Michael Donaghy and Samradh Music
It’s just over ten years now since Michael Donaghy died, but, perhaps surprisingly, nothing has been added to the posts here https://thesession.org/discussions/4527 after the sad news of his death at the age of just 50 from a brain haemorrhage.
Although his Wikipedia listing https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Donaghy is mostly about his poetry (numerous awards and published books, including Penguin Modern Poets 11 in 1997), it quotes from an obituary: “He founded the acclaimed Irish music ensemble Samradh Music and played the tin whistle, and the bodhran and was a flute player of distinction, music echoing in the themes and forms of his writing.”
There are lots of references to ITM in his poetry, such as this, the opening lines of ‘The Classics’:
“I remember it like it was last night.
Chicago, the back room of Flanagan’s
malignant with accordions and cigarettes,
Joe Cooley bent above his Paolo Soprani,
Its asthmatic bellows pumping as if to revive
The half corpse strapped about it.”
Or this, the last lines of ‘The Natural and Social Sciences’:
“Musicians in the kitchen, Sunday morning in Gweedore.
An American with a tape recorder and a yellow notebook.
’What was the name of that last one?’
The piper shrugs and points to the dark corner.
‘Ask my father.’
The American writes ‘Ask My Father.’”
Could anyone provide any more information about Samradh Music, or memoirs of Michael’s playing, in New York, Ireland, London, or wherever?