Ó Bhéal guth béal

Artist Name(s) Ger Wolfe
Artwork title Ó Bhéal guth béal
Context/Background Singer/songwriter Ger Wolfe spent Spring 2009 in The Múscraí Gaeltacht as artist-in-residence. His brief was to spend time with the older members of this gaeltacht community, listening and interacting with them through conversation and involvement in a number of social activities. From listening to and meeting the older members of the community, the intention was to create a body of work (in the shape of newly written songs) representing the views and life stories of the older people. It was hoped that Ger, as a songwriter, would bring these stories to the wider community, and in doing so also enrich the lives of the older people in this culturally rich area of County Cork.

The Múscraí Gaeltacht stretches from the borders of Clondrohid, west of the town of Macroom, to the west as far as the county boundary (with Kerry), from the north of Baile Mhúirne, and southwards to Ballingeary (Béal Atha an Ghaorthaidh). It encompasses other small villages including Réidh na ndoirí, Cill na Martra, Baile Mhicíre, and countless townlands, glens, hills, valleys and plains-all rich in heritage and folklore.

The project was conceived by Bríd Crannitch, Director of An t-Ionad Cultúrtha, (arts and cultural centre) in Bailemhúirne.

The singer/ songwriter Ger Wolfe worked in Spring on the song-writing project involving older people from the Muskerry Gaeltacht who attend the day-centres Cois Coille, Cuan Barra, the Tacaois group from Ionad Cultúrtha and the Scoraíocht an Déardaoin group at the Meitheal Múscraí Ionad Áise Centre in Renaree. As Ger himself said recently:

“I’m a singer/song-writer and I understand the power of traditional and contemporary songs. I feel that there is no limit to the way we can express our thoughts. We must keep art alive but at the same time, we must protect and celebrate the past. Therefore, I would like to try, using the tools of my trade and my own creativity, to bring the stories of the older people in our community back into the community again in the form of newly composed songs.”

Ger spent time with this community group, especially those who attend the day centres for older people. He spent time listening to their stories and collecting their experiences. From these encounters he gathered source material for his song writing, thus giving a contemporary feel to the older stories and ways of life.

At the end of this residency period all the new material was performed in the Ionad Culturtha on the 22 May at an event to celebrate this project and the collaborative work carried out by Ger Wolfe and this community group. Further information is available from Ionad Cultúrtha and www.gerwolfe.com.

Beidh an cumadóir agus amhránaí Ger Wolfe i mbun oibre san Earrach ar thogra cumadóireachta amhráintí nua le seanóirí cheantar Mhúscraí ó ionaid lae Cois Coille, Cuan Barra, an Grúpa Tacaois ón Ionad Cultúrtha agus an grúpa a thagann ‘dí Scoraíocht an Déardaoin san Ionad Áise i Ré na nDoirí uair sa mhí. Mar a dúirt Ger Wolfe féin le déanaí: “Is cumadóir/amhránaí mise agus tuigim an neart atá ins na h-amhráintí tradisiúinta agus ins na hamhráintí nua-chumtha chomh maith. Im’ thuairim, níl aon teorainn leis an méid slite gur féidir linn ár smaointí a chur in iúl. Caithimid an ealaín a choimeád beo ach ag an am céanna, caithimid na sean-rudaí a chothú agus a cheiliúradh. Mar sin, ba mhaith liom iarracht a dhéanamh, le huirlisí mo cheird fhéin agus lem’ ealaín féin, scéalta na ndaoine seo a chur i mbéal an phobail arís i bhfoirm amhráintí nua-chumtha.”Caithfidh Ger tréimhse ama le seanóirí an cheantair – iad siúd a fhreastalaíonn ar na hIonaid Lae, ach go háirithe – ag éisteacht lena gcuid cainte agus ag bailiú a gcuid scéalta. As an t-idirmhalartú seo, beidh neart ábhar cumadóireachta aige chun crut nuálach a chur ar na scéalta seo i bhfoirm ceoil agus amhránaíocht comhaimseartha. Ag deireadh na tréimhse seo, beidh cur i láthair poiblí san Ionad Culturtha ar an 22ú Bealtaine ag ceiliúradh na tréimshe cónaithí seo agus an t-idirmhalartú idir Ger Wolfe agus an grúpa pobail áirithe seo. Breis eolais le fáil san Ionad Cultúrtha agus ag www.gerwolfe.com


Born in Cork city and now settled near Macroom, Ger Wolfe is a well known singer/songwriter and musician. He runs his own record label Raggedy Records and has released four CD’s of original music over the last ten years, while also touring extensively both solo and with his band The New Skylarks. As well as writing, Ger teaches traditional music in local national schools weekly.

In spring 2009 he became writer-in-residence in Gaeltacht Múscraí  for the above project, collaborating with the older members of the community to produce a whole new body of work mainly in Irish.

No Bird Sang, Ger’s fifth release is due out this autumn and was recorded and produced by well known composer and musician Peadar O’ Riada in Cúil Aodha.

Commission Type Udaras na Gaeltachta,Government Department
Commissioner Name An t-Ionad Cultúrtha, Baile Mhúirne
Commissioning process A curated process
Project commission dates February 1, 2009 - May 21, 2009
Public Presentation dates May 20, 2009 - May 21, 2009
Artform Music
Art Practice Arts Participation
Funded By Other
Budget Range 0 - 10000 euro
Project commission start date 01/02/2009
Project commission end date 21/05/2009
Location An t-Ionad Cultúrtha, Baile Mhúirne
County Cork
Town Baile Mhúirne
Street Address Lár an bhaile
Google Map Insert View this projects location
Website http://www.gerwolfe.com/
Content contributor(s) Ger Wolfe
Relationship to project Facilitator/ songwriter
Public engagement

People who attended the say services came along to hear the performances on both the 21 and 22 of May.

Associated professionals / Specialists involved

Special guest musicians Richard Lucey - accordion

Coanl O’ Grada - flute

Tadhg Kelleher, Sound Engineer



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