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Flowing TidesHistory and Memory in an Irish Soundscape$
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Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199380084

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199380084.001.0001

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Autobahn to Doolin

Autobahn to Doolin

Soundscape as a Cultural Commodity

(p.189) 6 Autobahn to Doolin
Flowing Tides

Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin

Oxford University Press

Chapter 6 considers the accelerated commodification of Clare’s traditional soundscape from the 1960s to the Celtic Tiger boom in the 1990s. This departure was due to tourism, regional development, and new professional opportunities for musicians. It was also fueled, however, by a pedagogical “mobilization” of the music by radical teachers like Frank Custy who taught hundreds of young musicians, many of whom are now superstars of the Celtic music industry. New media and new audiences also reshaped the geography of this soundscape, especially, after Ireland joined the European Economic Community (1973). The village of Doolin and small town of Miltown Malbay are nodal points in this transformation. Forty years later, Doolin is a paradoxical sanctuary of music, a simulacra of its former self, where pilgrims have supplanted the icons they came to worship. Inversely, Miltown Malbay, site of Ireland’s largest summer school, has avoided this paradox. This chapter explains why.

Keywords:   Willie Clancy Summer School, music commodification, pedagogical revolution, Peadar O’Loughlin, Tony MacMahon, Clare Gaeltacht, pub sessions, Micho Russell, Patrick Kelly, Frank Custy

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