Friends of Paxos

News: Irish Wings, July 2017

Irish blackbird / flying free / rides her song / across the sea

Under the olive / turtle dove / answers from / its shady grove.

Theo Dorgan

The village of Loggos, one of the sites of the Irish week in Paxos - photography by Dimitris Kintzios

Irish Wings is an exciting festival of Irish music, poetry, art and cuisine presented on the Greek island of Paxos. The festival explores ways in which artists transcend disciplines and national and geographical boundaries and showcases the dialogue of Irish culture with Greece. It will feature some of Ireland’s best musicians, painters, poets and chefs. The events will take place in intimate venues, designed to engage the audience with the artists. Its aim is to reveal the richness, variety and nuances of Irish culture to a Greek audience, the Greek media and the international residents and visitors (20 different nationalities) of this beautiful island in the Ionian sea.

The Irish Ambassador to Greece, Ms Orla O’Hanrahan, will be present for the inauguration of the Irish Wings Festival.

Irish Wings gratefully acknowledges the support of Culture Ireland and the Embassy of Ireland, Greece.

Denise Ferran - Autumn in Bolus Head 2016 Acrylic on watercolour paper 56x76 cm

Denise Ferran is a well-known artist, art historian and writer from Northern Ireland. She is the current President of the Royal Ulster Academy of the Arts.

Denise Ferran Interview 2012 - Denise Ferran Biography


James Allen - Wave with Two Birds 2016 Etching
James Allen is a highly-respected printmaker and painter from Belfast. He was Printmaker-in-Residence at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland from 1977 to 1980 and has been the full-time Manager of the Belfast Print Workshop since 1980.

James Allen, Printmaker and Painter

James Allen at his printing press in his Belfast studio.

Mick O’Dea - Helen, Irish Girl 2017 Acrylic on canvas 150 x 100 cm

Mick O’Dea is an Irish artist and Professor based in Dublin whose work is represented in all major Irish public collections. He is the current President of the Royal Hibernian Academy and is well-known for his portraits and his depictions of Irish history, most notably his latest series of paintings on the Irish War of Independence.

The Irish Examiner 2016 - Irish Times 2015 - The Kenny Gallery 2014

Kevin Kavanagh gallery exhibition 2012

Barbara Allen - Anglerfish 2016 watercolour on paper 30 x 44 cm

Barbara Allen is an accomplished watercolour artist and a four-time winner of the John Ross Watercolour prize at the Royal Ulster Academy. She lives and works between Belfast and Donegal.

Barbara Allen Watercolours - Barbara Allen Facebook

Neal Greig - Wild Atlantic Cove 2016 Oil on canvas 120x120 cm

Neal Greig is a well-known Irish landscape painter based in County Monaghan, who most frequently works outdoors - “en plein air” - before his motif. He is a graduate of the Edinburgh College of Art. Greig has received numerous awards for his art including the Northern Ireland Art Council Award and his work is to be found in numerous public art collections in Ireland and in Canada.

Neal Greig Website

Theo Dorgan is an Irish poet, writer, lecturer, translator, librettist and documentary screenwriterbased in Dublin. A former Director of Poetry Ireland/Éigse Éireann, he has worked extensively as a broadcaster of literary programmes on both radio and television. Theo will be reading in Paxos from three collections of poetry including Greek (published by Dedalus Press) which isdevoted to his love of Greece, its history and mythology.

Theo Dorgan Website - Theo Dorgan – Irish Times Review of Greek

Socrates Kabouropoulos worked for many years as a CEO for the National Book Centre of Greece (EKEBI). He is currently a book issue adviser to the Greek Minister for Culture. Between 2009 - 2012 he coorganized the Greek-English Poetry Translation Workshops, in Paros and in Delphi, which resulted in the volume Ars Poetica (Hellenic American Union, 2012). His poetry and translations have appeared in many literary journals, like Poiisi, Poetiki, [.poema..], Oropedio, and Poetry Review. His translations of Irish poetry into Greek include work by Paula Meehan, Theo Dorgan, Ciaran Carson, Harry Clifton, and Brendan Kennelly. His first book of poetry, Expressions of Seeing, is expected by Cube Art Editions in 2017.

Alexandra Kandanou is a poet and prose writer born in Athens who currently lives in South Africa. Her first book of fiction, "A Thousand in One Nights" ("Χίλιες σε μία νύχτα"), was published by Gavriilides Publishers in 2015. Her first poetry book, "The Flying Bridles of Love" ("Τα φτερωτά χαλινάρια του έρωτα", inspired by an episode from the Odyssey and with an introduction by Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke), will be published later this year.

Spyros Bogdanos is a writer, local historian, lexicographer, and former Mayor of Paxos.

Andy Irvine, Donal Lunny, Apodimi Compania and Paxiot Elias Dendias, talk to Frank Musker about the bouzouki in Greek and Irish music.

The Irish bouzouki is an adaptation of the classic Greek instrument. Johnny Moynihan is credited with having introduced the first Greek bouzouki to Ireland, where it has been adapted for Irish traditional and folk music since the late 1960s. When Andy Irvine gave his Greek bouzouki to Donal Lunny the first thing Lunny did with it was replace the octave strings with unison strings, thus giving the voice of the instrument more tonal power. Later, on a trip with Irvine to the workshop of luthier Peter Abnett, Lunny decided to commission a bouzouki to the specifications of a classic Greek bouzouki, but, with unison strings and critically, a flat back. The two musicians will be discussing their musical techniques and the story of how Irish musicians adapted the Greek bouzouki to their own sensibilities and the traditions of Irish music as a marvellous example of cross-cultural creativity!

The Blacksmith, Andy Irvine & Donal Lunny Concert 2009

Frank Musker is a hugely-acclaimed songwriter who transcends musical and international boundaries. He has produced an extraordinary wealth of successful songs, including Air Supply’s ‘Every Woman in the World’ (a million-selling top five single in the U.S.) and ‘Senza Una Donna’, recorded by Paul Young and Italy’s recording artist, Zucchero, which was a top five single in twenty countries. ‘Too much Love can Kill You’ was winner of the Ivor Novello Award for best song musically and lyrically and featured on Queen’s final album, ‘Made in Heaven’, which has sold over eight million units around the world. Frank’s musical versatility, experience and depth of knowledge has allowed him to collaborate with some of the world’s most important artists, including Carly Simon, John Denver, Roger Daltry and the Four Tops. Now, for Irish Wings, he will engage with the icons of Irish traditional music and world music, Andy Irvine and Donal Lunny , with Apodimi Compania, leading exponents of Greek folk and dance music and rebetika, the ‘Greek blues’ and Paxiot bouzouki player, Elias Dendias.

Andy Irvine is an Irish folk musician, singer-songwriter, and a founding member of the popular bands Sweeney’s Men, Planxty, Patrick Street, Mozaik, LAPD and Usher’s Island. He plays the mandolin, mandola, bouzouki, harmonica and hurdy-gurdy. Irvine has been influential in folk music for over five decades. He has recorded a large repertoire of songs and tunes he assembled from books, old recordings and folk-song collections rooted in the Irish, English, Scottish, Eastern European, Australian and American folk traditions. He sets these songs to new music and writes about his personal experiences or the lives and struggles of his heroes:Woody Guthrie, Tom Barker, Michael Davitt, Mother Jones, Douglas Mawson, Raoul Wallenberg, and Emiliano Zapata, among others.

Andy Irvine Website

Dónal Lunny is an Irish folk musician and producer. He plays left-handed guitar and bouzouki, as well as keyboards and bodhrán. As a founding member of popular bands Planxty, The Bothy Band, Moving Hearts, Coolfin, Mozaik, LAPD and Usher’s Island, he has been at the forefront of the renaissance of Irish traditional music for over five decades. In 1970, Lunny formed a musical partnership with Andy Irvine, who had returned from his travels in Eastern Europe after an initial gig at a party for the Irish-Soviet Union Friendship conference. They also created their own Club Night, downstairs at Slattery’s Pub in Capel Street, Dublin, which they called ’The Mug’s Gig’. This featured Irvine and Lunny, and guest performers such as Ronnie Drew, Mellow Candle and the group Supply, Demand & Curve.

Donal Lunny

Apodimi Compania (Band of Friends) was formed by a group of students of Greek heritage studying under Greek scholar and musicologist Stathis Gauntlet at Melbourne University in Melbourne, Australia in the early 1980s. The band – brothers George Galiatsos and Manuel Galiatsos, Nick Vergopoulos, Jim Dimitriou and Tom Dimitriou – immersed themselves in old recordings of Rebetika music. They started to perform around the inner-northern suburbs of Melbourne, which are home to many people of Greek descent. The band members moved to Athens in the mid-1990s, where they were increasingly recognised as a leading force in Greek "roots music", world-wide. Ireland’s Andy Irvine has been one of their enthusiastic guests and collaborated with them on new tunes.
Apodimi Compania, the early story in Melbourne

Apodimi Compania performing with Andy Irvine

Rebetika, the first album of Apodimi Compania, made them famous in Australia.

The celebrated Irish chef Paula McIntyre will demonstrate Irish inventiveness in culinary art, using Irish ingredients to produce recipes inspired by Irish writing and Greece. The event will include readings by the novelist Anne Haverty and poems by Theo Dorgan and Seamus Heaney, who was in Greece when he heard that he had been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Anne Haverty is an Irish poet and novelist whose work includes three novels, One Day as a Tiger, The Far Side of a Kiss and The Free and Easy. Her poetry is collected as The Beauty of the Moon and she has also published a biography of the Irish revolutionary, Constance Markievicz.

Paula MacIntyre trained at the prestigious Johnson and Wales University in Rhode Island, USA. She returned to the UK in 1993 to open her own restaurant in Manchester, The Undrie, which picked up several awards and rave reviews and became one of the best known eateries in town. Returning to Northern Ireland in 1998, Paula worked as Head Chef in several establishments including Ghan House and Fontana. In 2000 Paula appeared as a guest chef on the hit BBC programme, Ready, Steady, Cook. She has since been a frequent guest chef on BBC Northern Ireand television and has appeared in numerous other television and radio programmes including her own TV series on BBC 2 NI. Paula’s first book, A Kitchen Year was published in 2008 by Gill and Macmillan. Her latest book, Down to Earth was published in 2015.
Paula McIntyre Belfast Telegraph interview 2015 - Paula McIntyre Recipes

Kathryn Baird is an Irish television and radio producer, Paxos summer resident and a Friend of Paxos. She has notably worked for the Education Department of BBC, Northern Ireland, as Producer and Director of Drama from Ireland for BBC Radios 3 and 4, as a Producer, based in London, of Kaleidoscope, the nightly live Arts magazine, for the BBC Radio 4 and Producer and Presenter, on Radio Arts Department on BBC North Ireland. She has also organized several literary and cultural festivals in Northern Ireland, featuring Irish and Greek literature, music and photography. She is currently producing a film for BBC Northern Ireland on Charles Thomson, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.

Faye Lychnou lives and works on the island of Paxos where she is involved in all social and cultural activities. She was the Director of the Poseidon Municipal Cultural Association from 2006 to 2012, Director of the Social Welfare Association of Paxos (KIP Library) since 2009 and founder of the Paxos Book Club. She has represented Paxos on the European Task Force Group of the Cultural Villages of Europe since 2004. She is a trustee of the Paxos Festival Trust and the local producer of the Paxos Music Festival since 2006. She is a founding member of the non-profit Society of the Friends of Paxos (2015) whose objective is to promote cultural and musical events on the island and militate for the preservation of the natural evironment and architectural heritage of Paxos.

Faye Lychnou on Facebook

Chris Boïcos belongs to one of the oldest Paxos families and is an art historian, university Professor, lecturer on art and art dealer based in Paris, France and in Paxos. He has curated numerous gallery and institutional exhibitions of contemporary art in France, Great Britain, Greece and the United States. He is the founder and director of ’Chris Boïcos Fine Arts’ an art gallery based in Paris and in Paxos in the summertime. He is a founding member of the non-profit Society of the Friends of Paxos.

Chris Boïcos Fine Arts

The old Schoolhouse in Loggos, venue for the Irish bouzouki concert and art exhibition.
Photography by Tina Merandon (Loggos Schoolhouse and Faye Lychnou)

Irish Wings gratefully acknowledges the support of Guinness Beer, Greece.