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Festival Club: What to bring when we leave

Live performance by Tom French and Danny Diamond


Date: Thursday March 26th
Venue: The Library Bar, Haddington Hotel
Time: 9:30pm
Cost: €15 / €12
Age: Adult


A collaborative commission of spoken word and music, culminating in a unique continuous live performance by Tom French and Danny Diamond.
Each artist stretches the other’s narratives in spoken and unspoken airs, finding solace in the unexpected places between. Tom French’s poetry draws on the traditional arts, folklore and rural Irish life; he writes vividly about traditional music, the people who play(ed) it, and the context in which it lives. As a traditional fiddle player, music archivist and researcher, Danny Diamond’s compositions bring a corresponding unconventional sensitivity to a similar sphere that informs French’s work.

A Solstice Arts Centre commission creatively produced by Belinda Quirke.

Tom French has received bursaries in literature from An Chomhairle Ealaíon/The Arts Council, Ireland, in 1999, 2009, and 2016, and his work was awarded the inaugural Ted McNulty Prize. His first collection Touching the Bones was awarded the Forward Prize for First Collection 2002. He received the O’Shaughnessy Award for Poetry in 2016, The Dermot Healy International Poetry Prize in 2015. His latest collection The Way to Work was published in May 2016. In Touching the Bones, his first collection of 2001, through The Fire Step of 2009, and into Midnightstown from 2014, French delves into the mysteries of family, the loss of forebears, and the intensely felt absence of what used to be immediately to hand—Ireland’s rural life. Though digitized Ireland may have supplanted rural craft, that craft lives yet in reader and poet.

Danny Diamond is a musician from Ireland, who plays fiddle, sings, composes music, and works as a recording engineer/producer. He comes from a renowned family of traditional musicians with a deep cultural heritage in the North of Ireland. Danny has toured worldwide, playing venues such as the Sydney Opera House, The Southbank Centre (London) and National Concert Hall (Ireland); and has shared the stage with artists such as The National and Justin Vernon (Bon Iver). He is currently based between Minneapolis, USA and Ireland. He tours internationally as fiddle player and Music Co-Ordinator with Teac Damsa’s multi award-winning dance theatre show Swan Lake /Loch na hEala, for which he also co-wrote and arranged the score. Danny is currently working on a new solo album of fiddle music and songs, new and old, for release in 2020.



L: Danny Diamond R: Tom French