A Busy Summer of Festivals and Fiestas.

Liz Hanks & Michael Walsh

It’s been a hectic summer for me. It started off with the very cool Not Quite Light Festival in Salford. Curated by photographer, musician and creative genius Simon Buckley it covered multiple art genres and new works. I performed with the wonderful cellist and my neighbour Liz Hank and we premiered our multimedia collaboration with Simon Buckley. Sian Astley from https://moregeous.com enthused: “Michael Walsh and Liz Hanks silenced the room”.

Simon Buckley commented:

“ Michael and Liz performed at my Not Quite Light festival in the machine room of a working mill. Whilst they performed we projected images onto them and the wall behind. The atmosphere that they managed to create in this unusual space was, cliche though it might be, simply magical. There was a poetic brilliance of the music, and the performance was absolutely one of the highlights of the weekend “.
Michael Walsh Tin Whistle Workshop @Underneath the Stars. Photo by Gunnar Mallon

Next up were my adventures with my Asturian pals, the breath taking L-R (Leticia González and Rubén Bada ). I am on a mission to bring great Asturian music to the masses. The ‘Asturians in Yorkshire’ weekend started with my Tin Whistle workshop at Underneath the Stars. The tent was packed with 50 whistlers of all levels. At the end of the hour we had all the participants on stage and the Underneath the Stars Tin Whistle Orchestra was born. We whizzed over to Leeds for an Irish Arts Foundation sponsored event where I gave my guided tour to Asturian music (based on my PhD research) before welcoming L-R to the stage of The Inkwell in Leeds. L-R wowed Underneath The Stars, with guerilla Asturian dance classes and a performance that stopped people in their tracks and got the whole tent dancing. I waved good bye to my family and headed to Asturias with L-R. Two intense weeks of PhD fieldwork followed. Learning to dance and catching up with fieldwork contacts who had now become friends. I finally got to see Llan de Cubel. Llan de Cubel fiddler Simon Bradley has already recorded some tracks on my new album. The highlight of the fieldwork was dancing Jota in a tiny village of Baselgas.

I came to England for Whitby Folk Week. We did a secret house concert in Sheffield to warm up and raised some money for Dementia Care. I played 4 concerts with the Liz Hanks, led two flute workshops and a wonderful session and finally made my debut as a singer. We received great feedback from our concerts Colin Irwin from Mojo Magazine…
“Flute and cello? That’s not going to work is it? Is it? Well, it bloody does in the hands of Michael Walsh and Liz Hanks! Beautiful. Art music for the soul.” Colin Irwin (Mojo Magazine).
I’m really excited about what the Autumn brings. I’m catching up with my old pals from Leeds Ceili Band next week. They’ve invited me to lead a session at Leeds Irish Centre on 15th September. I’m tutoring at the Yorkshire Youth Folk Weekend next month Bryony Griffiths, Will Hampson and Jamie Roberts. I’m back in the studio to finish my album and record the final guests. Sometime the best is worth waiting for. I have a couple of Festival announcements for 2019 to make shortly. Watch this space.

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