PIANO PLAYER and composer, Geraldine Cotter will celebrate the launch of new album in her native Ennis on Friday (June 9th).
Glór will host the launch of Ré Órga (‘golden age’) with a special concert performance this Friday evening commencing at 8pm.
Inspired by her musical journey to date, including a specific time that left a huge impression, Ennis in the 1970s, Geraldine’s second album contains a unique character and sound. Her arrangements are deeply rooted in Irish traditional music, while also being informed by the harmonic languages of jazz and classical music.
She admitted, “It’s taken about five years to produce the album. I am a piano player who has always dabbled in writing tunes over the years. I only really felt that this side of my creativity had the promise of something bigger during the COVID-19 pandemic – that shifted my focus in a big way. The album is the result of many late-night explorations, sitting at my baby grand piano, looking out at the rolling hills of Kilnamona”.
Friday’s performance will see Geraldine bring a reed organ with her. “This is a very old and delicate instrument. I was reluctant to bring it to glór, but it is almost like another member of the ensemble. It has such a unique character and sound. I hope people enjoy the music as much as we enjoyed putting it all together,” she said.
Accompanied by a stellar ensemble of well-known musicians including Eamon Cotter and Cillian Boyd on flutes, Neil Ó Lochlainn on double bass, Matthew Berrill on clarinet, Oisín Boyd and John Boyd on guitars, Gráinne Cotter and Meadhbh Hendrie on fiddles, this performance marks Geraldine’s new release on Raelach Records. The concert will feature new compositions, arrangements of rare archival material as well as new interpretations of well-known dance tunes.
A retired lecturer in Music Education at Mary Immaculate College in Limerick, Geraldine features regularly on TV, most recently on TG4’s Snugcheol and Slí na mBeaglaoich. In 2019, along with her brother Eamonn, she was the subject of the TG4 documentary Sé Mo Laoch. Geraldine has contributed to the documentaries Céard an Cheoil, Canúintí, Geantrai and Gradam Cheoil TG4.
In 2017 she was presented with the MÓRglór Award, for outstanding contribution to traditional music in Co Clare. Geraldine features on over 30 albums including her debut solo album Piano+
Her publications include Transforming Tradition: Irish Traditional Music in Ennis Co. Clare 1950-1980 (2016), Rogha- Geraldine Cotter’s Choice (2008), Geraldine Cotter’s Tin Whistle Tutor (Ossian Publications, 1983) and Seinn an Piano (Ossian Publications, 1996) – which was the first-ever tutor for Irish traditional music for piano. She has contributed articles to The Art of Place: People and Landscape of County Clare, The Companion to Irish Traditional Music and Encyclopaedia of Music in Ireland.
Geraldine earned her PhD from Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick. Her research interests include: teaching and learning of Irish traditional music, teachers as bridge builders between schools and community, community formation and learning in social contexts.
She teaches and performs regularly at summer schools and events internationally such as the Willie Clancy Summer School, the Catskills Irish Art Week, Rencontre Musicale Irlandais in France and Masters of Tradition Bantry House. She is a member of the Boruma Trio and Shaskeen. She also performs with the Irish Concertina Ensemble and the Performing Landscapes Collective. She has performed with musicians such as Peadar O’Loughlin, Maeve Donnelly, Eileen O’Brien, Martin Hayes, Liz Carroll, Joanie Madden, Cherish the Ladies and Joe Burke.