Céadaoin, 13 Márta 2024

MACALLA - Comóradh ceolmhar daichead bliain

MACALLA - Comóradh ceolmhar daichead bliain

 

MACALLA - Comóradh ceolmhar daichead bliain

Féasta ceoil agus cuimhní a bhí againn sa Sugar Club nuair tháinig mná misniúla Macalla le chéile leis an dá scór a cheiliúradh.

Ceoltóirí agus amhránaithe ó gach cúige sa tír a bhí lonnaithe sa phríomhchathair ag an am a tháinig le chéile den gcéad uair ar an 8ú Márta 1984 a chuaigh ar an ardáin. Ceiliúradh a bhí ann ar an saibhreas ceoil is amhrán a bhí ag na mná cruthaitheacha seo. Is beag aitheantas ná deiseanna seinnte a bhí á bhfáil acu, ar stáitsí ná na tíre daichead bliain ó shin. Lán tí a bhí ann ar lá idirnáisiúna na mban 2024 ag ceolchorm cheiliúrtha a d’eagraigh Gael Linn.

Thángadar le chéile den gcéad uair ag an Dublin Folk Festival 1984. Lá Idirnáisiúnta na mBan a bhí ann an uair sin fosta. In Ostán stairiúil Ormord, ar chéanna na príomhchathrach, óstán atá luaite ag James Joyce ina shaothar iomráiteach Ulysses a bhí a gcéad cheolchoirm acu. Ní raibh i gceist ag na mná ceolmhara seo ach aon ócáid amháin a eagrú chun an lá iomráiteach a chomóradh agus a thaispeáint don saol an saibhreas agus an tallann a bhí acu agus a laighead aird is a bhí á fáil acu. Tháinig na sluaite chuig an chéad cheolchoirm sin agus go deimhin cuireadh an-chuid acu ó dhoras leis an easpa spáis.

Chuaigh cáil na hócáide ceolmhaire sin i bhfad agus i gcéin agus níorbh fhada go raibh iarratais acu, teacht agus ceolchoirmeacha a dhéanamh áiteanna éagsúla ar fud na tíre, Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy ina measc. Fuaireadar cuireadh ó The Late Late Show ar RTÉ dreas ceoil a dhéanamh agus fuaireadar cuireadh ón BBC i mBéal Feirste an clár iomráiteach As I Roved Out a dhéanamh. Tugadh cuireadh dóibh chomh maith deireadh seachtaine ceoil a dhéanamh i Londain.

A bhuíochas do Riobárd Mac Goráin, ceannródaí i nGael Linn ag an am, tugadh cuireadh dóibh ceirnín a dhéanamh rud a dhein… ceirnín iomráiteach MACALLA - Mná na hÉireann le clúdach álainn greanta ag an ealaíontóir Pauline Bewick. Dheineadar an tarna ceirnín le Gael linn tamall ina dhiaidh san, Macalla 2.

Scaip na ceoltóirí ón gcathair de réir a chéile, d’fhilleadar ar a mbailte dúchais, leithéidí Mary Mac Namara ar ais go Co. an Chláir, Máirín Fahy ar ais go Gaillimh, Patsy Broderick go Co. Chiarraí, Clodach McRory go Beal Feiriste, Máiréad Ni Mhaonaigh lena grúpa Altan etc. ach thánadar go léir le chéile chun ócáidí comórtha éagsúla a dhéanamh thar na mbliana.

Is mór againn mar sin go raibh siad beo sláintiúil chun an daicheadú bliain a cheiliúradh sa Sugar Club ar 8 Márta 2024 i gcomhar le Gael Linn, urraithe ag Foras na Gaeilge.

 

 

Macalla – A Musical celebration of forty years

 

A Feast of music and memories was presented by the great all=female Macalla in the Sugar Club, Dublin for their fortieth anniversary.

  

Musicians and singers, more than twenty of them from every province in the country who were based in the capital at the time came together for the first time in 1984 as Macalla.

It was a celebration of the wealth of music and song these creative women possessed but who had been gaining little recognition or opportunities to perform on stages across the country in general.

 

They came together for the first time at the Dublin Folk Festival also on International Women's Day in 1984. The concert was in Dublin's historic Ormord hotel on the quays which was mentioned by Joyce in his great work Ulysses.

 

These musical women only intended to organise a one-off event to mark the prestigious day and to demonstrate the wealth of talent they possessed and the lack of attention they were receiving as performers. Great numbers came to the concert so much so that many had to be turned away because of limited space back then. On this year’s international Women’s Day 2024, it was standing room only.

 

Due to the acclaim arising from the original musical event, Macalla soon had requests to perform in various venues around the country, including the Willie Clancy Summer School. They were invited to play a set on The Late Late Show and to make a renowned BBC As I Roved Out programme. They were invited to perform at a music weekend in London.

 

Thanks to Riobard Mac Góráin, a pioneer in Gael Linn at the time, they were invited to make a record - Macalla - Mná na hÉireann with a beautiful sleeve by artist Pauline Bewick. They made a second record with Gael Linn some time later, Macalla 2.

The musicians gradually dispersed from the city and returned to their home towns, such as Mary McNamara back to Co. Clare, Máirín Fahy back to Galway, Patsy Broderick to Co. Kerry, Clodagh McGrory to Belfast and Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh with her group Altan etc etc but occasionally they all came together to mark different celebrations over the years.

 

We are lucky that they were able to congregate once more 40 years later.

 

Music lovers were thrilled to hear them performing again on their fortieth anniversary. The concert was organised in conjunction with Gael Linn and sponsored by Foras na Gaeilge.