New CD Publication from ITMA ‑ The New Demesne: Field Recordings Made by Alan Lomax in Ireland, 1951

ITMA is delighted to announce the publication of 2 CDs featuring field recordings of Irish traditional song, music and stories made by Alan Lomax in Ireland in 1951, with Robin Roberts and Séamus Ennis. The 66 tracks are accompanied by a 68-page booklet documenting the Lomax collecting trip, as well as notes on the songs, tunes and stories. For this publication audio remastering was provided by Harry Bradshaw, music transcriptions and setting by Jackie Small, graphic design and layout by Terry Moylan, and compilation, research, text and production by Nicholas Carolan.

Lomax 2022 Craft 800


Field recordings of Irish traditional song, music and stories

made by Alan Lomax in Ireland in 1951, with Robin Roberts and Seamus Ennis

with an account of the Lomax collecting trip and notes on songs, tunes & stories

ITMA-ACE CD 201-1&2

In January 1951 the famous American folksong collector and singer Alan Lomax, accompanied by the American singer Robin Roberts, came to Ireland for the first time. The purpose of the visit was to make sound recordings of Irish traditional songs and instrumental music; these were to be published as the first of a commercial series of long-playing discs (LPs), a new technology which had been introduced in 1948. The series would become The Columbia World Library of Folk and Primitive Music, and recording would be carried out on magnetic tape, another new technology of 1948. Guided in Ireland by the uilleann piper and singer Seamus Ennis, who was working as a professional collector with Radio Éireann and who would feature prominently on their recordings, and assisted by the Irish Folklore Commission and Radio Éireann, Lomax and Roberts recorded for weeks in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Donegal. Selections from the resulting tapes were issued on the Ireland LP of the Columbia series in 1955 and re-issued on Rounder CD in 1998. The two new ITMA CDs are companion volumes to this CD, and constitute an especially valuable documentation of the Irish-language song tradition and women’s and children’s songs of seventy years ago.

The ITMA CDs (66 tracks, 145 minutes) feature the Co. Cork singers Elizabeth Cronin, Seán Eoghain Ó Súilleabháin, Diarmuid Ó Riordáin, Máire Ní Shúilleabháin, Gobnait Ní Chróinín, Peigí Ní Scanláin, Máire Ní Cheocháin, and Mickey Cronin; the Co. Galway singers Colm Ó Caodháin, Meaigí Nic Dhonncha, Beairtle Ó Conaola, Seán Jeaic Mac Donncha, and Seán ’ac Dhonncha; the Co. Galway fiddle players Aggie & Bridie White, flute players Eddie Moloney & Chet Coughlin, and the Ballinakill Ceili Band; the Co. Donegal singer Cití Ní Ghallchóir, fiddle player and storyteller Mickey Doherty, and fiddle player and lilter Neillidh Boyle; the singing and uilleann piping of Seamus Ennis of Dublin; and the singing and guitar playing of Robin Roberts and Alan Lomax. The CDs are accompanied by a 68-page A5 booklet which contextualises and details the collecting trip and afterlife of the recordings, and their position in the history of Irish traditional music.

The Lomax Irish recordings (the surviving originals of which are in the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress) have been made freely available to ITMA for publication by Dr Anna Lomax Wood of the Association for Cultural Equity (ACE), New York, with the cooperation of ACE staff, especially Nathan Salsburg; the recordings can be heard streamed online at Audio remastering here is by Harry Bradshaw, music transcriptions & setting by Jackie Small, graphic design & layout by Terry Moylan, and compilation, research, text & production by Nicholas Carolan.

ITMA-ACE CD 201-1&2; 2 CDs; booklet (A5 format, 68 pp.); price 25 euros.

Available to purchase from ITMA online shop and at ITMA premises 73 Merrion Square, Dublin 2.

Postage extra at standard Irish rates.

Published 2021 by the Irish Traditional Music Archive – Taisce Cheol Dúchais Éireann 73 Merrion Square, Dublin 2, Ireland, tel. +353-(0)1-661 9699, website in association with the Folk Music Society of Ireland – Cumann Cheol Tíre Éireann and the Association for Cultural Equity, New York.

ITMA is supported by the Office of Public Works, and financial support for the publication has been received from the Folk Music Society of Ireland – Cumann Cheol Tíre Éireann, the Mícheál Ó Domhnaill Ciste/Fund, the Arts Council – An Chomhairle Ealaíon, and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.


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