Sean-nós singing is considered to be a distant cousin of Fadó singing in Portugal. This concert in Triskel Christchurch, which is part of Cork Folk Festival, will bring together two of Cork’s finest Sean-nós singers, Máire Ní Chéileachair and Nell Ní Chróinín, to sing alongside one of Portugal’s finest and newest Fadó singers, Claudia Aurora.
Fadó music is a form of Portuguese singing that is often associated with pubs, cafés and restaurants. This music genre has much earlier origins but is generally placed as being originated in the 1820s in Portugal. Fadó is generally known for how expressive in nature it is, as well as being profoundly melancholic. Generally in fadó music, the singer will sing about the hard realities of the daily life, balancing both resignation and hopefulness that a resolution to its torments can still occur. It can be described by using the Portuguese word “saudade”, which means “longing” and stands for a feeling of loss. This loss is generally a permanent loss and of long-term consequences. Fadó music often has one or two 12 string guitars, one or two violas, and sometimes a small 8 string, bass.
Sean-nós singing is a highly ornamented style of solo, unaccompanied singing defined by Tomás Ó Canainn as:
…a rather complex way of singing in Gaelic, confined mainly to some areas in the west and south of the country. It is unaccompanied and has a highly ornamented melodic line… Not all areas have the same type of ornamentation — one finds a very florid line in Connacht, contrasting with a somewhat less decorated one in the south, and, by comparison, a stark simplicity in the northern songs…
Ó Canainn also asserts that, ‘…no aspect of Irish music can be fully understood without a deep appreciation of sean-nós singing. It is the key which opens every lock’ – Wikipedia
Following up her sold-out concert as part of the inaugural Songlines Fadó Series, in London, last September, Portuguese maverick fadista CLAUDIA AURORA makes her Cork début.
Claudia Aurora is a fadista and songwriter from Oporto, Portugal. Claudia sings fadó – traditional Portuguese folk-blues – like no one else. Following in the tradition of great female fadistas like Mariza and Ana Moura, Claudia is the powerful voice of fadó’s new generation. Her original songs enrapture with the spine-tingling emotion of loss and yearning. Her extraordinary voice, drenched in a sadness that courses through the audience, gives unique dramatic expression to the soaring sound of Portugal. She will be joined at the Triskel Concert with musicians, Javier Moreno Olivares (Portuguese Guitar), Pavlos Carvalho (Bouzouki), Jonathan Short (double bass), Kate Shortt (Cello).
“A beguiling voice! And her instrumentalists are superb!” The Scotsman
“As she projected her voice across the audience you could feel the power and soul in the performance; this gave me goose bumps, and made me feel at ease and memorised by her beautiful voice.” Norwich Evening News
“Drenched in emotion and drama” BBC Radio 3
“Rising star of Portuguese Fadó” Songlines
Máire Ní Chéileachair
Máire Ní Chéileachair from Cill na Martra received the TG4 Amhránaí na Bliana/Singer of the Year award at a gala concert on 4 February this year. Máire was brought up in the Múscraí Gaeltacht area which is renowned for the strength and richness of its living traditions in Irish song, music and language. Máire takes part regularly in Oireachtas na Gaeilge where she has won Comórtas na mBan several times. She has also been teaching sean-nós singing in the Muskerry Gaeltacht since 2001. She is frequently heard singing at the Cork Singers Club and at festivals around Ireland and overseas where she has brought sean-nós singing to audiences. A selection of her songs, in Irish and English, is available on a CD called Guth ar Fán (2013).
Nell Ní Chróinín
Nell Ní Chróinín is a sean-nós singer who comes from the Múscraí Gaeltacht of West Cork. Nell began singing at the age of 11 and was particularly influenced by local singers such as Máire Ní Chéilleachair and Eoiní Maidhcí Ó Suilleabháin, from whom she was learnt many a song. She was the youngest ever recipient of TG4’s Gradam Ceoil Traditional Singer of the Year award in 2012 and at the Oireachtas na Gaeilge in 2014 she was awarded the Corn Uí Riada. Nell joined the band Danú in 2016 and features on their album, Ten Thousand Miles.