“Reels of Rain and Wintertunes: A Night of Irish Poetry and Song” at Hobart and William Smith – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

“Reels of Rain and Wintertunes: A Night of Irish Poetry and Song” at Hobart and William Smith

Geneva, NY-Gaelic Poet Louis de Paor and singer John Spillane will present “Reels of Rain and Wintertunes” at 8 p.m. on Thursday, November 30, in Albright Auditorium, on St. Clair St., on the HWS campus.

Born in County Cork in 1961, Louis de Paor has been involved with the contemporary renaissance of poetry in Irish since 1980. He received the Seán Ó Ríordáin/Oireachtas Award, the premier award for a new collection of poems in Irish, three times. He is also the 2000 recipient of the Lawrence O'Shaughnessy Award, the first poet in Irish to receive that distinction.

De Paor lived in Australia from 1987 to 1996, during which time he formed the group “3 Words for Green,” with Aboriginal, Greek, and Australian musicians and dancers. Since his return to Ireland in 1996, he has collaborated with John Spillane on a number of songs in Irish, two of which featured on the highly successful Éist album. He also edited a bilingual volume of poems by Michael Davitt, Freacnairc Mhearcair/The Oomph of Quicksilver. He is currently working on a project with avant-garde musician Giordaí Ó Laoghaire, from “Nine Wassies from Bainne,” and directs Irish studies at National University of Ireland, Galway.

John Spillane honed his skills playing for more than seven years with the band “The Stargazers,” based in County Cork, and for five years as a singer with “Nomos.” Backing on the album included Declan Sinnott, Donal Lunny, Brendan Ring, Vince Milne, Frank Topey, Mick Daly, and Aine Whelan. His debut solo album, The Wells of The World (1997), was described by Hot Press's Oliver Sweeney as “not only a striking and individual musical statement, but one of the albums of this or any other year.”

Early last year the hugely successful album Éist featured two of Spillane's works. It also featured Éist do Bheal written by Spillane and de Paor, performed by Sinead Lohan. Spillane is currently putting the finishing touches to his second album, this time in conjunction with EMI Ireland.