16 January 2021 The Irish Film & Television Network
Slí na mBeaglaoich kicks-off on TG4, Sundays from 26th April at 9.30pm
17 Apr 2020 : News Desk
Cormac and Breanndán Ó Beaglaoich
Renowned West Kerry traditional musicians, Father and son, Breanndán and Cormac Ó Beaglaoich travel up the West coast of Ireland from Kerry to Donegal in their 40-year-old camper van, Beauty, on a journey of musical discovery.

In this exciting new six-part traditional music series, they meet with friends old and new, traditional musicians and artists as they embark on a trip of a lifetime. In what will be an eye-opening journey, they will unearth some of the most exciting musicians, singers, and dancers of the Wild Atlantic Way. They will dig deep to explore the traditional music of all the regions they visit, showcasing exciting new talent as well as celebrating established musicians-who embody the tradition of their county. We are with the pair every step of the way as they travel through Kerry, Clare, Galway, Mayo, Sligo, before finally reaching their ancestral home of Donegal.

The Oliver Award nominee Cormac Begley and his father traditional music legend Breanndán, who is known for his spirit for adventure most recently seen in the award-winning documentary, Camino Voyage, live for their music but this is not only a musical journey but a personal one too. They have a unique relationship as a father and son who both share the same passion. Young and old, they bring a musician’s perspective to the telling of the tale of the traditional music of Ireland’s western coastline. Along the way they take in all the great sights, experience some mishaps, enjoy plenty of laughs, and their camper van, Beauty has her own issues, as together they explore what defines the music of the West coast and each other.

“When Cormac asked me to do this project with him, to travel across Ireland meeting with musicians and artists and all sorts of people, that’s something different entirely,” says Breanndán. “So I am hopeful that we’ll spend time together, to talk to each other, and maybe a few things will come out about me that he didn’t know and maybe something from his perspective that I didn’t know until now.”

Cormac added, “My father was my first teacher, he encouraged me to do my own thing and to be honest with my music and emotions. He’s a unique individual and I’m looking forward to spending this special time together, expressing ourselves through our music and getting to know each other better as adults.”

This series will sate the appetite of any traditional music lover with familiar, fun characters at the helm, enjoying a road trip through some of the most musical areas in the country with a wide variety of fantastic and inspiring music in the line-up throughout.

Episode one sees the pair set off on their trip from their home place and Breanndán’s famous house on wheels in Baile na bPoc, Co. Kerry. They get a good West Kerry send off from local musician, accordion player, Tommy “The Lord” O’Connor and the Ó Beagloaich Clann themselves, as we see a first-time performance from Cormac and his three siblings Bréanainn, Clíodhna, and Conchúbhair. They meet with artist, Liam O’Neill, who explains that Breanndán’s criticism of his box playing skills made him the painter that he is today. They find uilleann piper, Rob Fell, in the Kerry landmark, the Blennerville Windmill. Cormac learns how the civil war affected the historical town of Ardfert and they see how Kerry music can be heard the world over from fiddlers, Aidan Connolly and Andrea Palandri. Seannós singer Sláine Ní Chathalláin joins them on Banna Strand for a song before they head for the Kerry Writers Museum in Listowel where they meet local singer Mícheál Ó Sé, they learn of North Kerry music styles with fiddler, Geraldine O’Callaghan and accordion player, Graham Guerin. Sliabh Luachra concertina player Michelle O’Sullivan is joined by her son Conall Mac Thréinfhir on Uilleann Pipes and Paul de Grae on guitar in a performance, before Cormac and Breanndán board the ferry across the Shannon to Co. Clare.

Produced by Tyrone Productions, the first episode of Slí na mBeaglaoich will start on Sunday, April 26th and will continue to air Sundays on TG4 at 9:30 pm.

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