Tuesday 21 October 2014

The band of brothers in treasure trove of trad pictures

Published 23/01/2014 | 02:30

Eddie Furey of the Fureys looks at a photo taken of his brothers by photographer  Jim Maginn. Photo: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland.
Eddie Furey of the Fureys looks at a photo taken of his brothers by photographer Jim Maginn. Photo: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland.
Frankie Gavin beside a picture ( on right) taken of him in 1986 in London by photographer Jim Maginn. Photo: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland.
Frankie Gavin beside a picture ( on right) taken of him in 1986 in London by photographer Jim Maginn. Photo: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland.

A treasure trove of photographs showing Irish traditional music at its best has been uncovered for the Temple Bar Trad Festival.

Photographer Jim Maginn's evocative exhibition 'The Light of Other Days' pays tribute to some of Ireland's greatest traditional musicians.

Over the course of 27 years, Jim Maginn photographed some of Ireland's most iconic singers, bodhran players and fiddlers as they performed around the country.

Banjo player Margaret Barry, singer Ewan MacColl and fiddler Frankie Gavin all feature in the exhibition, which runs at Dublin's Gallery of Photography.

Ballyfermot band The Fureys posed for Mr Maginn in the late 1980s and Eddie Furey was among the first to get a look at the exhibition yesterday.

"I do get a bit nostalgic when I look at the picture because my brother Paul in the last picture passed away," Eddie Furey told The Irish Independent.

"He'll be 12 years gone this Fathers' Day. Every night of the week we mention him on stage. It's nice having that image and that memory here."

Eddie believes the exhibition will help remind people of the historic and cultural significance of traditional music.

"People don't come to Ireland to listen to Garth Brooks or Michael Buble, they come here to hear Irish music. But perhaps I'm saying that because I'm jealous of their looks," he laughed. Mr Maginn's passion for music was the inspiration behind the exhibition. "I don't play music. But my love of the music is expressed through the photography," he said.

"The Ewan MacColl shot is one of my favourites. I spent two weeks shadowing him before I took it.

"He had one bit of protocol I didn't want to break; no photos during a live performance."

Fiddler Frankie Gavin also posed for Mr Maginn – even though he has no recollection of the picture being taken.

"None whatsoever, but I think the pictures are fantastic," he said.

"You get a sense of the musicians and their history."

The exhibition is part of the Temple Bar Trad Festival, which runs until January 26.

Irish Independent

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