Public Art Commissions

Sing Us Another Story - Songbook Launch January 2011Kilmaley Voluntary Housing: Sing Us Another Story - Songbook Launch January 2011

As part of an exciting arts project funded under the capital projects Per Cent For Art Scheme, Kilmaley Voluntary Housing Association and Clare County Council’s Arts Office commissioned renowned traditional singer, John Tunney, to work with the housing scheme residents and its Day Care Centre clients to compose new songs in a Traditional style inspired by the people and place of Kilmaley. The resulting songs were performed for the first time in public by John and the Day Care Centre clients at a showcase Song Recital in the Kilmaley Inn in May 2009. January 2011 sees the culmination of this project with the release of a CD of this session and a songbook at the Woodstock Hotel, Ennis on January 30th at 5 p.m.

John Tunney worked closely with the staff and clients of the Day Care Centre over a period of six months to create the new musical works on the CD. Living in Ennis for the last ten years, John hails from Co. Donegal where his family were steeped in traditional song, music and storytelling. His father Paddy Tunney was a much loved and well respected singer throughout the country who composed a significant repertoire of songs, many of which can be heard sung at sessions and Fleadhs around the country. In this project, John has been working as Artist-in-Residence, or in this case Songwriter-in-Residence, at the Day Care Centre. During this time he and the clients have been singing songs and learning songs from each other’s repertoire.

Well-known photographer and accordion player Christy McNamara was also commissioned to work with clients of the Kilmaley Day Care Centre to capture this unique process in photographic images which feature in the song book. Christy’s photography is known far and wide. The Spancil Hill photographer has photographed many musicians, including U2, The Pogues and a range of traditional musicians.

Sing Us Another Story - Songbook Launch January 2011This project was funded through the Per Cent for Art Scheme in connection with the infrastructural development of the Kilmaley Voluntary Housing scheme in 2003. The Per Cent for Art Scheme gives the Irish public the opportunity to experience a vast range of contemporary art, paid for out of funds set aside for this purpose from capital construction projects, in their everyday life.

The funding for the project has been sourced through the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government and the residency has been developed by Kilmaley Voluntary Housing Association in partnership with Clare Arts Office. The project has received a great response from the staff and clients of Kilmaley Day Care Centre as well as the people of Kilmaley.

“It is one of the first Per Cent for Art projects in Ireland to use the traditional arts – traditional song in this case – as the primary artform. Per Cent for Art projects in the past have traditionally yielded sculptures but the Kilmaley Voluntary Housing Association Committee were very creative and forward thinking and now we have a beautiful project which is a prototype for other projects and artists in Ireland. We are immensely proud to be partners in this project, a project which reiterates Clare’s standing as one of the most creative and progressive cultural counties in the country” says Clare Arts Officer, Siobhan Mulcahy.

Carmel O’Brien, a Day Care Centre Committee member who worked intensively on the project and a talented singer herself is delighted with how the project developed. “The housing scheme and Day Care Centre have become a central aspect of the Parish life of Kilmaley. This project has built on the community spirit among the residents and Day Care Centre clients and this CD and songbook now enables us to share our talents with the wider Kilmaley community as well as the rest of County Clare”, says Carmel.

The CD and Songbook will be launched on January 30th, 2011 at 4.30 p.m. at the Woodstock Hotel, Ennis by Mayor Christy Curtin with a performance in advance by Paul and Aoife Moroney from the All Ireland Talent Show competition. Entry is free and all are welcome to attend – especially friends and family of Day Care Centre clients as well as residents of the Kilmaley area.

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