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Sights & Sounds

Seeing the sights in County Clare gives CIM students a deeper understanding of Irish music's sense of place

“The Cliffs of Moher” is one of the classic jigs that Irish music students come know by heart. But the tune now means a little bit more to students from the Center for Irish Music, who took a field trip to see Ireland’s most visited tourist attraction during fleadh week in August. Braving tour bus traffic and back-country boreens, CIM families set out all across County Clare in August, soaking up the sights that give Irish traditional music its strong sense of place.

“Our instructors at CIM are really well-versed in teaching students about the regional styles and influences in Irish music, from the polkas and slides of Sliabh Luachra, to the swingy style of Clare fiddlers like Bobby Casey,” Norah Rendell, CIM’s executive director. “But there’s nothing like actually being here when it comes to understanding how much people care about the music here, and how much the landscape is reflected right in the music.”

Here’s a look at some of the sights and sounds CIM students took in during the All-Ireland Fleadh.



CIM parent Jeff Larsen captured some of the action on O’Connell Street early in the week.