Zoë Conway, John McIntyre with Shaháb and Sháyán Coohe
Music Network is delighted to co-present the second instalment of its Artist Residency 2017 with The National Opera House and Wexford County Council. This exciting concert series curated by guitarist Redmond O’Toole features a wealth of international and Irish musicians. On Thursday 20th July, traditional Irish musicians Zoë Conway and John McIntyre perform for the very first time with Iranian-born and Dublin-based brothers Shaháb and Sháyán Coohe in a rare fusion of Persian and Irish traditional music.
Husband and wife folk duo Zoë Conway and John McIntyre possess an outstanding facility to draw pieces into their repertoire from other genres such as classical, jazz and world music and express this material in a way which not only displays the sheer range and knowledge of both instrumentalists, but also exhibits the wonderful versatility of their instruments. Their concert with the Coohe Brothers is a unique chance to hear santoor, tombak and tar combined with one of the finest fiddle and guitar duos of our time.
In addition to the concert musicians young and old will have the opportunity to participate in a workshop with Zoë Conway on fiddle and John McIntyre on guitar to learn about technique and Irish traditional music repertoire in a fun and relaxed environment. No pens or paper needed, but bring something to record on! The guitar workshop will be in standard tuning. Minimum of 3 years’ experience on your instrument required. Thursday 20th July, 3-5pm in the National Opera House. Please contact Aisling White firstname.lastname@example.org for further details and to book a place.
There will also be an opportunity to attend a short performance and talk with Shaháb and Sháyán Coohe. This event will take place in Wexford Library at 12.30pm on Thursday 20th July, 2017, ahead of the evening performance in the National Opera House. The Iranian brothers will explain the intricacies and nuances of Persian music and discuss and demonstrate the instruments that they play. Please contact Sinead O’Gorman Sinead.O'Gorman@wexfordcoco.ie for further details and to book a place.
Zoë Conway and John McIntyre have released two recordings to date - the newest release is a superb collection of live European performances, Live in Concert, released in spring 2017. The album showcases their mesmerising musical interaction on-stage, and also reveals some of their more virtuosic repertoire outside of the Irish traditional genre. Relaxed and atmospheric, the respect and understanding that they have of traditional Irish music and song also shines through. Their debut duo album, entitled Go Mairir I Bhfad (Long Life To You), received a glorious 5 stars from The Irish Times. For this unique album, they commissioned twelve leading Irish composers to each compose a piece specifically for Zoë and John, for fiddle and guitar, with the aim of collectively presenting a snapshot of traditional Irish music alive today. The renowned composers who took part in the project were Liz Carroll, Steve Cooney, Frankie Gavin, Andy Irvine, Charlie Lennon, Dónal Lunny, Máirtín O’Connor, Peadar Ó Riada, Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, Tommy Peoples, Niall Vallely and Bill Whelan. The release of these albums has brought international attention to the duo, and they are increasingly in demand in Ireland and abroad for performances, talks and workshops.
Born into a family of music lovers, Shaháb Coohe started his music education aged 8, under the direction of Majid Kiani, one of the contemporary masters of the santoor (a trapezoid-shaped stringed instrument that pre-dates the dulcimer and piano). He also plays violin and is currently studying performance at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. Sháyán Coohe started playing the tombak under the direction of Master Arjang Kamkar at the age of seven and went on to study tar (a plucked string instrument which pre-dates the lute and guitar). Sháyán continued his studies at the Conservatoire of Music in Tehran aged 11. He also plays daf, setar and tanbour and studies clarinet at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin.
The Music Network Artist Residency Programme 2017 was developed to provide the selected musician with access to resources to curate a concert series in collaboration with Wexford County Council Arts Office and The National Opera House, Wexford. Curated by guitarist Redmond O’Toole, the series includes concerts with soprano Sinéad Campbell-Wallace, Italian classical guitarist Oscar Ghiglia and the International Guitar Quartet. In conjunction with the concert series a Learning and Participation programme has been developed that will engage with a range of community groups. Full details at nationaloperahouse.ie.
“…simply one of the best folk duos on the planet”
BBC [on Conway & McIntyre]