Yesterday we had the first official event of the Two Cities One Book Festival – a reading at the Kill Avenue Fire Station along with a performance of brand new music composed for the 1916 centenary by Tim Doyle and performed by Rhithim na Réabhlóide (from Comhaltas in Bray)
35 young people (aged 10-17) have been practising since November and they were note perfect. There were 4 movements to the music: Prelude, Battle, the Executions, and Dóchas (Hope). I did three short readings folded into the performance and it all went off incredibly well. Those young musicians were a credit to their conductor. The music was eerily powerful – at one stage you could have been forgiven for thinking that ghosts had slipped into the room to sing for us.
The audience were: parents, grandparents and siblings of the musicians, the firemen, some locals. It all fitted together beautifully and it was a gorgeous day, the red tenders parked at an angle outside, gleaming and ready – but no callouts, luckily. Afterwards there was tea and there were fresh-made scones (by Steve, who also played the pipes to get us going in the beginning) and other goodies, while the younger kids were entertained by friendly firemen: they got to slide down the pole and sit in the rigs. When we were leaving, one very small boy was resisting getting out of the cab because he didn’t want to go home, ever. So I’d say at least one future was decided there and then – a good day’s work.
This was a lovely way to kick off the festival, even if the event doesn’t feature on the printed programme. Enormous thanks to Gary Dowling, Las Fallon (DFB Historian) and all the crew at Station 12; and to Tim Doyle and the musicians, plus all the parents who make it possible for their kids to pursue an interest like this. There’s hope for the future after all.
(photos by Gary Dowling, with permission)