Eibhlís Ní Ríordáin - singer & harpist
Award-winning sean-nós singer and early Irish harpist, Eibhlís Ní Ríordáin, is a multifaceted artist whose performances go straight to the heart of the music. Her first sean-nós song and harp-song album, ‘An Buachaillín Bán’, will be launched by Ciarán Ó Gealbháin on July 2nd, at Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy 2023. The CD also includes three airs played on the uilleann pipes played by her beloved late wife, Patricia Connery, who sadly passed away in January 2022.
Eibhlís, who holds a music degree from U.C.C., and an MA (Hons 1) in Women’s Studies from UCD, was born in Fermoy, County Cork, grew up there and in Modeligo, Co Waterford. She researches and performs the songs from two strands of traditional Irish song: the sean-nós song repertoire of the Déise (east Munster) area and the songs of the old Irish harpers (i.e., those of Turlough Carolan, among others). She accompanies her singing of the harp songs (as well as some of her sean-nós songs) on a copy of an 18th century Irish wire-strung harp.
For her sean-nós singing Eibhlís won Corn Mháire Nic Dhonnachadha at the Oireachtas (2016), and was a prize-winner at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann (2017 & 2018). In 2020 she was awarded an Arts Council bursary for her harp song research.
'Eibhlís Ní Ríordáin is making one of the most important 21st-century
contributions to Irish harp research and performance practice:
meticulously researching, reconstructing and performing an entirely
neglected genre of Irish music: 17th- and 18th-century harp songs.
These she repositions in their true context: sung in a vernacular style,
self-accompanied on a copy of an early Irish harp, using historical
Irish playing techniques and aesthetic. The results are exceptional.
They bring us the closest we have yet come to the art of harpers
such as Turlough Carolan, singing and playing to his patrons in
the Great Irish Houses of the 18th century’.
Dr Siobhán Armstrong | Founding Director
The Historical Harp Society of Ireland
As a traditional singer Eibhlís has been an invited guest at, among others: Sean-nós Cois Life, Howth Singing Circle (2021, performance Online), Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy (2021, 2023, performance Online), and The Frank Harte Festival (2020, Online).
As a harpist and singer Eibhlís has performed at, among others: Harp Ireland’s National Harp Day Concert, Liberty Hall, Dublin, (October 2022); Scoil na gCláirseach Gala Concert 'Celebrating twenty years of Scoil na gCláirseach Festival of Early Irish Harp’, (July 2022); Scoil na gCláirseach Concert Online: with Pádraic Keane (uilleann pipes) 'Celebrating Carolan's 350th Birthday’, (August 2021); The Remembering Bunting Festival Concert Online (February, 2021); ‘Féile Patrick Byrne’ with Siobhán Armstrong (early Irish harp), at the Patrick Kavanagh Centre, Inniskeen, Co. Monaghan, (October, 2020); The reception to mark the installation of ‘Pangur Bán’, a sculpture by Imogen Stuart, Áras an Uachtaráin, (January, 2020).
SHORTER BIOGRAPHY (108 WORDS):
Eibhlís Ní Ríordáin is an multi-award winning sean-nós singer and harpist (early Irish wire-strung harp). She researches and sings the Déise sean-nós song repertory. She is almost unique in also researching and then performing the much-neglected, and seminal, 17th- and 18th-century harpers’ song repertory to her own early Irish harp accompaniment, on a replica old Irish harp.
Her first sean-nós song and harp-song CD, 'An Buachaillín Bán', which also includes three airs played on the uilleann pipes by her beloved late wife, Patricia Connery, will be launched by Ciarán Ó Gealbháin at Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy on Sunday 2nd July.