On January 26th, 2016, the University of Limerick announced a new three-year arts patronage award through the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance. The award, entitled Irish World Academy Artist, University of Limerick and worth €60,000, facilitated the creative process of selected artists across a three- year period. The Irish World Academy was grateful to the University of Limerick Foundation (ULF) for its generous nancial support of this initiative.
The first artist to receive the award was County Clare fiddler, Martin Hayes, who commenced his three-year association with the Irish World Academy in January, 2016.
Martin Hayes is regarded as one of the most extraordinary talents to emerge in the world of Irish traditional music. His unique sound, his mastery of the ddle, his acknowledgement of the past and his shaping of the future of the music combine to create an astonishing and formidable artistic intelligence. He has drawn musical inspiration from sources as diverse as the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, the Spanish viola da gamba master Jordi Savall and the jazz genius John Coltrane, but remains grounded in the music he grew up with in his own locality in Feakle, Co. Clare. The music Hayes learned at home from his late father, P. Joe Hayes, the renowned founder/leader of the long-lived Tulla Céilí Band, profoundly influenced his musical accent and ideas. His latest performing project is with The Gloaming, a band that has burst on the music scene with a rare combination of Irish tunes, ancient sean-nós song, brave explorations and exhilarating and explosive medleys with a distinctive new sound. The virtuosic fiddles of Hayes and Ó Raghallaigh, the soaring voice of Ó Lionáird, Cahill’s minimalist guitar work and Bartlett’s sparse, yet insistent, piano deliver an astonishing, combustible and unforgettable listening experience, deeply rooted in the tradition but moving into an entirely new musical dimension of rhythm, melody and texture.
The first part of Hayes’s residency began in 2016 and included work with the Martin Hayes Quartet and with members Liz Knowles (fiddle), Doug Wieselman (bass clarinet), Dennis Cahill (guitar).