Growing up in Louth, Adèle Commins developed a deep love of local heritage and of traditional music under the influence of her teacher Rory Kennedy. Playing both piano and piano accordion, she began composing at a young age, with many of her tunes inspired by the people and places around her, as well as her experiences of playing in local céilí bands. Her music studies at NUI Maynooth facilitated her move full circle and in 2015 she was appointed Head of Department of Creative Arts, Media and Music at Dundalk Institute of Technology, where she had been Head of Music since 2008.
Kerryman Daithí Kearney arrived in Dundalk in 2011 to lecture in Irish traditional music. A banjo and mandolin player with a keen interest in regional traditions, he quickly became involved in various aspects of music making in Co. Louth. Having previously released the album Midleton Rare with accordion player John Cronin influenced by the musical heritage of Sliabh Luachra, he teamed up with Adèle to explore the music of the Oriel region and they began to share their own compositions.
There are many aspects to our research which you can discover on our website:
teaching and workshop facilitation
music research and postgraduate supervision
We are grateful to all who support us including our colleagues at Dundalk Institute of Technology, branches of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann and other community and voluntary groups, and the musicians who share music with us.
Musicologist Dr Adèle Commins is Head of Department of Creative Arts, Media and Music at Dundalk Institute of Technology. A graduate of NUI Maynooth with first class honours degrees in Music and Irish and Higher Diploma in Education, she also holds an ALCM and LGSMD in piano performance and is Musical Director of two local church choirs. Ethnomusicologist and geographer Dr Daithí Kearney is a graduate of University College Cork and director of the DkIT Ceol Oirghialla Traditional Ensemble. An All-Ireland champion musician, he has toured and recorded as a musician, singer and dancer with a number of groups including Siamsa Tíre, The National Folk Theatre of Ireland, and performed for President Obama in The White House. He recorded the critically acclaimed album Midleton Rare with accordion player John Cronin in 2012 and continues to tour regularly and in 2013 performed with Southbound at the National Folk Festival of Australia. Both Adèle and Daithí toured North and South America in 2014, and France, Canada and Scotland in 2016, and Norway and England in 2017, and Scotland in 2018 and 2019. They are both directors of the award-winning Oriel Traditional Orchestra. Their publications include contributions to the Companion to Irish Traditional Music (ed. Vallely, 2012), the Encyclopaedia of Music in Ireland (ed. White and Boydell, 2013) and How Popular Culture Travels: cultural exchanges between Ireland and the USA (ed. Mikowski and Philippe, 2019). Both Adèle and Daithí have been recipients of the President's Prize for Early Career Researcher at DkIT.
ORCHID ID Adèle https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5067-4930
ORCHID ID Daithí https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6304-3241
Photo crediit: Joske Slabbers