Arts Council, in association with the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social
Sciences (UCC) and the School of Music and Theatre (UCC), has appointed the
internationally renowned performer and teacher Desi Wilkinson as the Traditional
Artist in Residence at University College Cork for 2015-2016. Wilkinson will
deliver a series of concerts, workshops and seminars over the course of his
one-year residency, which began in October 2015.
Desi Wilkinson is an
internationally acclaimed Irish traditional musician with wide ranging
experience of professional music performance. Known for his eclectic musical
interests, Desi is an experienced and popular performer and teacher. Originally
from Belfast, Desi has a distinctive Ulster style and technique but with
influences from the flute traditions of Sligo and Roscommon. He plays concert
flute, tin whistle, fiddle, bagpipes and clarinet and he has a strong interest
in traditional song. He has performed and recorded with a wide range of artists
from the world of Irish traditional music and has played at national theatres
and festivals throughout Europe, North America and Japan. A founder member of
the group Cran, Desi has recorded and toured extensively with the group and has
also released two solo albums.
During the 1990s Desi was involved in
several international music projects, including Hent St Jakez (the
story in music and words of the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage) and The
West Wind (a fusion of musical traditions, sponsored by La Villette in
Paris and the theatre Quartz in Brest, which took place during L'Imaginaire
Irlandaise). Other significant projects include La Traversée
(2001), Senegal to Donegal (2002) and Buffalo in the Castle
(2009) in which connections between Irish music and American 'Old Timey'
music were explored.
Prior to his appointment as Traditional Artist in
Residence in UCC, Desi worked as a full time lecturer at the International
Centre for Music Studies at Newcastle University. He has published several
articles about the social and aesthetic aspects of Irish traditional music and
his book on the dance music and socio political world in Brittany entitled
Call to the Dance was published in 2015 (Pendragon Press, New York).
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