Main: From the Library: A Taste of Ireland with Elrik Merlin

This week on Radio Riel has very much a Celtic flavour, and today is no excep­tion. Gabi will be pre­sent­ing our St Patrick­’s Day cel­e­bra­tions – not to men­tion two fab­u­lous Balls in Cale­don Rothe­say in Sec­ond Life – tomor­row, but in the mean­time, today’s pro­gramme fea­tures a selec­tion of Irish music from sev­er­al gen­res beyond the Celtic and tra­di­tion­al Irish music that you will no doubt be treat­ed to tomor­row. Of course there’ll be some of the lat­ter too, but that’s not the main focus of the day.

Instead, today’s pro­gramme includes a wealth of Irish pop­u­lar and easy lis­ten­ing music, of the sort that you might find in lit­tle record shops in small towns across Ire­land, along with the more famil­iar tra­di­tion­al music you’ll be more used to. So you’ll hear beau­ti­ful, flow­ing pieces based around Irish themes – notably from song­writer, pianist, music pro­duc­er, arranger and direc­tor Phil Coul­ter – and bal­lads, some of which have dis­tinct coun­try music influ­ences (hard­ly sur­pris­ing, per­haps that the tra­di­tion­al music that devel­oped into Amer­i­can coun­try music has come back home). There are some oth­er Amer­i­can con­nec­tions today too, such as a col­lec­tion of vin­tage record­ings by lead­ing Irish Amer­i­can fid­dler Michael Cole­man (1889–1945), released by the Cole­man Irish Music Cen­tre in Gur­teen, Co. Sli­go. You’ll also hear the work of Shaun Dav­ey, not­ed for his large-scale orches­tral works inspired by Irish his­to­ry, and pianist Mícheál Ó Súil­leab­háin, who is also Pro­fes­sor of Music at the Irish World Music Cen­tre of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Lim­er­ick.

Bean­nach­taí na Féile Pádraig!

Today’s pro­gramme is pre­sent­ed by Elrik Mer­lin and pro­duced by Radio Riel in con­junc­tion with our friends at the Alexan­dri­an Free Library Con­sor­tium of Sec­ond Life. You can lis­ten to the pro­gramme in-world now at, or sim­ply click here to start your play­er, if your brows­er is con­fig­ured to do so. Lis­ten­ers in the Unit­ed States are encour­aged to tune in using this link: 

For more infor­ma­tion on the Alexan­dri­an Free Library, cur­rent exhibits and the work of Con­sor­tium mem­bers in gen­er­al, please vis­it the Alexan­dri­an Free Library web­site, or one of their branch­es in-world.

Pho­to: “Live musi­cians in Oliv­er St. John Gog­a­r­ty Pub”, by Ari­zona Fox, cour­tesy of

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