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Retracing your ancestors’ footsteps through sound

Here’s a lovely piece from the south of Ireland courtesy of Michael McDermott, who tells the story of today’s sound piece like this:

“My family came from Ireland in the late nineteenth century. My aunt, who is American, has made dozens of trips to Ireland in her life. In early 2015 she spent three months in County Clare where I went to visit. At first I was struck by the awe and majesty of the Irish countryside. Near her cottage I could see the iconic rolling hills, abandoned castle ruins and the stark limestone landscapes that look like the surface of an alien planet.”17095456027_2e241b0743_z
“Throughout my journey I recorded sounds of birds, wind, cows, sheep, bells, fences, chapels, cemeteries and the sea and imagined that these songs of the land were the same ones my ancestors heard.”
“In the middle of my visit we travelled to the Dingle Peninsula. This is, they say, the Western edge of Europe. For me this area held some idealistic notion of the dreams millions of Irish had in the nineteenth century, gazing westward to set out to America for a better life.”
“These recordings are from a bicycle trip I took around the coast of Dingle to a small port on the cliffs of the ocean called Ventry. In much of Dingle the people still speak the ancient language of Irish (or Gaelic) which you can heard interspersed with birds, wind and the sea.”17302939065_7b638f3462_z
“The reimagined sound piece ‘Corca Dhuibhne’ (which is what the Irish call the Dingle Peninsula) contains sounds from Ventry, some from The Burren and a penny whistle performer from the Cliffs of Moher. I wanted to create a soundscape that would translate the visual beauty of this ancient land by highlighting some of its aural beauty, both of which seems to exist outside of time.”
City version:

Memory version: