January 12th 2021,
The special place occupied by music in Irish society is highlighted in a new exhibition at the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience.
No-one put it better than our own President Michael D Higgins when he said, “What happens between the head, the heart and the hands is inseparable. It is gloriously free. The joy of it all as the music takes flight and we take flight with it.”
Musicians are our moral pathfinders, soaking emotions up and channeling what they feel into aural delights and the exhibition at the Visitor Experience looks to capture this from the perspective of a stronghold of the craft.
This new exhibition celebrates the rich history of busking musicians at the site and the synergy with the vital culture of traditional music in County Clare.
The new area will display information on the history of busking at the Cliffs and, also, the wider history of traditional Irish music.
The inspiration for this exhibition came from the long-standing tradition of busking at the cliffs; on site, musicians have entertained visitors for over 40 years and introduced people from across the globe to the unique vibrancy of Irish traditional music.
Clare is renowned as the spiritual home of traditional music in Ireland and this exhibition seeks to marry our on-site tradition with the wider heritage across the county and distil it into a unique homage to our living culture.
All aspects of the exhibition, from conception to completion was undertaken by Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience staff, many of whom are talented musicians in their own right; some generously loaned their own much-treasured instruments, making the exhibition a labour of love.
The nucleus of the work focuses on the many talented musicians living close to the cliffs and instruments on display include an accordion, concertina, fiddle, and tin whistle.
The exhibition also includes items that would have been an intrinsic part of any rural Irish household including a 200-year-old table covered with oil cloth, a griddle, fire tongs, hobnail boots, St Brigid’s cross, and a national newspaper of the day.
The exhibition also displays a freehand drawing of Dinny McMahon, the trailblazing and original busker at the Cliffs of Moher who is still very fondly remembered.
Make sure you take some time to immerse yourself in the traditional music exhibition on your next visit to the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience.