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Bonn Oír Sheáin Ui Riada   2012 – An Cláirseach. An Phíob   Rialacha agus comhairle 

Dáta dúnnta / Closing date  12/10/2012

Rules and advice.

The raidio program Cuireadh chun Ceoil on RnaG is broadcast every Friday eveing from 7:00 to 9:00.   From now until the end of October, we are running a world wide traditional pipes or harp competition.    During the autumn we will broadcast  2 or 3 competitiors each week on the program.    Not every person who enters the competition will be broadcast but all will be considered for the Seán Ó Riada Gold Medal which will be awarded, with a purse of €2,500, at the final.    The adjudication panel will choose the best 15 finalists from all who have entered.   The final will be broadcast live on the radio and worldwide on the web on the Friday the 18th of January 2013.   There is a limited subvention available for 15 finalist’s with long distance travel and accomadation costs.   The public can acquire tickets for the final and can also avail of a special accommodation pkg from the venue of the competition – The Rochestown Park Hotel.

Every competitor must register and enter via the website.   This is free.   They must supply 5 unaccompanied tracks of themselves playing the pipes or harp in the Irish Traditional mode.

To do so you must:

Join the website  here.

Join the appropriate group for your instrument.

Upload your 5 tracks using the player provided on your membership page.

The tracks should be in a format suitable for playing and help and advice about that is available here.

  •  Each piece should not be longer then 4 minutes
  •   Accompiament is not permitted.

The competitor can choose any tunes they like but, obviously a choice that demonstrates traditional irish music in a range of rythms etc will give the adjudicators a broader idea of the competitors ability and musicality.   Anyone, of any age, from any place, may enter.

The adjudicating panel will be announced once the competition is closed.   Their decision is final.

2 pieces of the competitors 5 will be chosen and they will be asked to play those 2.   The Final will be held in the Rochestown Park Hotel in Cork.

In the meantime the radio program Cuireadh Chun Ceoil will choose randomly, from amongst all the enterd tracks and play 2 or 3 weekly so as to give the public a flavor of the competition.   Any member of the public can also join the website but must register on the site to do so.  Here they will be able to hear  all the tracks entered and communicate with all the other website members who are interested in doing so.

They are free to start disscussion groups and add pictures and tracks not for competition as well.   Rnag own the rights to broadcasting the matierial in the competition.

Advice to competitors:

In their search for the gold medalist, the adjudicators will be looking for a musician who has technical proficiency on the instrument, has a musicality in their playing, and a variety in their choice of 5 pieces that illustrate the broad range of rhythms and melody in traditional Gaelic music.

They will also be looking for the character found in music from musicians whose life experience and witness grows with age and which invests their music.   As Irish music is an art form and requires creative input from the musician, this character is of great importance and should be real rather then faked or imitated from other great musicians.

In other words, the adjudicators would rather purchase a recording of, say, Johnny Doherty or Denis Murphy, or Micho Russel or Matt Molloy or Tony Mac Mahon or Willy Clancy say, then listen to hundreds of imitations.    The adjudicators wish the to hear the musician’s own character in their playing – without exaggeration..

This would suggest that whilst technique is important, age and experience is equally so.

One may enter the competition from now until the last day of October.   The earlier one enters, the surer one will be of selection for broadcast in the weekly program.   We plan to broadcast three competitors each week, choosing two pieces from each.   We realize that not everyone has internet facilities but hope that local facilities can be used via schools or branches of organizations such as Comhaltas Ceoltóiri Éireann and so on.   Our internet site provides the instructions and form and assistance to enter the competition.

As we embark on this voyage of discovery and we try to harness new technology to bring the world wide family of traditional gaelic music together, we realize that there will be some moments of anxt and worry but we advise that honesty is the best guide when trying to decide ones contribution.   Competition has been part of our heritage whether in sport or the arts.   We still enjoy the accounts of great competitions in the time of Fionn Mac Cumhail and Cu Chulainn in the great sagas of our ancestors.

But competition is not the raison d’etre of traditional music and we hope that people will not get to ‘carried away’ with this competition but rather partake and enjoy, whether listening in, or playing or arguing over the merits of one style or another, but above all else, enjoying the wonderful gift that is Gaelic traditional music whether you are from Ireland, Scotland or any other part of this world

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