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In Tune with Irish Writing: The Booked Out Tour with Tale of the Gael

Exploring themes in contemporary Irish writing through music with German Universities

4 November - 8 November

North Rhine-Westphalia

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Photo: Catherine Cronin

Photo: Catherine Cronin

Storytelling comes naturally to the Irish, and recent years have seen a profusion of authors mine the complex seams of 20th century Irish society.  The resulting work brings an enormous spectrum of Irish life to bookshelves worldwide, and microcosms of Irish society are available as never before.In the careful hands of poets, writers, composers and songwriters, simple records of events can take on several layers of nuance, detail and insight. Theirs is often an emotional reaction to the subject, a reaction that documents, but also reaches people using channels other than the straight documentary approach.

Using contemporary Irish writing as a springboard, our project aims to look at how literature, music, songs and poetry bind society together in today’s Ireland.Settings and environment also play a role, and our performances will cover writing and authors from different parts of Ireland. In conjunction with the programme, the English departments of the participating universities are hosting seminars on Irish literature. The performances are free of charge and open to everyone.

‘In Tune with Irish Writing’ distils their research, musical, performance and production experience into an original 90 minute show that showcases core issues in recent and contemporary Irish writing and music.

04.11. Universität Siegen

05.11. Bergische Universität Wuppertal

06.11. Lunchtime: Universität Duisburg-Essen

06.11. Evening: Literaturhaus Dortmund

07.11. Technical University Dortmund

08.11. Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Tale of the Gael have been performing together for almost two decades, and have created, directed and performed several historically informed productions all over Ireland and Europe in that time. This includes original, curated pieces for the James Joyce Foundation, Zurich, for the Council of Europe in Strasburg, and  universities of Lausanne, Geneva and Zurich on literature based musical interpretations.

In 2018, the core group expanded to collaborate with the Irish Underwater Archeology of Ireland and other musicians to create and perform an historically informed piece on the Spanish Armada. The group has also created and delivered original researched, performances for the Colmcille Year in 2021, for the Yeats Nobel Centenary in 2023 and for the special Brigid 1500 celebrations in 2024.  The instrumentation includes Irish harp, Uilleann pipes, silver and wooden flutes, voice, whistles, double bass, Irish bouzouki, guitar, bodhran and spoken word.

The members of the band are all professionally involved in the performing arts world across Ireland and Europe in various projects; something which lends great vibrancy to their collective creative output.

Catherine Rhatigan, harp, research, text, direction
Robert Tobin, Silvet flute, whistle,  arrangements
Brendan Wade, voice, uilleann pipes, whistles, bodhran
Dave Aebli, strings, double bass


Universität Siegen
Adolf-Reichwein-Strasse 2a
57076 Siegen

Bergische Universität Wuppertal
Gaussstrasse 20
42119 Wuppertal

Universität Duisburg-Essen
Forsthausweg 2
47057 Duisburg

Literaturhaus Dortmund
Neuer Graben 78
44139 Dortmund

Technische Universität Dortmund
August-Schmidt Straße 4
44227 Dortmund

Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Universitätsstraße 150
44802 Bochum

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