Wednesday 22 October 2014

Glass act Liam's banging the drum for 'incredible' festival

Published 18/06/2014 | 02:30

Liam O Maonlai and his daughter Pema at the launch of the programme for 2014 Kilkenny Arts Festival. Photo: Pat Moore.
Liam O Maonlai and his daughter Pema at the launch of the programme for 2014 Kilkenny Arts Festival. Photo: Pat Moore.
Kilkenny hurler Richie Hogan got a private performance from trumpet player Niall O'Sullivan, CAMERATA Ireland at the launch of the programme for 2014 Kilkenny Arts Festival Art. Photo: Pat Moore.
Kilkenny hurler Richie Hogan got a private performance from trumpet player Niall O'Sullivan, CAMERATA Ireland at the launch of the programme for 2014 Kilkenny Arts Festival Art. Photo: Pat Moore.

MUSICIAN Liam O Maonlai will be at the cutting edge this summer as he wows audiences at the Kilkenny Arts Festival with a set of instruments made from glass.

The Hothouse Flowers singer will collaborate with Irish glass artist Roisin de Buitlear to create unique musical instruments.

O Maonlai believes the success of the festival is all down to its setting.

"The city makes the festival wholly unique," he said.

"There is history, there's hurling, there is passion and these beautiful rivers – it's incredible."

Visitors will be greeted by pop up performances, surprise sets and secret sessions. The theme this year is 'Secrets and Surprises' and festival director Eugene Downes has invited fiddlers, cellists and pianists from around the world to set up camp in the Marble City.

He said: "The festival should be an immersive experience with musicians everywhere and music notes floating down the street."

Fiddle player Martin Hayes will team up Bill Frisell and The Gloaming in a series of concerts entitled 'The Marble City Sessions'.

"I've been at this festival before but never so extensively involved," Hayes told the Irish Independent.

"I'll do a gig with The Gloaming and then all the members will float off and collaborate with other artists. It's very creative."

Former US poet laureate Billy Collins will take part in a series of public readings while Shakespeare's Globe Theatre will bring 'Much Ado About Nothing' to Castle Yard.

'Beethoven Quest' sees the Heath Quartet journey through all of the composer's string quartets and piano concertos.

The Kilkenny Arts festival will run from August 8-11.

Irish Independent

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