitisation and digital preservation. This work has been supported by Inishowen Development Partnership and more recently through funding from the Heritage Council in 2021 and 2023. Under the bonnet, the recordings are transferred from their original formats of audio cassette, VHS & V8 tapes to accessible digital files. They are described in detail to preserve all the information and history of the events, singers and songs. The master files are stored and user copies created to share online, and for use in projects such as our latest documentary IT'S A FINE THING TO SING from award winning filmmaker Bob Gallagher. The film was selected and shown at a sold out screening at Galway Film Fleadh in July - a big day out for us all.
The 60 minute documentary features Ian Lynch (Lankum), Ye Vagabonds and The Henry Girls arranging and singing six songs from Clonmany and Buncrana singers: Roseanne McGonigle, Dan McGonigle, Mary Ann Canny, Corney McDaid, and a visitor to Inishowen, Ardara singer Packie Manus Byrne. The recordings are framed within Inishowen's stunning landscape, interwoven with the atmospheric archival recordings of the original singers, and interviews with contemporary members of the Inishowen song community.
The film is a fitting and important tribute to the singers and songs of Inishowen, the incredible vision of Jimmy McBride in founding the Inishowen Traditional Singers’ Circle and to the enduring power of the Inishowen song tradition.
ITSC gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the Heritage Council in funding the preservation of a unique aspect of Donegal cultural heritage - its songs & singers. We look forward to sharing more from the archive in the coming months, and years.
In the meantime, we would love you to join us in the Market House on Wednesday 16 August, and looking forward to seeing you!