John Toal explores traditional Irish music strongholds for new television series

John Toal explores traditional Irish music strongholds for new television series

A NEW series on traditional music, in Irish, began on BBC Two Northern Ireland next week.

Ceol le Toal, is a four-part series made for BBC Northern Ireland by Big Mountain Productions with support from Northern Ireland Screen’s Irish Language Broadcast Fund

Presenter John Toal taps into the range of styles and talent across Ulster and includes some of the greats of contemporary Irish music, including Kila.

The series begins with an exclusive performance from Sheerbuzz from Letterkenny, on Monday, February 14, then moves to Lisburn where John meets the trio Trú before singer-songwriter Dani Larkin chats to John about the themes that currently occupy her compositions.

In the second programme, John heads for Monaghan where he meets Dysania to find out where they got their name and their distinctive sound mixing rap, rock and traditional instruments.

It’s then back to Donegal where the singer Conor Ó Gallachóir explains why the songwriter Niall McBride wrote An Trucailín Donn before a performance by Mary Coughlan at the Stendhal Festival in Co. Derry.

The following week, John’s musical journey takes him to Culdaff, Cookstown and Belfast. Thatchers of the Acropolis mix the old with the new to create something distinctly otherworldly.

In Dunfanaghy he meets the young jazz musicians Micheál and Conor Murray, while

singer-songwriter Bernadette Morris talks about Co Tyrone’s musical history and its influence on her own music. Composer Ryan Molloy from Pomeroy performs in the Harty Room in Queen’s University, and Kíla bid a rousing farewell for the final programme with a performance at the Stendhal Festival.

All episodes of the programme will be available to view on BBC iPlayer.

Ceol le Toal is broadcast live on Mondays on BBC Two Northern Ireland at 10pm and later available on BBC iPlayer