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Accordion virtuoso bound for Buncrana 20.02.08

TG4's Young Traditional Musician of the Year Martin Tourish is booked again to play the Ar Ais Aris Festival in Buncrana.
The young piano accordion virtuoso, who is a cousin of Altanís Ciaran Tourish, started out as a student of classical accordian at DITís Conservatory of Music in Rathmines.
Heís as drawn to the tangos of Piazzola and the Spanish rhythms of Galicia and Asturias as he is to the slow airs of John Doherty or the strathspeys and Highlands of Altan.
Within the past year also, Martin has fallen heir to a box of 18th Century manuscripts of East Donegal music which have been in the Tourish family since 1897. This has added yet another dimension to his playing and to his repertoire of tunes.
ďLittle is known about East Donegal music because itís long died out,"
Martin explains. "We know about South West Donegal, Kilcar, Teelin and North Donegal thanks to fiddler Dinny McLaughlin and I honestly didnít realise that there was much music here to begin with. But last year, my great great granduncle, Barney Tourish, presented me with this box of 400 tunes that have been in his attic since the 1950s. Iíve found new forms of tunes, including a huge collection of Northern polkas which have more notes in them than the Southern kind which you find in Sliabh Luachra," he added.
ďItís incredible; pre-Gaelic League, so it includes tunes that predated a great clearing out of tunes that were not deemed to be sufficiently 'Irish'. Collections from that period were heavily edited to correspond with the Gaelic Leagueís version of what was authentic, because the new nation wanted to create its own picture of what it was all about. So this collection is fantastic and it's never been published before,Ē he said.
For more information on the upcoming Ar Ais Aris Festival, pick up a flyer, visit www.buncranatradfest.com  or call 086 882 9019.
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