The Irish Itinerary is an Irish cultural tour of Europe. This initiative of the European Federation of Associations and Centres of Irish Studies (EFACIS) started in 2013 with the first Irish Itinerary.Read more Discover Circuits
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“Lillis O Laoire came to sing at the University of Rennes 2 on Wednesday, March 18th, 2015.
The event was co-organized by Efacis and the Centre of Breton and Celtic Research of Rennes 2.
The venue was carefully chosen and very appropriate, in a room especially designed for singing, at the Music Department of Rennes 2.
The acoustics were therefore very good, Lillis appreciated this and he sang for nearly an hour and a half with short comments in English about each of the songs. The attendance was a nice mix of around sixty people, students and lecturers alike, mostly from the departments of Celtic (including some students of Irish), English (Irish studies stream) and Music. They were both very attentive during the performance and enthusiastic after it : Lillis's voice literally worked wonders. The performance was recorded and filmed, with Lillis's agreement, by a colleague from the Centre de Formation des Musiciens Intervenants of Rennes 2. The rest of the evening went on very smoothly, with five of us from Rennes 2 (including our Irish language tutor, who happened to be an ex student of his) having dinner with Lillis in a restaurant in town, after which he even gratified us with one last going-away song. A great evening indeed, magic !”
Glenn Patterson’s reading made me realize that brilliant writers are also people like us. When I read a book I sometimes think about the author, sitting in a chair in an idyllic place, pencil in his/her hand and his/her head full of amazing thoughts about a pre-planned story. Glenn Patterson, however, did not seem to be such a person, even though he had amazing thoughts and a pencil. He takes his thoughts from everyday situations and dilemmas he has experienced. The whole character of Mr Patterson is so loveable and funny that the audience often laughed out loud. Personally, I think that the best part of the reading was that he gave background information about the books from which he read out. For example, he described the origin of a key motif, that of the goldfish in Fat Lad. I liked when he said that he wrote about Belfast because it is his city and if he lived here he would write about Debrecen.
"What Richard Did is a beautifully shot, emotionally complex drama which held my attention from beginning to end. Although the storyline is sometimes predictable, the great performance by Jack Raynor, the well written dialogues, and tense soundtrack compensate a lot. It is kind of shocking how one single incident can influence our life. Richard had almost everything a teenager could have wished for: friends, good family and financial background, a beautiful girlfriend, and a great future. But one crucial act and almost everything is destroyed. It is fascinating how different level of emotions go through the movie; happiness, love, rage, insanity, despair... I really like the conclusion of the film, which was a sort of surprise for me, that it is up to us to decide whether Richard confesses his crime or he is able to move on with his life.AISLING GHEAL
Aisling Gheal is an intriguing documentary film about traditional Irish music, Sean-nós, and Irish people who are trying to keep it alive. In my opinion, this film beautifully represents values of music, traditions, and peaceful people’s life in Ireland. The additional sceneries of the wonderful nature make the documentary visually intense. The journey of the young Shahira Apraku is quite an inspiration, but also makes me think of how the younger generation in my country lacks an interest in our traditions. I think she really captures the audience (at least me) with her beautiful voice and unceasing zest. Although I am rather fond of instrumental music this film showed me a really amazing genre."
"Irish writer Mary Morrissy provided interesting new perspectives on her short story Miss Ireland. In order to give the audience an idea of the elements that formed the basis of Miss Ireland, the author presented a valuable historical description of Ireland in the sixties and revealed some personal memories. Morrissy’s seminar provided an excellent opportunity to receive an interesting insight into the creation of a story and it taught me how to interpret a story in a critical way."
Mary McPartlan sang in Prague at the Marjánka dance hall on 20 November, accompanied by Aidan Brennan and Pádraic Keane to a dedicated and enthusiastic audience, aged 5 months to 60 years – even an impromptu jig was danced by some audience members during the final number. The concert was followed by a music session in a Scottish bar owned by the concert producer where our Irish guests were astonished to see that, as soon as they played the first few bars of the first tune, about 20 people whipped out their instruments and joined in. It turned out that some of the participants travelled over 200 km to be able to play with Mary, Aidan and Pádraic. The wave of energy was simply amazing, and needless to say, the session turned out to be long. In addition, Mary lectured to Charles University students on Irish women singers on 21 November.